Welcome to Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, home to more than 3 million Nigerians, including the first family.Unlike Lagos, which was the country’s capital before December 12, 1991, when it was moved to Aso Rock by the then military Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, Abuja is a planned city. Many people are forced to leave Abuja after stepping in in search of greener pastures, but meeting disappointment because they are not “connected.”Some leave of their own volition for reasons other than not finding the greener pasture they came for. I have been visiting Abuja on and off until 2011, when I came in ready to stay.He believes it is easier to plan in Abuja, too, because there are no gridlocks on the road.“It is healthy to live here.You can wake up and leave your house by 7 o’clock and you still get to the office by a.m., even if you don’t live close to the office,” he says.Of course, the chances of meeting any of the 109 senators or the 360 House of Representatives members, or even important members of the diplomatic community are always high if you live in the city’s center or you know the right place to hang out.
Builders of the city, according to a 1979 master plan, divided Abuja’s development into four phases, with a projection that the city will have a population of 3 million by the year 2010 and a maximum population of 4 million later on.“Coming to Abuja became a necessity in a bid to add up to my creativity, explore and define a voice for myself through my chosen path. “Abuja became an eye-opener to me based on where I had been before moving into the city.”Compared to Lagos, Abuja is not so much of a bustling city in terms of budding entrepreneurs and startups, so it is an opportunity to start something without too much competition at the outset.“Abuja became a city which has helped shape my life so I can work harder and smarter if only I want to live in the city.”Imo lives in Jahi, just before Gwarinpa, about a 10-minute drive from the Federal Secretariat.Imo does his creative art at the Art and Craft Village behind one of Abuja’s most popular hotels, the Sheraton.That is the life in Nigeria’s capital city where everyone you meet is potential creme de la creme.“I have met some people like that,” Fisayo said thoughtfully.