These days, when we talk about the good old days, I feel a kind of pity, a deep sense of sympathy for the generations of my children because I wonder if they can ever see a great Nigeria again.
After my secondary school, waiting for JAMB admission, one day I was bored and I decided to do something with myself. As an avid reader of daily newspapers, I’ve heard of big towns and cities like Maiduguri, Port Harcourt, Jos, Gongola state, Zaria, Ibadan, Lagos, Funtua, Malumfashi, Daura, Katsina, Enugu, Owerri, mention them. These names sounded so well in my ears and I felt like visiting them.
One day, I picked the map and began to see which of these towns could be visited traveling by railway. I saw the Kaduna-Port Harcourt and Kaduna-Maiduguri routes. I notice there was no commercial rail to sokoto but to Kano (Yoruba people call it Kanu). I remember telling mama that I was going in search of admission to University of Port Harcourt. That was how I raised fund and joined the train at Kaduna Junction then called KDJ and the two-day journey to Port Harcourt began.
While in Port, a taxi took me round different places of the town, including the University. After about four hours, I took a vehicle to Owerri, where I spent three hours moving round, then moved to Enugu, where I joined the Port Harcourt-Kano train back to Kaduna. I was just aged 18!
Back in Kaduna, I raised fund again and moved to Maiduguri. There, I spent a whole day, slept at the Railway station like a tout. The following morning, I went to Jos and stayed there for a day. Then travelled by road to Makurdi where I visited Oturkpo and Oturpa, then back to Makurdi and Jos moved back to Kaduna. That was how I also did Kaduna to Kano.
When I was in the University of Ife, as a most brutal natty Kongo of the Palmwine Drinkards Club of the Supremost Comradium, World headkota, Archivarian LSF Fello B I remain, walk and never stombu, I had great opportunities of travelling to so many places for gyrations of Palmwine Drinkards Club of institutions in towns like Bida, Calabar, Umuahia, Warri, Ugheli, Asaba, Kotangora, Mokwa, Zaria, Oyo, Ilesha, Ilaro, etc.
Anytime I remember these sojourns I made, just fresh from secondary school, I wonder if these generation of children would ever have such opportunities. Even if they do, are they mature and independent enough to do such? These days that these children can’t cross the roads opposite their homes unsupervised! Pathetic.
When I was in the University of Ife, as a most brutal natty Kongo of the Palmwine Drinkards Club of the Supremost Comradium, World headkota, Archivarian LSF Fello B, I remain, walk and never stombu, I had great opportunities of travelling to so many places for gyrations of Palmwine Drinkards Club of institutions in towns like Bida, Calabar, Umuahia, Warri, Ugheli, Asaba, Kotangora, Mokwa, Zaria, Oyo, Ilesha, Ilaro, etc.
I am not done with such adventures. This next week, I will be going to Epe. I’ve never been there. I want to see the building where Obafemi Awolowo was detained in 1964 before he was transferred to Calabar prisons.
I have heard of towns like Okiti pupa, Igbokoda, Ikare, ilaje, Owo (the hometown of Orlando and Pa Adekunle Ajasin). These towns mean so much to me. I must visit them before June. Nothing stops me in Jesus name. After June, I will be visiting the Egbado towns of Imeko, and hope to cross the border to the Yoruba towns of Benin Republic like Ketu, etc. Do you know that there are 32 Yoruba speaking towns in Benin Republic?
Before the end of this year, I must visit Iseyin, Saki, Tede, Eruwa, Sepeteri, Lanlate, etc. There is also this this Yoruba town where many people give birth to twins. Can’t remember the name. I just hope the Fulani who wreck havoc around these routes have stopped. Anyway, I will get my information right before embarking on these journeys.
Travelling gives me joy!
*Bola Adewara, is the publisher of E-life magazine