The man who left Zaria, on Monday, after his parents had finished praying for him, said, “I believe in Atiku, that’s why I am trekking in solidarity”
Brothers and Sisters in Crisis, when, some years ago, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, the then Minister of Solid Minerals and later, Education, left her entourage and convoy behind, to trek part of the way to The Sun office at 2, Coscharis St, Kirikiri, Apapa, Lagos, because she couldn’t access it any other way due to the heavy traffic on the roads and streets leading to the place, I thought it was a big joke taken too far. The Sun later made a big headline out of her misadventure and misfortune.
But when, in recent times, it became the norm rather than the exception, as a result of the traffic lockdown of Apapa and its surroundings by tanker and trailer drivers, I began to wonder why our leaders, at various levels, have left us to sort things out for ourselves. Only God knows how many kilometres Nigerians living in big, overpopulated cities like Lagos, cover every day, on foot, as they go and return from work.
That’s why when a big headline was made out of the fact that Baba (Buhari, that is) shunned his convoy and trekked some 800 metres to get to his house after attending Juma’at prayers at a mosque close to his house in Daura, I nearly applied for the expression of interest form for the office of the President, but for the N45 million wahala. Unlike the President and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, there was nobody willing to buy the form for me. Everybody deserted me including you reading through this write-up. As Zebrudaya would say, Ka Chineke mezie okwu (Let God complete the rest of what I would have said but didn’t).
Now, why would I have applied if I had a sponsor? Because the tone of the talks and brick-brats that ensued between the President’s admirers/loyalists and critics, thereafter, showed that people who should know thought that was strong evidence, and criteria, to prove that Baba was strong enough, healthy enough to run for the office of the President in 2019 general elections. If that is the criteria, remove the money matter, I am more than qualified.
But that is a topic better left for another day. The reason I am here today is to let you know that I have discovered that thousands, nay millions of Nigerians, going somewhere, whether near or far, do make part of the journey on foot. Do you know why? Initially, I thought it was owing to the bad state of our roads which now make Okada people, plying, especially, Badagry – Mile 2 Expressway in Lagos, to run in the bush instead of the main road. For the first time in my life as an adult Nigerian, the dilapidated state of the road in that axis of Nigeria defies description. I once tried it but ran out of words. Somebody said that it is because I was using a shorter dictionary. Now, I have ordered for a longer one.
Interviewed on TVC, sometime ago, one man who felt embarrassed by the state of things on that road that is supposed to link Nigeria with Benin Republic and the rest of the world, said he is not sure that stretch of the road, starting somewhere in Alakija and ending in Badagry or so belong to Nigeria. Maybe! That is to show you the degree of anguish and anger that have taken over that portion of the so-called international route.
Back to our topic, do you know why millions of Nigerians in various cities of our beloved nation, including those who have cars abandon their cars and trek millions of kilometres everyday to go to their businesses or places of appointments? It is to show solidarity with our leaders at various levels. I didn’t know this fact until I read about how one young man, Kamaludden Bashir, vowed to trek from Zaria to Abuja to show his support for the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Bashir, our compatriot, told newsmen the journey, on foot, would take him about five days. The man who left Zaria, on Monday, after his parents had finished praying for him, said, “I believe in Atiku, that’s why I am trekking in solidarity and praying for him to win the 2019 presidential election.”
It is after I read this young man’s comments that I now understood why every Nigerian is trekking. Actually, we are doing that in solidarity with our leaders. Take, for instance, the Badagry – Mile 2 Expressway that I talked about. Some people trek from Iyana-Iba or Volkswagen Bus Stop to either Barracks, Aspamda Trade Fair and sometimes to Alakija, about 8-10 kilometres away. I do sometimes too when everywhere is blocked and traffic is at a standstill for hours. I now know why I do so. I am doing that in solidarity with Akinwunmi Ambode, and, will very soon, transfer that allegiance to his likely successor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, even though I don’t know him from Adam.
Those of you in Owerri who had to trek from Amajieke to Okigwe Road or Okigwe Road to Amakaohia or Orlu Road or from Douglas Road to Nekede Poly because of traffic and bad roads, please, know that you are doing that in solidarity with Rochas Okorocha, and, if everything works out as planned by the Godfather and God the Father, very soon, you will be trekking in solidarity with his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu. I think at this juncture, someone should shout Hallelujah! So, whenever you find yourself trekking from Point A to Point B as a result of traffic occasioned by bad road, you are doing it in solidarity with one top gun, somewhere, Dane gun or AK 47, it doesn’t really matter. Just trek, trek and trek and you will soon get to your destination.
In fact, what I have decided for now is to be trekking everywhere I go, between now and February next year when we will have our general elections. No more riding in a car for me. That way, I would have shown solidarity with all the candidates for State House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senatorial, Governorship and Presidential election, no matter the party they belong. Did I hear you call me Johnnie Walker? Isn’t that what we have all become today in Nigeria? The only thing I am not happy about is that many of us dey walk but only Don Jazzy, the poster boy of Johnnie Walker label in Nigeria, dey collect the modeling money. Abeg make somebodi who know am say make im spread the largesse. We are all together in this business of walking. Johnnie Walker? Keep walking and make politicians dey collect our money for making over the roads or building new ones and dey put for dem pocket, abi!
Re: Party primaries: Omo, na mental case
I want to suggest that things have come to a stage in Nigeria when our politicians will need to consult psychiatrists and obtain certificate of mental balance before they can be allowed to run for any elective post. INEC should take note.
Ezugwu, S.C: 08068284850
EDITOR’S NOTE: Reactions are welcome from readers.