Abuja, their Abuja! City in everlasting construction!

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Abuja never seizes to amaze me! It’s an interesting city, both in terms of organized design and the chaos of what is turning out to be a ‘forever’ state of construction! Now, that’s the word – FOREVER. It suddenly appears to me that in Abuja, those responsible directly and indirectly (read for that, CONTRACTORS and beneficiaries of its FOREVER state) for building the city, the Federal Government and the Capital Territory leaderships over the years, have found some comfort in Jay Z’s great song “Forever Young”. As a matter of fact, there’s a reason to believe that, apart from the obvious ‘Nigerian-factor’ reason for this never-ending building of a capital city (read for that CORRUPTION, people on the make and on the take!), for them it would seem that keeping the city in that state – everlasting construction – has the power to keep it young and keep them young too, don’t you forget that! You should look for the lyrics of Jay Z’s “Forever Young” and you’ll find the part that actually refers to them as individuals.

Well, it is very possible that since Jay Z released the “Forever Young” song, when all those who are profiting from this Abuja as a permanent construction site meet secretly to throw banters at each other and drink those expensive champagnes that they buy with proceeds of corruption, here’s the anthem they sing:

Forever young,

I [we] wanna be forever young

Do you [we] really want to live forever?

Forever and ever

Forever young I [we] wanna be

Forever young

Do you [we] really want to live forever?

Forever, forever

They will be singing that anthem and be laughing at the rest of us. Why? Well, they know the big racket that Abuja has become. In fact, the building of Abuja Capital City is the biggest racket in the world. Everybody is looking at it and thinking that Abuja is like another state in the country. It is not. It was supposed to be a ‘new’ city that was meant to be built from scratch and then delivered, chikena (Hausa for simple, I believe). For goodness sake this is supposed to be a planned city and it is supposed to be constructed within a period of time, not FOREVER! Will all the Slim Shadies who have been creaming off our country with this endless ‘PROJECT CORRUPTION’ please stand up?

And still following the Jay Z wanting to live or be seen as forever young analogy, if you were visiting for the first time and you knew little or nothing of the history of Nigeria or the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, you would say: “What a beautiful young city!” If you went back to your country and someone asked you, “So how is this Abuja city you went to?” You are likely to answer: “Fabulous young city, it is still being built and I bet once they complete it, it’s going to be fantastic.” Yeah right! Once they complete it! But they are never going to complete it, even if they had all the money in the world. How could you ever expect them to try to put a stopper on a gushing pipe? Or, that they would cut off a fat milk-producing cow’s breasts, under which they are bent with their mouths open, drinking themselves to choking point? Never! They do no such things in Abuja!

Where is all this coming from? Well, I was in Abuja this week. For some reason that I cannot explain, the city has refused to settle into me or me into the city. I am always quick to want to get out of the place. I guess it’s because I feel it has no soul or that I cannot connect it with humanity. It carries a baggage of pretense in my eyes and I think that while it carries so much responsibility for the Nigerian nation, it has become a place where the weight and the burden of nation building has become lost. As my taxi drove into the main city from the Airport, I saw a large number of people at bus stops, along the Jabi/Airport road. That’s one road Julius Berger spent ages and ages building (and I saw it was still working on parts of it as the driver drove along it).

What was the matter? Well, as it turned out, the authorities had ordered the banning of buses along some parts of the city. My taxi driver said they had provided some Sure-P buses, but they are not enough. They have told us about a rail project, but that’s taking a ‘Jay Z’ (meaning ‘forever’) to be seen. Yet, confirming my claim that it is a soulless city where vultures seem to have gone to perch, it doesn’t seem to bother the authorities that such a wicked policy is hurting people; people who are expected to be at work early in the morning have no adequate means of getting to their offices because a ‘Jay Z’ capital city is being run by deceitful, wicked officials who are just happy that they can ferry themselves about in their land cruisers, and go somewhere and sing their “Forever Young”, corruption supporting anthem!

Now what does Etisalat think it is doing?

To be Ignorant is not necessary a bad thing. If you don’t know, then you simply don’t know. So if someone says to you: “You are ignorant!” Do not immediately take offence. It simply means you don’t know the correct thing or you don’t know what something is about because at the time of the conversation the in. I am sure in many local beer parlours and perhaps, even in some high level gathering, there are fights or quarrels that have started just because someone called another person ignorant. It’s just like someone saying, “Don’t be silly”, which is really a harmless, offhanded, sometimes endearing expression, and then another rolling up their sleeves or pulling up their ankle length gown a little up for space, to begin what might later turn out to be a massive, but unnecessary, fight.

So, if you are ignorant about something, just go help yourself and get some information about what you are ignorant about. It’s that simple! The trouble with not doing anything about your ignorance is that it can be taken advantage of. Being taken advantage of on account of your ignorance can be both legitimate and illegitimate. If someone or an organisation takes advantage on you just because you did not have enough information to act wisely, then please, try and see if you are not alone so that you can jointly explore a class action case against the orgainsation. And you really don’t have to worry about the Nigerian legal system, which is cumbersome, sluggish and often lacking in justice delivery. Just try to find out if the organisation is an international one. If it is, you can bring your case against the organisation in several jurisdictions. Remember that Shell, the oil giant, gets sued in the USA, in the UK, in Netherlands for offences committed in Nigeria.

If you are a correct indulgee, you would know where all this is headed. If any mobile phone chooses to act in a way that could easily elicit a class action suit then let us join forces to do that. If you are already on a package with a company and you get a message like this: Network Notification:“Recharge N1000, dial *344*500# three times & get N3750 credit to call any network. Val/7days”, would it be ignorant on your part to think that your network was being generous to reward you by giving you a bonus? And would it not be deceitful, if you suddenly found that by just doing that, your network had changed your package from say, EasyStarter to Easyflex, without any warning. Please indulgees, does the Network Notification message suggest that this was what they were planning to do? Is it not enough grounds to sue the Naira daylight out of them to keep them straight and narrow? Can someone set up a small claims courts, just like the emergency mobile courts governments like to set up to try to keep people straight and narrow, so that we can all go and claim our monies back? Where is Governor Fashola, the expert law governor?

By: PHILLIP ISAKPA

In : Articles

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