The break was so much worth it.
I went out of Lagos to a place I have always called forsaken, Warri, for four days!
The reason I agreed to attend the marriage ceremony wasn’t really because the bride was a friend – she is a friend of a friend – it was because I wanted a change of environment, and wanted to keep my friend company.
Leaving Lagos, I knew what to expect. Bad road from Ondo all the way through Benin, and I wasn’t wrong.
One of the high points of the first leg of the journey was almost spoilt by the driver of the Expert, who drove into the park of Sizzlers for us to eat.
“Hey!” I went. “Sizzlers no dey sell starch and banga soup oh!”
The guy by my side was like; “Oga abeg carry us go Ofosu where we fit get some native food. One of the things we enjoy about traveling is eating our native food.” Then he told me most times, on his way back to Lagos, he buys food in a take away plate for his wife.
My friend added her voice while the remaining five passengers said nothing. The driver, God bless him, moved on and Ofosu we got to and I was ready to do justice to the starch and banga soup with bush meat. The soup was ok, the starch was too soft! Heartbreak number one!
We got to Warri and I was dumfounded. “Is this Warri?” I asked. The roads were sooooo fine and wide. Then we took a cab to our lodge and I was open mouthed. I thought I was in Ikoyi for real. The houses were so beautiful, the roads so clean, the electricity so stable that I found it difficult believing where I was. It has been over five years since I visited Warri.
I finally believed I was in Warri, when I heard the people speak. Of course, everyone in Warri is a comedian and their accent is sooooooooo funny. I actually sat down watching three women talk and I thought it was home video. They take their time to talk and their pronunciation will make Ali Baba appear old.
You are walking down the road, and someone you don’t know goes like, “Sister I hail oh! I greet oh!” my friend and I just smiled. We were really in Warri.
I noticed that more constructions were in place in Warri and also Ughelli, were the marriage held. I passed by my old school, AGGS and ohhhhhhhhhh! Can’t I just walk in and see?
Not to mention the road blocks we passed by that were actually used during the recent war or fight of the tribes. I felt like a reporter in a post war area! But I was too late to see the destructions cos all I saw was fine, fine, fine. All this beauty covering the mess of the government.
That does not mean I am now at peace with my state oh! I’m still so mad cos Ibori put his cousin there as governor. Ibori built a hospital in a place called Agbero and named it after his wife. The natives refused for the hospital to be opened cos they gave the land and he had the audacity to name it after one woman that is not even from Delta state!
But like a passenger said on our way back to Lagos, Edo government should learn from Delta state and do something about their roads!
Coming back, heartbreak number two occurred when our driver stopped us at Sizzlers to eat. All the fast food in Lagos and I have to eat rice and chicken on the way from home? Jesus me!
Anyway, I recovered and we continued the journey to meet the heavy downpour that blinded lots of driver. In Lagos, the jeep in front of us lost control, did a 360 degree turn before our eyes, skidded to the left pavement, bounced onto the road again, facing us and halted.
It all happened so fast that we didn’t know what to expect. Luckily, our driver wasn’t on high speed, so he could stop very fast as the drama unfolded, else we would have slamed into him, and another slam into us from behind.
The driver of the jeep was open mouthed, unable to believe what just happened. Luckily, no car was on his left. The luxury bus to his right also applied his brakes on time.
I was so thankful to God for journey mercies and the fact that I came back with a cooler of Owo soup and raw starch to go with it. So for the next one week, I am so game for my starch.