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ONE NIGHT AT AKPAJO JUNCTION: WELCOME TO PORT HARCOURT

Others are inAbujaon their own. I pity Ogoni, nay,RiversState. I don’t know where this politics of “my village” is coming from in Ogoni. I told my friend once, that if the slain A. T. Badey played such politics, the Rivers State Polytechnic he single-handedly brought would have been in Gokana or particularly Bodo. But he tried to ensure that the polytechnic was situated or located in a place easily accessible to all. I thank Dakuku Peterside again for Bori.

The Opobo man who was deputy governor for eight years could not do anything to the road that leads to Opobo nor transform Bori which harbours many Opobos. The Andoni man now deputy governor we understand is only concerned aboutIkuruTown. I pity thisSenatorial District.

I trained in a University belonging or owned byEdoStateand so was inEdofor five years. One thing I did then was to sojourn in the nooks and crannies of that state. If you go toBenin City, the state capital and then go to Ekpoma or Auchi, or Fuga, or Irua or Uromi or Afuze, or Sabon Gida Ora or Egor or Igara or Aghenibode or Okada, you won’t know they are only Local Government headquarters, yet they are not so radically different fromBenin City. Are their Governments not headed by human beings? Are their leaders spirit beings? Go to any of these Local Government Headquarters and see good road network. Go and see lives booming in a city description; High Court in every Local Government headquarters, Government department and presence in every Local Government and so son.

I did my Youth Service in Kaduna City of Kaduna State but I also visited, places like Saminaka (headquarters of Lere LGA), Kafamchan,Zaria, Jaji, Chikun, Kachia, Bernin Gwari, Kajuru etc which are only headquarters of L.G.As. See development and city life displaying Jamboree. I went to visit my direct younger brother who works in Katsina after his NYSC and decides not to come back toRiversState. When I got to Malumfashi, I thought I was already in Katsina city (state capital). I visited Daura, Buhari’s Town and Funtua, the city of the notorious Abdulmuttalab (bomber) and you can hardly know the difference between them and the capital city. Go toDeltaState, compare Warri and Asaba, compare Sapele, Ughera, Agbor and Asaba. Wonderful. Go to Anambra and seeOnitsha, Nnewi, Ekwulobia, Okija and Awka. Travel toImoStateand visit Okigwe and Owerri, Mgbidi, Oguata, Orlu and even Nkwere. Visit justAbahere, next door and see Umuahia, see Abiriba and Aruchukwu. Leave there and travel toEnuguand visit Udi, Nsukka.

I had reason to go to Uyo in Akwa Ibom often once. Visit Etteh, Eket, Ikot Abasi, Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Oron and you will be marveled and startled at decentralization and wisdom of leadership. Go to Calabar in CrossRiverStateand go to Ugep or Obudu or Uduakpani or Ogoja in Kogi, see Okere and Lokoja, see Igala and Kaba. Fine cities, Abi Between Afikpo, Ishiagwu and Abakaliki which is better in common Ebonyi of yesterday. Even Bayelsa of yesterday is fast developing other cities to decongest Yenagoa and establish government presence everywhere. But in RiversStatehere it is only Port Harcourt. So everybody must live there. No housing or urban development plan for those working in Nchia or Onne or Bori or Degema or Ahoada or Isiokpo. Yet we are talking of a sugar candy mountain of a Greater Port Harcourt City to find work for kinsmen (Ikwerremeka!  Diali). We are here talking about Monorail when the roads are death traps. We are building castles in the air relocating everything to one ethnic group in a grand style and instead of N18, 000 increment what we see is increment in traffic jam, increment in pot holes and untrammeled demolition of houses. Hai, my mouth shut up! Harsh, harsh speeches. Soldier go, soldier come, mm!

The penultimate Tuesday, I trekked from petro-chemical gate to my house in a town near Akpajo in the rain, folding my trousers and carrying my shoes and bag in the flood from Akpajo to Elelenwo and happily or joyfully or angrily got home about 9pm in the merciless rain. Thank God I did not go to Bori with my car that day. But I am proud to be a Rivers man.

Remember to ensure to attend CarniRiv come December; a good project of government. But as you attend carry your mats and pillows as you have no roads on which to come back. Lest I forget what fellow Rivers who were trekking during the great trek at Akpajo on 18/10/2011 were saying. “Bigmen and car owners, call your wives to bring your dinners here and forget about home this night”. For me, it was my song “if you see my Governor, hosanna, tellam say, hosanna, I dey for Akpajo, hosanna, I no get problem, Hossana”.if you see Goodluck Hossana, tellam say, hosanna, telam say, hosanna, I dey for Akpajo, for Niger Delta, hosanna”.

Suddenly one Youngman, on the great trek passed and greeted me, “oneNigeria, welcome toPort Harcourt, the No Go Area!”

Barr. Gideon Kpoobari Girigiri

08036784327

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