I wonder, I just wonder.

In the early 1990’s a certain TV show was airing on NTA, it was titled Third Eye. My parents tell me it was about a young girl who helped her father solve cases, he was a police officer or something. Olu Jacobs was the father and the only thing I remember about the series was him muttering the phrase “I wonder, I just wonder” in that voice with the rich timbre.


There are many things that are illogical in this world, there are many things that I do not, cannot understand. There’s a book titled “Many thing you no understand” by Adaora Lily Ulasi, my father has a copy of that book, I haven’t read it yet, I wonder why.


I do not understand how the capital city of a state in the middle of the rain forest will not have a proper drainage system, where are the canals? Are canals too much to ask for? Ok, where are the gutters? You cannot keep awarding contracts for road rehabilitation and maintenance (I’m joking about maintenance, we do not maintain roads here) without ensuring that the heavy rains do not fritter your efforts to the wind.


When a certain son of the Esama was governor, it was common knowledge that he did not see any need for road repairs or making any effort to develop the state and its primeval capital. He was quoted as saying there was no need to develop the city so it would still remain an ancient city. A former national labour leader contested the elections for the position of number one citizen of the state and I cannot forget the widespread jubilation that occurred when the courts gave him victory. Optimism whirled and danced in every heart and joy bubbled on tongues as they spread the news and in the evening in bars across the city, joy was reflected in the bubbles of lager and stout as they flowed from bottle to glass and from glass to mouth.


Nearly eight years later, the roads are still dotted with depressions that make shock absorbers groan and when it rains- like it did today, the traffic that ensues will cause panic attacks. Emergency rivers will swell and the already chaotic situation will only get worse and it is clear that neither the APC nor the PDP are the solution to the issues we face daily.


There are many reasons a grown woman would find herself stuck in Uselu market bound traffic on a Saturday even, the most important of them is a two hundred litre water vessel that cost more money I can remember without wincing. Because we haven’t had power for four unbroken days, the wisdom in having such a big storage container had finally penetrated the fog of budget considerations and inertia.


Sitting at the backseat of the car and watching the traffic that seemed to stretch to the end of the world- it was actually less than 5km and watching people wade through the chocolate tinted floodwaters without any consideration for shakara. I suddenly wondered where the governor was, and the deputy governor and the members of the state house of assembly and local government chairmen and all the others? They weren’t sitting with me in that traffic, neither were they wading through those floods with those people, not them… They were too important to suffer like the rest of us.


Yet people would make enemies of family and friends because they support a particular political figure or political party. How can they not see that these guys are on a self-enrichment mission and there’s no room for the common man in their style of governance? Yet we’ll continue to tear one another to shreds on their behalf, amplifying our voices to sound the loudest and getting no acknowledgment from the idiotic bastards.


I really wish things were different, that I didn’t have to write things like this, that the rage that coursed through my veins while I spent nearly three hours on one spot was a thing I’d imagined or perhaps dreamed about. I wish that change could come in my generation, a change that will make us see that we are the force, the power, the fulcrum. Those guys on campaign posters are not the ones who will make it better for us, we’ve heard that rhetoric for sixty years and counting, let’s do something different.


What is different? I wonder, I just wonder.




  1. I remember that quote so well, ‘I wonder, I just wonder’ but I can’t even remember the title of the TV show.
    Yes ooo…Benin is in such a depressive state. Do you know that some kids in Benin know the roads that are so bad and lure drivers into its depths inorder to make money from pushing the car out?
    Mehn, the whole of Nigeria is in a bad state sef. We’ve not had water in months at my end.


  2. Where I stay, its a case of all man for himself, government for none. Dilapidated road, no electric pole too talk of transformer. Each occupants it own government.


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