This is not a country any longer


A week plus ago, and precisely so, a group of friends travelled to Port Harcourt in Rivers State from the coastal cities of Sapele and Warri in Delta State. Those who could not be part of the movement and train from the Sapele and Warri meeting points for the Port Harcourt journey were expected to make their personal arrangements and hit the Ikwerre or so city at their convenience.

Of course, the friends who were going to journey there from different parts of the country looked forward to the trip. What were they going to the eastern Niger Delta city for?

A friend of theirs was going there to get a wife for his son, and he needed his accomplished friends, as many of them as possible, if not all of them, to accompany him and his son to pluck his damsel and bring her to Sapele, his home city.

The envisaged trip fascinated and delighted me. I really looked up to it despite the problems and problems of insecurity everywhere about us.

Clearly, I was not going to be part of the moving train from Sapele or Warri. I was going to hit Port Harcourt, our dear Pitakwa, alone and by plane from Lagos. I wanted badly to see Port Harcourt again. I visited the place a long, long time ago, a very long time ago – when Rotimi Amaechi was the governor of Rivers State. But I cannot be right.

I must have been there since Nyesom Wike succeeded Rotimi Amaechi as the governor there. And I yearned silently to see all the marvellous works Wike has been engaging in on television to make Port Harcourt the Port Harcourt of Rivers people and of Nigeria that is of now far from the Nigeria of our dreams and expectations and imaginations.

I could not go to Port Harcourt. I did not go to Port Harcourt. I could not assert myself to be there. I did not assert my will to be there – however hard I tried. The assertiveness of my body and will could not and did not assert themselves and beings as they should. What happened? I do not really know.

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But I was not in my elements at the material time. And my invisible chemical cues were very intriguingly unprepared for the zoo kingdom chemistry of the Nigerian situation.

Now after they went and returned to their respective abodes and houses, I spoke on phone to the leader of the friends who led his fellow, I mean our fellow friends, to Port Harcourt. They journeyed there by road. I pointedly wanted to know the state of the west-east or east-west road from Warri in the Western Niger Delta to Port Harcourt in the Eastern Niger Delta. Chief Iroro Clark of the Safi Boys’ Club who led our friends to Port Harcourt for the conventional connubial gathering across ethnic and regional borders was a bitter man.

The vice chairman of Safi Boys’ Club spoke to me with deep pain in his voice and in his heart. “There is not a country any longer.” The Warri-Port Harcourt Road that was praised to the heavens a few years back has deteriorated to the extent that it has become an accomplished eyesore to motorists.

The road helps to signal the impending disintegration of your country my country our country. All the money spent to construct and reconstruct the road has come to nothing.

Those who were contracted to give us a befitting Warri-Port Harcourt Road simply duped us.

They and their collaborators in government and in high places seemingly outside government corruptly enriched themselves and enrobed their soiled egos.

No repercussions will attend their accomplished thievery. And our landscape will remain the landscape of established rogues, killers and destroyers of dreams. They and their enterprises flower and flourish in the land. This was my sincere interpretation of my short conversation with Chief Iroro Clark, a Sapele original as a well bred and buttered Safarian as the typical Sapele one calls himself.

Truly, this is not a country any longer. Truly, “this is not a country any longer.”

And how can our country your country my country be and remain a country with President Buhari and his cohorts and presidencynologists who are governing and piloting Nigeria rudderlessly without compass of healthy and selfless governance?

Things are that bad and ceaselessly so as Buhari exceeds the enterprise that has defined him and the duration of his presidency negatively and super negatively. But the historical process will modify our circumstances in no distant time.

The will of the people will survive Buhari and his presidency. Let him continue to please himself as an ethnic jingoist of the very worst variety one can find anywhere. The order will be reversed.

In fact, the order has been reversed – no matter what they do or do not do. Their goals and actions have judged and justified them already for the reversal. For students of the Bible, let me here quote Habakkuk 2:2-3:

“Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

Your country my country our country will become a country again – very soon. Cheer up, compatriots, cheer up.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.