Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rivers State

A passage from this week's Economist (a mag much loved in Nigeria):

"WITH the local airport closed for an upgrade, oil executives wanting to get to Port Harcourt, the hub of the country's oil-producing Delta region, are expected to negotiate the highway into town from Owerri airport, 85km (53 miles) to the north. The journey offers a telling snapshot of contemporary Nigeria. As of last week, there were 18 police and military checkpoints, mainly on the look-out for bribes, and 14 pot-holes so cavernous that traffic had to abandon the carriageway altogether to get any farther. All this on the region's main commercial artery. There were also 165 advertisements for local churches, of every conceivable denomination, and six mortuaries. It is a heady mix of corruption, pollution and decay, with just a hint of salvation ):...

I've never been to Port Harcourt (capital of Rivers State), but from what I hear, its nickname The Garden City is thoroughly undeserved, on present appearances. The Governor of Rivers State, Mr Peter Odili, has recently declared his aim to run for President. One wonders on what basis one might want to vote for him? If he cannot put his own State in order, why would anyone entrust him with a job 36 times the larger?


Akin 6:40 pm  

I read that passage a few days ago and did really wonder 165 adverts for local churches.

And they have not called with one voice on the God of miracles to swipe a hand over the country to sort out the roads, the rails, the planes, the government, the problems and so on.

They all seem to be absorbed with having an ascendancy over personal enemies who might be relations, friends or neighbours who think those selfsame people are their enemies too.

This divided state of being absorbed in fear and animosity takes away from the togetherness that should allow us to band together and solve personal, local, regional and national problems.

Everyone thinks the other would take advantage and reap the rewards so all stand back and nothing gets done.

The passage was a lament that should wake our people up to stark realities - ditch the adverts and demand progress.

oguchi 3:00 pm  

mr odili better go back to being a doc if he knows whats good for him

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