By: Dr. Anderson Nikade
Recent events in Yenagoa leading to the death of a promising young father sets me in a rather pensive mood as I reflect on our fortunes as a people. Epie Kingdom, and indeed Bayelsa mourns.
That fateful day, I was late for a meeting and hurriedly boarded a tricycle from Edepie to Ekeki Park. Shortly after moving just about 2 poles and without the slightest courtesy of informing me, the handsome aboki branched into a crowded petrol station to queue for fuel.
After waiting for a while at the petrol station, I politely explained to him I was in a hurry to catch up on an appointment, highlighted from his vehicle, only for the ‘Mala’ to tell me that I must wait until he buys petrol, otherwise I should pay him the complete N200 we earlier bargained.
The situation almost degenerated into a fight. In the heat of the argument, he insisted that alternatively, I must board one of his brother’s Keke which he had just flagged down. You could feel the sheer audacity in his voice as he ordered me around. In Dino Melaye’s words …: ” A whole me, intellectually upward mobile, fine boy Dino!’ Chai, Anderson don suffer!
In the meantime, my instincts as an Izon man came to the fore and, livid with rage, I outrightly resisted the ensuing oppression. Asawanaaaa!!! The stage was set for the inevitable. I could hear the ancient drumbeats of my ancestors in my subconscious mind as I resolved to engage in a wrestling bout. Oh, Tamaraubideke!!! As simple as it appeared, my instincts told me this could mean life or death!
However, on a second thought, I recalled that I was pressed for time, took a look at my well ironed Georgio Amani suit, brand new tie and Italian shoes,… cast a glance at the young lad who seemingly had nothing to loose, he too was fuming. There was obviously something that gave him confidence, whereas I had no weapon on me.
Paused for a moment, I recalled the chuckling laughter of my children waiting to shout :’daddy oyoyo’ upon my safe return home, and at that moment,… decided to let it pass.
To cut the long story short, I paid the money and proceeded on my journey.
Needless to say, I really felt slighted and hurt as a man, but looking back now, who knows what might have happened that day, had I stood my ground?
Perhaps the social media would have been awash with my picture or that of the fine boy aboki, just like the unfortunate young man who was hacked down in his prime because of N50 disagreement, without even being given an opportunity to a fair fight. May his soul rest in peace. My thoughts are also with the families of all those who have lost loved ones on account of the grave incident on both sides. Our real enemy is not fellow Nigerians, the hustle is against poverty.
It is however pertinent to recall that in recent times, there’s been reported incidents of Bayelsans allegedly killed in their farms at Ogbia and Zarama axis under similar circumstances of impunity.
Whether such matters were duly investigated and followed through to a logical conclusion, was not relayed in the public domain.
Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.
THIS IS THE CRY OF THE BAYELSA PEOPLE!
My humble appeal therefore is, as patriotic Nigerians, let us learn the art of love and respect for one another.
Life is sacred.
Meanwhile, this is a litmus test for us as a people reckoned for our hospitality. To attract investors, Bayelsa should remain an oasis of peace in a troubled world. Unless extremely necessary, let us bury the hatchet.
This is a wake up call to the Bayelsa State Government in terms of price regulation of goods and services in the State.
The ‘Hausa Keke’ are off the streets for barely one day and we witness an astronomical hike in transport fares as well as acute shortage of intra-city commercial vehicles.
Reason- Bayelsans hardly engage in the transport business which is currently predominated by other equally hard working Nigerians.
Furthermore, several water vendors have mysteriously disappeared from our streets as our Hausa brothers go under cover. I envisage a hiccup in water supply to several households should the situation linger.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR OUR POLICY MAKERS AND ENFORCERS… WE MUST DELIBERATELY EMPOWER OUR OWN PEOPLE IN A SUSTAINABLE WAY, REDUCE OUR DEPENDENCY ON EXTERNAL FORCES BY BEING SELF SUFFICIENT, PARICULARLY IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR!!!
Dr. Anderson Nikade