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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Bring Back Our Glory.

Last Friday, I took an impromptu trip to Ghana to sort out some personal stuff. I also really needed the long awaited, albeit short, rest which came with being in a different country and away from the hustle and bustle of Lagos. I got to the airport pretty early in the morning and was amazed at how hot it was within the airport at that time of the day. The air-conditioners were just not enough or functioning properly. The check-in, customs, immigration and boarding processes were made so tedious that I kept wondering why Nigerians make even the simplest of things so difficult for ourselves.

Accra in Ghana was a dream, their airport was cool and very clean with no hassles. The air outside was so fresh and devoid of stench, and the people were all so nice and courteous. I headed out to check into my hotel and went out for my appointment. Ghanaians are very lovely, warm and pleasant people (at least all the ones I met). 

I spent most of my time sleeping because I have had a rather long and stressful year and I have not really had any proper holiday at all in the past couple of years. I went out on Saturday to an amazing Nigerian bar and lounge called The Den. The owner was so lovely and one of the most hardworking people I have ever seen. You wouldn’t even know he owns the place because he was humbly attending to guests and also preparing the meals. I was served one of the tastiest meals I have ever had and you all know I am a foodie who loves to try new food always. He is simply an incredible chef. I will do a separate post on his lounge later because I took some pictures.

I somehow managed to leave both my phones and laptop back at the hotel when I went out to have lunch and I met all my stuff intact. What struck me the most about Accra was their road network. The roads were very wide, the traffic lights worked, the motorists OBEYED traffic laws without being pushed about (they all used their brains accordingly. (side eyes Danfo drivers and co.), there was no potholes on the roads. NOT ONE. I did not encounter one bad patch of road and all the inner roads were tarred.

As much as I loved and enjoyed my brief stay in Accra, it left me really sad for Nigeria as realization dawned on me that we have been left so far behind by other countries in terms of development and mental growth. Our mind-set is so backwards that it often scares me as I wonder when and how we will finally get things right in this wonderful nation of ours. It irks me that our leaders travel out to different countries yet they come back and carry on like its business as usual without the motivation to effect the positive changes and developments they see and experience out there. There was constant light in Ghana, the tap water was potable, the roads were good, the country was clean and the people polite and calm. Why can’t we have all of those here in Nigeria and more? Why must life be so hard for us?

I landed in Lagos on Sunday night as as soon as I disembarked from the aircraft, I felt like running right back to Ghana. The stifling heat and stench that hit me was thick enough to be cut with a butter knife. I soon discovered that the toilets doors in the passport control area had been left wide open. The few scattered air-conditions I saw were not blowing past a few feet from where they were placed and you would have to standing directly in front of them to feel the cool air. Can you picture about 3 or 4 airlines arriving at the same time and their various passengers having to go through Passport Control at the same time regardless of the heat and stench?

If small Ghana can get things right within they time frame they’ve had, why can’t we? All we need do is re-orientate ourselves and change our mindset. The government can do far more than they have done or are doing, to be honest. They can put decent infrastructures in place and run several orientation media campaigns which would cut across villages, towns. cities within each state. 

It saddens me that while a vast majority of Nigerians remain in denial and desolateness, the rest are just carrying on suffering and smiling. Read this article here where Nigerians are said to be unhappy with the rating of the Port-Harcourt airport as one of the worst airports in the whole wide world and are protesting the tags. How about you visit other places and see how things are meant to be before deciding if the tag was unwarranted.

I hope I live to see my dear nation Nigeria in her glorious fame as she should be and not keep beholding the mess that is her right now.  

Pictures source: Google

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