MY FIRST TIME IN OGONI LAND – CHIKE OFILI

It so very unfair to be given so little in return from taking so much. Why on earth should injustice be elevated to a cultural artefact in Nigeria? This heartless perpetuation of unfeeling unfairness must end; or Nigeria ends with it.

Richard Chisom Ogaizi who privileged me with the trip in his car after picking me up from my hotel room in Port Harcourt his village as he likes to claim it as an Nkwerre indigene, we set out for a wedding on a Sunday. He took me through the overlapping landscape between Port Harcourt and Ogoni land of Rivers state. I beheld the impressive structures left behind by the former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi overlapping so well with the giant strides of his successor and mortal enemy, Governor Nyesom Wike who has been making good his promise to the OGONI people. Not only did he rename the state polytechnic after the writer and environmental activist from Ogoni, Ken Saro Wiwa, he has also given them a brand new good stretch of road that expanded the road killer that they used to have.

Bori the only semblance of what seemed like development in OGONI land, is no more than an emerging village that is yet to attain any other higher name. To think that this is a major part of Nigeria that gives us all the crude oil that in turn, gives us all a good life that they the owners are largely denied of, seem to me extremely unjust and unfair. And to think that all I saw was just from taking a peep through a keyhole into the vast unseen agony that has come to characterize Ogoni wasted environment and lives which well-fought clean up former president Goodluck Jonathan got terribly petty about, and which the present president Muhammad Buhari is playing unfeeling politics with.

Chike Ofili

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