So let’s continue our jist about airports this week, shall we?
I do not know what is more depressing about traveling around in Nigeria. The fact that you have a limited choice of carriers to ply the airspace with, or the fact that almost every single airport in this country is designed to depress you into a submissive state of mind.
Of recent, Owerri was the spot.
Everything about that airport was depressing.
The runway, the short walk to the arrival lounge irrespective of what regulations say about people walking off the tarmac and to the terminal on foot, the fact that the first greeting you receive is the stench from the toilets or the even more perplexing fact that there always seems to be more people at the luggage carousel than were actually on the flight.
Anyways, you come out of the airport dragging your bag behind you and begin the extremely bumpy ride out towards town.
Just as you approach the junction though, you encounter a signboard with the grinning face of the gomina on it, and a lot of “5”s lined up.
You deduce somehow-somehow, that the governor of this state is about to celebrate his 55th birthday or something like that and in commemoration of this event, he (or his friends if you are that gullible), have taken billboards all over the state, announcing this birthday like it would birth the manifestation of the anti-christ.
Right there at the spot where there is a long stretch of traffic, occasioned by a pothole so deep it could swallow a tanker, is a billboard.
At that point where the road leading to the only airport in the state narrows to an almost single lane road, is another bill board.
Where a diversion has been created because the road has been rendered almost impassable by the rains and wear and tear, stands another billboard.
This gomina is smiling down at his people, promising to train 5 children through school in 55 African Countries, while the children in his own state, his own country, in his own dormot, are either getting shot at and killed, just for the heck of it; or are haunting the inboxes of internet strangers, asking for help with their school fees.
While their governor, showing evidence that he single-handedly consumed the 27 cakes from the 27 communities etc… is not just working hard to give out scholarships all over Africa, he has found and added one more country to Africa just to ensure he has a nice round figure of 55.
No, I am not going to talk about the fact that pensioners were forced to accept a certain percentage of their due as full and final settlement, a sad testament for people who served their states so faithfully.
Let us not talk about the fact that streetlights are being beautified and dressed up in fanciful posts to illuminate roads that have gone decrepit.
Does anyone recall the fact that little Somtoo, was cut down in his prime and denied the benefits that this same gomina wants to go and dash other children in all the real and imaginary countries of Africa.
Talk about upside down priorities, but what do I know? I am not here to talk about the irony of a “people’s governor” not seeing beyond his own nose, no.
Remember we were going to talk about airports, yeah?
Okay, so what is all this talk about Imo Airlines? That are only seen in the departure lounge of the Imo Airport?
Does it go beyond the neon signs that are photoshopped onto pictures of Dana Air’s aircrafts?
Does the airline actually exist or is it one of those phantoms that live only in the figment of the imagination of some gominas?
And are their preferred means of transportation magic brooms, flying carpets and owls that crashland into PHCN high tension wires somewhere around a certain state that starts with an E and ends with an O?
While you find an answer to that, I need to go dust up my Okolie Airlines Broom, lie down on my bed, and take a quick trip to the 55th country in Okorocha’s imagination. I want to go and pay the school fees for any random five children I find there.
Charity begins at home, only for those who cannot finish 27 cakes in one sitting.