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Presidential primaries: Politicians take over Abuja hotels


All the major hotels in the Federal Capital Territory have been booked by politicians ahead of the presidential primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party scheduled for January 13, 2011 in Abuja.

The PDP candidate will emerge after the party’s primaries expected to hold at the Eagle Square.

Our correspondent, who went round the city on Thursday and Friday, observed that though there were still rooms available before January 11, all the major hotels in the town had been fully booked from that day till the morning of January 14.

The party’s guidelines stipulate that its presidential aspirants – President Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Sani Adamu Dutsinma and Mrs. Sarah Jubril – are to face a 10-man presidential screening panel on January 11, 2011 to determine their qualification for the primaries.

Those disqualified will have the opportunity to contest their disqualification before a presidential appeal panel on January 12.

But some of the aspirants were said to be behind the booking of the hotels in Abuja to enable them accomodate their supporters and delegates.

Because of the mass booking, our correspondent found out that most hotels only increased their rates for the period.

In one of the hotels, a front office manager, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity said, “We did not know that there was going to be an event between January 11 and 14 until we started receiving enquiries about our rates.

“Some people called us on the telephone, while others visited us and we found out that most of the people who came were politicians.

“What we did was to ask our people to find out from their friends whether there would be an important thing happening in Abuja during the period.

“The result we got was that there would be a big political event. Unfortunately, we have been giving out our rooms based on our normal rates before we got the information.

“But as soon as we got the information, we decided to hike our prices based on the principle of demand and supply.”

An officer of another hotel at the Central Business District said her hotel “believes that this is the right time for us to also have our own share of the national cake.”

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