Boko Haram: Abuja Residents Shun Golf Cars
For residents of Abuja, the mere sight of a moving or parked Volkswagen Golf car pumps up the adrenaline and sends the heart imploding. This is because Golf cars have become objects of terror and harbingers of bad news. Most bombs that exploded in Abuja and the North East states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa were planted inside rickety Golf cars, a common feature on the roads of major cities in Nigeria.
Investigations by Political Economist correspondents in Abuja showed that many hotels have barred Golf cars from entering their premises even if such car is ferrying lodgers in the hotels. It is worse if the cars are rickety in nature, as most of them are. Such cars are not even allowed to park anywhere near the hotel for fear it might have Improvised Explosives Device (IEDs) planted in them.
“We have clear instruction not to allow Golf cars drive into the hotel premises no matter who are the occupants. It is a standing order from management and we are following it through”, a private security personnel attached to a popular hotel in Wuse 11 area of Abuja told our correspondent.
Our correspondents who monitored movement of vehicles in and out of the busy hotel confirmed that Golf cars were actually turned back at the gate of the hotel. Security personnel also ordered drivers of Golf cars parked within the hotel neighbourhood to leave the arena.
Investigations also showed that other corporate bodies and shopping plazas have toed the same line, drawing a red line for Golf cars while letting in other brands of cars of the same size as Golf cars or even smaller.
Nnamdi Nwokoma, a shop owner at Banex Plaza, near the recently bombed EMAB Plaza in Wuse 11 told our correspondents that since the bomb explosion, market has been dull. “Many people don’t like visiting plazas for shopping since the bomb at EMAB plaza. Shops that used to entertain up to 30 or more inquiries in one day now witness far below 10 people coming to make purchase or window-shop. This is telling on our business because at the end of the day, we are still going to pay the same amount rent”, he said.
Since the insurgency broke in the North East, several organisations in Abuja have instituted security measures aimed at nipping disaster in the bud. The measures were further tightened when the insurgents infiltrated Abuja and killed Nigerians in their hundreds.