Thursday, 8 January 2015


Hey there everyone,

Yes, it's time for some serious business. This might seem like an over-flogged issue, but then, if you haven't travelled by road in Nigeria in recent times, then, you probably won't understand my pain. For many years, the citizens of Nigeria have cried out to the leaders for provision of basic amenities (good roads, potable water, electricity e.t.c.). For many years, these leaders have turned a deaf ear to the cries of the people. They have come up with promises in their manifesto during election campaigns that they never execute. As is the normal cycle, the people vote, the elections get rigged and things remain the way they are. With the advent of democracy in Nigeria, many thought things would change for the better (it did start to change), but then how far have we come in the last 15 years of democracy?

A few months ago, (during the rainy season), I travelled to the eastern part of Nigeria, (sadly I'm from there) and it was a disaster. I visited Owerri, Umuahia and Aba, for several other reasons, and I was disappointed at the state of the roads in most parts of these cities, especially Aba. For the purpose of the non-Nigerians who read my blogs, Aba is a very commercial city after Lagos and Onitsha. (Let's compare Lagos to New York, then determine the next two commercial cities in the USA - that's Aba.) Aba is so industrialized that they are able to compete with some products made by companies from outside the country. For a country like Nigeria, where the poor only gets poorer and the rich gets richer, such products afforded people the ability to get some necessary things, like clothing at an affordable price.

Entrance to the city of Aba (Osisioma junction)
Today, Aba is a shadow of itself, mostly because there are no roads. Who wants to do business in a place that they have to either soil themselves or spoil they vehicles to get to. Who wants to live in a city where you might regularly miss important appointments in the name of bad roads.  We went shopping for some items in Ariaria International market and it was an unfortunate incident. Ariaria International market is supposed to be one of the biggest markets in Nigeria. People from many parts of the country travel to Aba to get goods for sale. When we (my husband and I) got to Aba, the first thing we were told about getting to the market was that it wasn't motorable. They said, "drive to a place where you can park your car, then, look for a taxi to take you there". We thought it was an easy task until we started looking for a taxi. No one wanted to go that way, including 'keke napep' (those 3-legged cycle-like thingy). To make it worse, we were on the same road as the market but the other part of the road was so bad with lots of traffic that no one wanted to go. 

Kent road

This road leads to the general hospital

Faulks road by Okigwe road

After about 30 minutes of looking for a means of transportation to the market with no avail, we decided to try an alternative route with less traffic (MCC road). Finally got a keke napep that agreed to take us close to the market for an exorbitant amount. He charged us N1000 for something that should have cost no more than N200. The good part though, I got all these photos. We got as close as the tricycle could get to the market without capsizing, got down and walked the rest of the way to the market. A few times on the journey, I actually thought the tricycle would turn over.

As always sycophants putting up billboards of how much the governor is working
In the market, there is a very popular line (aisle), A-line, where you get almost anything you could require for daily living, (that is where we were headed). Halfway to our destination, we find a flooded road and there was nowhere to go. We were then told the only way to get to that line was to pass through another line (entrance to the line shown in the photo below), and go round. What pissed me off wasn't just the fact that I might have to waddle through the murky water to cross to the other side, but the election campaign poster hanging on the gate. People are swimming in dirty water to make ends meet and someone who had it in his power to prevent such a situation is telling them that "they'd cross the bridge when they get there come 2015". Like seriously?! Lucky for us we got another keke napep to take us across the river all the way to our final destination. The story of our journey back is much the same as getting to the market. Multiple keke drives and walking the rest of the way. At some point, I had to get my legs dirty (since I can't fly, at times like this you wish you were a ssuperhero, lol).

This is supposed to be an international market, one of the biggest in the Eastern part of Nigeria. Painfully, this is A-line.
Enough of casting all the blame on the government, we, the citizens are not helpful, throwing things on the roads expecting the government to clean up after us. As I left the east back to base, I was fuming in the bus when something caught my attention. A passenger from another bus threw a snack wrapping out of his window, I hadn't gotten the words of protest out of mouth, when the driver of my own bus threw out his empty can of malt, followed by his empty bottle of water. I guess it was Nigeria express road litter day. 

There is a part of the Onitsha - Owerri express road that has become a major dumping ground, converting a 3-lane road to 1-lane. The government provided the dump site but instead of these citizens to go in and throw their waste products, they throw everything on the roadside and begin to cry that the government has abandoned them.

Finally, what exactly does FERMA (Federal road maintenance agency) do? Because I don't see them maintaining whatever few good roads there are. People of our great country, Naija, I beg you, place your part so you can have the right to ask for more.



  1. My sister, I am from Umuahia so I do understand what you're saying. Pls don't call Nigeria a country, it was a country and Aba shall rise again; Inshallah, according to those mallams up north

    1. Lol @don't call Nigeria a country. Don't worry my brother, God dey. Aba must rise again.

  2. some roads not clear and i think people also need to involve to solve the problems.

    1. Occasionally, some philanthropist help to construct a road or two and the people do need to pick up after themselves, but we have problems with maintenance (a major problem in Nigeria). And also the government's neg
      ect and corruption takes the cake.


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