Around 7.00pm last week Saturday, I logged into my NYSC portal and I discovered I had been posted to Borno State. Given the unrest that has enveloped the state in the last few years, it became imperative for me to camp in Katsina.
It is noteworthy that Katsina State has two camps. The main camp is located along Mani road, while the other camp is located in Babba-Ruga along Batsari road, Katsina. Therefore, being a “borrower of camp”, I am here in the second camp.
Immediately I saw it that I would camp in Katsina, I called my friends, Tolulope Oguntade, Atakan Eedris and Egbon Rahmon Sulaimon Omotolani and told them, “ oti jade o, Katsina ni mon lo o”. Tolu exclaimed and noted, “u no fit go by land o na air o”. Egbon Rahman added, “ ahh Fatai, Call me tomorrow morning”. In a nutshell, my friends and Egbon did something and there was a paltry amount. But enough to fund my airfare to Kano.
Notably, I had not been out of the Southwest until last week Sunday. Yes, I have toured every southwestern state. But I had not stepped out of the region as of then. Therefore, I decided I was going to transport myself to the north by road. Why? Excursion is also a part of education.
On Sunday evening, I left Lagos. I waltzed through Ogun State; around 01:00am, I was already in Osun State, advancing towards Ondo- all of these places I had known earlier.
By the time the dawn was almost ripened, I was in Kogi State- the State upon which this short piece is all about. Yes, we accessed Kogi through Ondo State, Owo specifically. I saw two major cities and some other parts of Kogi in their full nakedness. Yes, I saw Okenne. I saw Lokoja. In all honesty, I am unimpressed.
Coasting through those cities, I collected, to me, the facts that gifted me with the conclusion that Kogi is still wallowing in the state of underdevelopment.
Kogi is in no doubts one of the states that should witness development in almost every spheres. Why? Given the history of the state, during the colonial administration, it was a place that witnessed the settlement of some whites. Just like Lagos, Ogun and Calabar where some whites lived, Lugard also lived in Kogi for a while.
Also, this is a state that borders almost ten(10) states. A creative and active person would have turned the state into a form of commercial, social and economic hub for other neighbouring states.
As a matter of fact, Kogi roads, that I passed thorough, are deplorably dispiriting. They are users’ unfriendly. Notably and noticeably, houses around the “confluenced” points of both rivers have been submerged. I think people could have been stopped from erecting structures in that area. Of course, it is the capital city. It is a centre of attraction to tourists. Therefore, It should be well catered for.
Commendably, there was power supply both during the night and the day I spent around both cities. I think that’s laudable.
Incontrovertibly , I think I like Kogi State. It is a state that is rich in arts and culture. It hosts a diverse numbers of ethnic groups. As such, I would be delighted if the richness of their arts and cultures could reflect in their economic and political lives too.
Kogi is blessed with a lot of eggheads. I know the redoubtable Profs Olu Obafemi, Sunny Enesi Ododo, Taiwo Adeolu Ande amongst other brilliant brains. It is even the home of one of the finest exports- in the Arts- Nigeria gave to the world, the late Prof Pius Adesanmi.
In sum, in some days’ time, election will come up in Kogi. The states’ destiny shall be re-written by its residents. I, hereby, charge the good people of Kogi state to en masse to the polling booth and exercise their rights. May the dividends of democracy reach you all.