I was warned. My friend and master wordsmith Richard Ali it was who issued the stern warning laced with a great deal of wit; People Die of Boredom in Brinin Kebbi. I almost died!
Last weekend was the longest I can remember. When you stay alone in a place for an extended period of time, you tend to begin to hold conversation with the wall. It made me begin to marvel all over again at how Nelson Mandela survived confinement for twenty seven years. Accidentally, just yesterday the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of his release. I remember the ‘Free Mandela’ song we usually sang back in Primary school. I don’t know about you, but foe me, I feel I played a role in freeing South Africa from apartheid and that is why I am particularly irked by their xenophobia and District 9-like tendencies.
Sorry I digress. Last weekend was boring but cheering. From my laptop and the epileptic and convulsive MTN internet service I followed the elections in my home state Anambra. A part of me was over there in the state, joining forces with my brothers and sisters to ensure election thieves and criminals do not kidnap our mandate. The high point of it all was when on my return from Mass on Sunday I got the news that has changed politics and electioneering in Nigeria. Peter Obi, the people’s choice had been announced winner. Suddenly that morning, I longed for a bottle of beer. Yes, beer. A very chilled one.
Were you shocked when I said I went to Sunday Mass.? In case you are wondering, I be omo jesu o. I sought out St. Dominic’s Catholic Church Birinin Kebbi where I had the rare privilege of having Mass said in both Hausa and English simultaneously. WOW! I think these are the people living the faith…men, women and youths doing their thing in a predominantly Muslim community. Sincerely more than once while I was inside the Church, I imagined the place suddenly being surrounded by miscreants like I often read about in Jos. It was a relived me that flagged down an achaba back to the hotel.
On Monday morning activities resumed fully. Well not quite morning. In this parts official duties doesn’t resume until at least 11.00am. Did I tell you I had a bike accident on Friday? I don’t know what came upon the achaba rider. All in a flash we were obeying the law of gravity. Well only my knee touched the dusty earth luckily. It took some courage to board the achaba again. I felt adrenalin flowing through my veins, all the while imagining what could have been. Here
I met some very interesting people who are enthusiastic about the Global Fund Malaria Project which will be happening in the state for the first time in Round 8. I was at Gwandu and Maiyama LGAs. As you can be sure, infrastructure is at a laughable low. However, every space on the streets and including the Sign board for the State Secretariat is covered with posters of the Governor who obviously has concluded long ago that he was going to taste the pudding twice. Every where you went you are greeted by the message; NASAMU 2 TERMS with additional billboards erected by a million solidarity groups and political job seekers. I hope the people of Kebbi witnessed (at least through their radio) the exploits of Anambarians on 6th February.
I cant fail to say how elated I was to read that Mr. I-don’t-care, sorry Anakonda sorry I meant Aondoakaa the know it all, almighty attorney General has been sentenced to many mornings of tea drinking and news paper reviews in the largely redundant Ministry of Special Duties. It was about time. I hope Goodluck doest stop there o. In any case I am still wondering, does it mean Mrs. Patience Jonathan by the new arrangement is now also Madam Acting First Lady?
Now two weeks after I am beginning to miss Abuja. I miss AWF readings. I miss being able to buy the days copy of a newspaper not a day after. I am once again sentenced to another long lonely weekend this time in Gusau the Zamfara State capital. Don’t ask me what I saw in the close to four hours journey from Kebbi to Zamfara. I slept through much of it after I got tired of looking at vast empty land areas and donkeys bouncing like they would collapse the next minute.
Now I am wondering….Valentine holed up in Gusau doesn’t have a very good prognosis. Phew! Maybe I should take time off to write a story or something. I don’t know. Any suggestion would do.