Abuja Roads: ‘Constructions’ without end!

by Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku

Anyone familiar with this column weekly would have observed something peculiar about it. You have haven’t you? Yes you have! The author is forever writing personal stories, doesn’t he? Yes he does and now hereby he wants to confess this sin to you, that the author often uses you as the priest to whom he must confess weekly. But confessing his sins here weekly and publicly is not a serious attempt to launder that linen, neither is it a backdoor to personal aggrandizement or to market himself, far from it. These personal stories are bait, or to put it in raw terms, they are bribes to lure you to want to read him. In fact, these personal stories are often more read than those dealing with abstract things because are forever keen on gazing on and at the skeletons in other people’s cupboards.

So today, what story would I be telling to draw attention to the roads taking forever to construct in ‘Abuja’? Hmmm, let me think. Yes, I will tell two, no three, instead of only one. The first one had to do with my trip to Europe some years ago. We were on a training tour to Freiburg, a German town in the south west of Barden-Württemberg. Because we had a tight schedule, we were unable to enter Freiburg as planned so we decided to spend the evening and night in a village close to Freiburg. Feeling a little bored, I decided to take a stroll through that village, and what I saw in that German village did nothing to raise my spirits. In fact, I got more depressed from realizing that that village [like all the villages in Germany and Europe] had a network of roads that even the famous Victoria Garden City, VGC, Lagos cannot boast of. I was made to understand that the German government cannot afford to toy with those villagers: most of them are very well educated and they contribute to making the German economy the strongest in Europe. Well, I shrugged off the melancholy of the moment because I was eager to see the Black Forest, the Munster Cathedral, to touch and perhaps draw inspiration from Ernest Hemmingway’s typewriter in a hotel in Freiburg, the little pool in that town that ‘magnets’ and gets you married off to a Freiburg lady, if you were bold enough to dip your foot in it.

But that is just the first story. The second story had to do with a tiny pothole I saw close to my hotel in Freiburg. I saw it and was laughing at the irony of a German village having better roads than the town itself. I suspect that someone around may have felt insulted at my jibe and in twenty four hours, the authorities gathered their implements to fix that pothole. Their plan was to work at night when the roads were less busy and so when work actually commenced, the din from.

Abuja, city in central Nigeria, capital of the country, located in the Federal Capital Territory. Abuja officially replaced Lagos as the capital in December 1991, after 15 years of planning and construction. The city is located in a scenic valley of rolling grasslands in a relatively undeveloped, ethnically neutral area. Thus, planners hoped to create a national city where none of Nigeria’s social and religious groups would be dominant. A large hill known as Aso Rock provides the backdrop for the city’s government district, which is laid out along three axes representing the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Government agencies began moving into the new capital in the early 1980s, as residential neighborhoods were being developed in outlying areas. The University of Abuja was founded in 1988. Abuja has an international airport and is linked to other cities in Nigeria by a network of highways.

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