Metropole Magazine

Today's Weather: Abuja NG: Partly Cloudy, Day 360|Night 260

02 Apr Written by  Ladi Opaluwa

Four Survival Tips for Abuja’s Night Owls

Abuja is a big city. You need help finding your bearing in the daytime and the situation is even trickier at night. Places hitherto familiar become obscured under the cloak of darkness, the multitude who populate the city by day would have returned to the suburbs, businesses would have closed. The city, you will find, will be hollow.

Here are a few tips to help you get by in the capital city at night.

1. Where to Buy Food: If you must set out at dusk, eat, or else you will find yourself shuttling from one end of the city to the other in search of food. Most restaurants and eateries will be closed just in time for your arrival at 10pm. First, call your notorious nighthawk friend or acquaintance for recommendations. He would probably refer you to one of these:


- Dreams at Wuse 2, where you will find the cold remains of the day’s menu

- Drumstix on Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2

- Vanilla night club, Maitama, or

- Bear Barn on Aminu Kano Crescent, just after the French Institute, mainly open on Fridays (atrocious name but justified; they stock fine foreign bear).


And there is always Transcorp Hilton. By the way, be modest. Do not insist on pounded yam, if sincerely the aim is to pacify your hunger. Downsize your appetite to coke and biscuits, then you might miraculously find a pizza or shawarma place.


2.  Conserve Your Fuel and Cash: As you would have gone off your track in the process of looking for food, you will need to refuel your tank if you are driving. You would have travelled 20km in circles on the web of roads specifically designed to confuse you. On the other hand, you must reserve extra fare for for the unplanned trip around town, otherwise you will reach an open eatery and have no money left for food.


3.  Dress Decently: This warning goes out to ladies. If you had ambitions of being sexy at night, discard it promptly. The more decently dressed you are, the safer you would be. But decency is a relative term, so you be the judge. In any case, do not dress like a ‘prostitute,’ as there are government agencies out there to get you. 


This is no mere paranoia. The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), in addition to waste management, has the mandate of clearing the streets of nuisance or any appearance of such. If you are unlucky, on any night you may be abducted by officers of the board, in collaboration with theFederal Capital Territory’s Social Development Secretariat (SDS), and the Nigeria Police Force. You will find yourself in a van huddled with prostitutes and other unfortunate victims as yourself. You may think that you have been kidnapped but no, you are on your way to a rehabilitation centre, but first, you will spend the night in detention.


4.  Go in Pairs: Going home is easy if you have a car; the highway is free and yours; a safe ride. The less privileged will have to negotiate a taxi ride. Note that the taxi driver is as suspicious of you as you are of him. Two are better than one, unless the two are males, in which case the cabbie would be reluctant to give you a ride at whatever offer you make for fear you might rob him on the way. The reverse would be the case if you are female and alone. 


At any rate, it is probably safer to just stay in bed at night.