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Cancelled presidential visit to Edo: Residents count economic losses

Muhammadu Buhari

Some residents of Benin are counting their losses following the cancellation of the Tuesday visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Edo.

The residents made this known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Tuesday, after the official announcement of the cancellation of the visit.

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NAN reports that President Buhari was scheduled to visit Edo to inaugurate the Azura Power project and also declare open the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Annual Conference.

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The Presidency, had however, announced the relocation of the COAS conference from Edo to Borno.

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The residents said they were looking forward to the conference which would have enabled them to make brisk business, describing the sudden relocation as “a huge loss.”

A businessman, Mr Osagie Ighodaro, said he was pained because he intended to display his wares at the venue of the COAS conference.

“I was shocked when I heard about the cancellation because I was well prepared for it. In fact, I had already arranged my wares ahead of the ceremony,” he said.

Another resident, Mr Iyoha Abel, said the cancellation was one thing he never anticipated.

Abel said he had hoped to use the conference to dispose of his old stock and restock for the Christmas season.

An hotelier, Mr Morgan Iyamu, said the inquiries for booking ahead of the President’s visit and the conference were very promising and lamented that his hope making brisk business had been shattered.

Iyamu said he was actually expecting full booking of his hotel rooms during the two events.

“It was going to be a very good week for us owing to the fact that Chief Tony Anenih’s burial ceremony is scheduled for this weekend too.

“But whatever may have led to the cancellation, we in the hospitality business will still take it as a lost business opportunity,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said the postponement was as a result of other important national assignment by the president.

“The president is the initiator of the visit and he can cancel it as he deems necessary,” he said.

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