By Maria Famakinwa
Few days to the much anticipated general elections across the country, most Nigerians can not wait for the election period to be over, as people naturally anticipate fear and anxiety during this period, given previous experiences during elections in the country. Most Nigerians cannot wait to see the end of the election season and all the intrigues and hullabaloo that go with it.
However, one may be wrong to conclude that all Nigerians are wary of election, as investigations revealed that Nigerians who are involved in broom selling and bar owners among others want elections to be held annually, because they smile to banks during election period. Some of them who spoke with The Hope revealed that election periods are good times for their businesses.
A broom seller, Mrs Franca Anthony, admitted that campaign period is a booming time for broom sellers across the country and hinted that they still run out of supply despite the fact that some people have since abandoned their former trades to sell brooms.
“Most supporters of APC prefer the actual broom to the artificial one sold at campaigns which increase the patronage. This is good for us since it is not always that we enjoy this level of patronage. I have stopped selling to people in my area because they cannot pay as high as what party supporters would pay. For instance, I sell N100 broom for N400 or N500 at campaign grounds.
Another broom seller who simply gave his name as Mr Andrew disclosed that he joined the business to make quick money because brooms were in high demand by party supporters.
His words: “I am a commercial motorcyclist, but decided to sell brooms at campaign venues to make quick money. To be honest with you, I made real money when the APC presidential candidate came to campaign in Akure last month. I started selling as early as 7am. When the demand kept increasing, I Jerked up the price from N300 to N500 yet customers kept coming. Some excited party supporters don’t even bother to collect the change of the money. I wish election could be yearly.”
Just as broom sellers are recording huge sales, occasioned by election campaigns, those into printing business also witnessed an increase in patronge during this period. An Akure based printer, Mr Ade Owolowo, described election period as best of time for many printers and added that they have to keep vigil so as not to disappoint their customers.
His words: “There is no denying the fact that campaign posters are the most ubiquitous signs of the election season, every politician aspiring for public office must print posters. No doubt, printers get a lot of patronage from politicians during election season. During the campaign, jobs will surely come, as long as you are a printer who knows his onions.
“Sometimes, people who are hoping to enjoy the ‘dividends of electoral victory’ when a candidate eventually wins an election, they print branded shirts for a politician who is running for public office, to show their support and contribution to the electoral venture.
“The development means that a printer does not necessarily have to be directly engaged by an aspirant, or a candidate that is seeking an elective office before getting a campaign-related job in the electioneering season. You don’t even have to have a direct contact with an aspirant or a candidate. People will just bring jobs to you. That is why we always look forward to the election year,” he said.
However, the story was not the same with a printer who simply gave his name as Ayo. He said that printing business is not what it used to be as he attributed the problem to social media.
His words: “The advent of social media is affecting printing business, especially during election year, because some candidates prefer to campaign through different social media platforms where they post their pictures and manifestos, instead of patronizing the printers. That is why you hardly see people wearing branded caps or Tee-shirts of candidates vying for political offices, except printers who are highly connected. This actually affects our business and reduce our sales unlike what it was in the past.”
Also enjoying high patronage during election seasons are beer parlour owners. According to Mrs Jaiyeoba Esho, who runs a beer parlour around Arakale in Akure, though, the business records high sales on a daily basis, it cannot be compared with the level of patronage it enjoyed during election period.
Her words: “As far as beer parlour business is concerned, election period is always its peak. I am not only making huge sales, I also get the latest political gists, even though I don’t listen to news. If you want to know the popular candidate, the amount of money shared among party supporters, different plans and strategies of politicians to out smart their opponents, go to any bear parlour. It is another political arena where political happenings are being analyzed, especially after a political meeting or campaign. I make sure that I stock my shop with different brands of drinks, assorted ‘ponmo’ and beef, so that I will not run out of sales. Most times, when the shop is filled up, they make use of the space outside to tell you how busy election season is to beer parlour owners. You hardly record such high patronage except during festive seasons,” she disclosed.
Sharing a similar view, Mr Omololu, who owns a beer parlour along Oba-Adesida road, Akure, also revealed that election period brings good sales but could also pose danger as he shared his recent ordeal.
His words: “There is no doubt that we make much sales during election periods, especially during campaign, but beer parlour owners also risk their lives at this period. Not quite long ago, a particular presidential candidate came to campaign in Akure. After he left, some party supporters thronged my shop to get some drinks and relax. After about 45 minutes, an argument ensued among them due to who get what which led to exchange of blows, and two of them were injured with broken bottles. Thank God I escaped unhurt, but my beers were so broken that I ran into huge debt. This is one of the hazards of running a beer parlour. Aside this, election period is cool time for beer parlour owners to make cool money. We also get information about what is going on in different political parties, I mean exclusive information that might not be available to any media organisation,” he disclosed.
Leave a Reply