The smooth conduct of the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja was yesterday disrupted for more than 30 minutes following power outage at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel plant, which sparked a melee as the audience thought a terror attack was under way.

The development forced some dignitaries, including the United States (U.S.) Envoy to Nigeria, Ambassador Terence P. McCulley, to hurriedly flee the hotel despite being scheduled to address the media at the end of the session, which was cut short by the power outage.

President Goodluck Jonathan had declared the summit open with a speech and had left the venue before the power cut.

However, the hotel’s Public Relations Manager, Sola Adeyemo, attributed the outage to “a very high voltage” from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) forcing the hotel’s power generator to switch off.

But by the time power was restored some dignitaries, including the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, who were discussants at the interrupted session were gone.

The discussions however resumed after much persuasion of delegates who later gained their composure and used the blackout period to help themselves to snacks and tea served at the fountain arena outside the congress hall.

Which Way Nigeria?