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ONE NIGHT AT AKPAJO JUNCTION: WELCOME TO PORT HARCOURT

If you see my Mama, Hossana, tellam say, Hossana, I dey for Akpajo, Hossana, I dey for holdup Hossana. All the bad, bad roads, Hossana, wey dey for NAIJA, Hossana, na here I dey o, Hossana, na P.H. I dey o, Hossana. But dey go make big noise, Hossana that dem too much, Hossana, but see our roads, Hossana, na soso hold up, hosanna. Dem go build airport, Hossana, build Monorail, Hossana, but see our roads o, hosanna, na soso pot hole Hossana. If you no dey here, hosanna, you go think dem sabi, hosanna, but when come here, hosanna, you go pity P.H. hosanna. If person come PH, hosanna, dem go showam model school hosanna, Healthcare centre hoassana, and nothing more, hosanna na so we seeam hosanna; I pity you, hosanna, I pity me, hosanna, I pity him, hosanna, I pity Rivers, hosanna.

That was the song that I could remember, on Tuesday night, (18  10  2011) in the heat of traffic crisis at Akpajo near Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State; a city referred to as the garden city referred to as “The Treasure Base of the Nation”.

I actually left my office in Bori at exactly 4pm to ensure I did not experience what I experienced the previous Tuesday at the same spot. Unfortunately if I thought that would change my story, I was 100% wrong. I was equally entrapped in the same traffic calamity.

I left Bori with my Learned friend, Barrister Igerebu Sinclair Moses and another friend Baridoma F. Vigo who alighted at Nchia  Eleme. When she alighted there I and I. S. Moses embarked on our gist on what happened in court that day. We never thought of a dilemma of such untrammeled traffic malnutrition until we approached the nightmarish Akpajo Bridge, which eternal bad status constantly depicts the bad status of Ogoni people in a state they call theirs.

We were at the junction until my car began to over heat and it could not start again. Barrister Ige Moses abandoned shame in the car and started pushing the car. Other youths discovering we were lawyers soon joined him to push the stubborn car, to a nearby mechanic workshop for a possible repair or re-examination. I later begged my learned friend to go as I waited for mechanic to examine the car. Within 10 minutes, my car bounced back but into a road deficit. I was there till 8:30pm. So when members of my family innundated my phone with barrages of calls. I simply sent them my song, “if you see my Mama, hossana, tellam say, hosanna, I dey for Akpajo, hossana, I dey for hold up, hossana. That was exactly what I could remember to send as an sms.

It was like what I read in the Bible that Moses was shown the Promised Land, but he would not enter. Imagine my house, next Town to Akpajo, just across the junction but no way to cross and enter. A whispering distance, indeed.

Those who rented accommodations in Akpajo and Elelenwo, thinking that it would solve their problem and save them from holdup characteristic ofAbaand Ikwerre roads are eventually wrong.

When you come from Bori or Eleme, tired from office, then at Akpajo which is now the entrance to Port Harcourt from that axis, you will see a symbolic “welcome to Port Harcourt, A No go Area”.

Maybe the Government of Rivers State will explain to Rivers people why inspite of its acclaimed hardwork and judicious spendings on infrastructural (particularly roads) development, the only thing we enjoy is additional holdups. Instead of traffic crisis to be eliminated or reduced atleast, we see increase in holdup in Port Harcourt, unencumbered traffic crisis buffet residents of the so-called city or garden city turned garbage city.

Everyday, your ears are innundated with adverts on T.V and Radio stations over a monster called “Zero pot hole” programme but the more they announce the more the pot holes you see on the roads from Eleme Junction to Bori. “Come and see o, come and see, come and see what Government dey do, come and see what Government dey do”. As for the Eleme junction overhead bridge (fly over) we are yet to know who did it as Omehia and the present “Talk and do” Governor were laying claims and counter-claims to it during the last April Guber elections. Whoever did it, did it from ourRiversStatefund (money) and not from his personal pocket. So I don’t know why the claim and counter-claims. My feelings are that that same Rivers money should still be used to repair roads that afford us traffic and vehicular movement in the state or at least the only city, “Garden City” in the state since Rivers of all states must remain a one city state. Since we cannot development Satelite towns like Eleme, Bori, Degema, Ahoada, Isiokpo, Emohua, Omoku, Bonny and Opobo. Since we cannot bring “Light” to Bori even with the state’s only polytechnic. Shame! That a whole Bori has no electricity with an Ogoni son as SSG for 3 years and a plethora of commissioners and Advisers, and deputy speaker. Shame that again with the same fleet of appointees, Bori is still like a village after a Civil War.

That is why I must continue to thank Mr. Dakuku Peterside, former Works Commissioner, who did not play the politics of “my own village”, which is the politics of Ogoni politicians today.

Imagine Dakuku Peterside constructing almost all the roads in Bori and yet he would have used the opportunity to transformOpoboTownwhere he comes from. May God bless him. But the Ogoni lawmakers, do not see any reason why the roads leading to Ogoni must be repaired at least while the dualization foot drags. Five of them are there on the platform of “Aluta of their Stomach”. “Wetin concern them self”. After all those who were there before did nothing. ### To be Cont.

 

Barr. Gideon Kpoobari Girigiri

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