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Eclipse prediction fails in Abuja, other cities

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Students from various schools catching  a glimpse of the solar eclipse at National Space Research and Development Agency (NSRDA) in Abuja …yesterday PHOTOS: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO

Students from various schools catching  a glimpse of the solar eclipse at National Space Research and Development Agency (NSRDA) in Abuja …yesterday<br />PHOTOS: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO

• Witnessed in Kano, Plateau, Sokoto States
• National space agency blames cloud cover

There was disappointment in Abuja and many states in the southern and eastern parts of the country, yesterday, when the much talked about eclipse predicted by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) failed to appear.

Many had expected darkness, but all they saw were dark clouds.A brief show of the eclipse happened around 8.45am and lasted only seconds.Director General of NARSDA, Prof. Seidu Mohammed, blamed the development on cloud cover. He said the cloud, typical of the season, prevented viewing of the phenomena.

But in some northern states, like Kano, Plateau and Sokoto, sightings were reported. Zamfara was said to have provided the most ample view, as there was no cloud cover.
An apologetic Seidu explained that since the cover was a natural occurrence, there was nothing anybody could do about it.

“The joy is that though school children and other enthusiasts were not able to witness the eclipse as anticipated in Abuja, those in other parts of the country certainly had the opportunity of looking at it. But all the same, it is something that we foretold. If it were possible to remove the clouds, we would have done so.”

Some students who witnessed the brief occurrence expressed joy at the development, and disappointments it didn’t happen as they had expected.A student of Seed of Glory International School, Kubwa, Desire Femibajo, told The Guardian: “I did not see the eclipse. I looked forward to seeing real darkness as we heard. We only saw something cloudy, faintly.”

Chief Scientific Officer at NARSDA, Dr. Benjamin Ayetunji, said: “The eclipse was supposed to start from around 7.15am. It was to end around 10.03am. The peak was around 8.20am and 8.30am. That was when the sky in Abuja looked as if rain was going to fall.”


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