December 25 every year is set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The build-up to this day is characterised by exchange of gifts and food items. This makes Yuletide period, the most anticipated time of the year for traders and gift vendors.
This case is, however, different this year as traders and vendors lament poor sales in the various markets visited by correspondent in Abuja.
The first thing that came to mind as the reason for the poor human traffic was the current economic recession and the Dollar/Naira rates. But investigations reveal that the freezing of accounts of participants of Ponzi scheme, MMM Nigeria contributed a great deal to the occurence.
"This Christmas season is the worst. It has never been this bad," said Kelechi Uzor, a rice vendor at Kubwa market.
"Look at my shop, full of rice and people are just passing because there is no money and things are very expensive. Some of my customers are saying their money is in MMM. We need prayers in this country," he added.
For others who were seen buying food stuff, the law of opportunity cost came in handy as they had to forgo some alternatives for other.
Mrs Adaora John-Obi, a civil servant said her family had to choose between eating good meals on Christmas day, having clothes with little or nothing to eat.
"A bag of rice is over N20,000, before I buy chicken and other things, I will end up spending close to N50,000. I have five boys who are in school," Mrs John-Obi said.
"So, I asked them if they prefer to spend the Christmas with new clothes, lots to eat and drink then remain at home or they want food and then return back to school in January. They said they wanted school, so I came to get a few things," she added.
Against the warning to invest their "spare money," an MMM participant, Udechi Evaristus blamed the supposed crash of the ponzi scheme, MMM Nigeria, for the poor Christmas preparation in Abuja.
"You see this thing that MMM did, that is why people are not preparing for Christmas," Evaristus said at Wuse market.
"Even though they said we should invest our spare money, my friends and I risked almost all we had; and I am sure most Nigerians did the same thing because of the interest.
"If most people did not provide help before the account freezing, this market will be bubbling. Well, we pray that they will fix it (MMM) in January before there will no space in most mortuaries in Nigeria," he noted.
Other residents who spoke to Pulse however expressed optimism that the country would experience better days in 2017.