#BounceExclusive: Biafra Agitation And Pains Of Going To The East
Most citizens from the south-east love to travel home at least once a year.
They love business and money-making ventures and the undying zeal to be as successful as their contemporaries, something that is expressed in an Igbo adage - kam di ka ibe - makes them travel far and wide, with many in different Nigerian states, going about engaging in different business endeavors.
But one thing that they will always do is return home to share their success (aku lue unor), and also reconnect with family members.
However sometimes this journey home becomes a difficult one, to the extent that one wonders why knowing the right thing and doing it is difficult in Nigeria.
Chinedu, as he simply identifies himself, lives in Lagos and he has not traveled home in the past two years.
But August was set aside by his elder brother for a family reunion and he certainly will have to attend.
He was however, unaware of what a tough journey going home had become as things have changed in the past two years.
Agitation for the Independent State of Biafra has increased in 2017 more than ever before, with so much anxiety and tension that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who welcomed the President back from London on Saturday, had to intervene.
In the midst of the agitation, the people of south-east claim they have been marginalised.
But Chinedu, being a Lagos boy, does not see why he should be concerned with the agitation seeing as its first attempt in late 1960s left many homes in agony for years.
His journey down home was one he used to cherish but that word was not near his heart when he began to curse and wonder again what exactly Nigerian leaders were doing for their people.
Travelling from Lagos through Ore and Benin to the east, death traps were all he avoided as the roads were filled with potholes that could puncture tyres.
The wear and tear of his vehicle began faster than he had imagined and it wasn't long before he began to get really worried.
After Ore, the situation changed a bit, as he enjoyed a nice ride on the Benin by-pass and he was almost forgetting his potholes-dodging experience when he got to a trailer park on the Benin by-pass.
A location popularly referred to as Dangote village has nothing but pits that vehicles have to manoeuvre.
After Chinedu made the necessary manoeuvring, he continued his journey, now wondering why no attention had been given to the state of the road.
Further down, after his exit from the by-pass to join the Benin-Agbor road, he had another horrible experience.
It was a long and seemingly unending traffic.
As he sat in his car wondering why there would be traffic on a major highway at few minutes after 4:00 pm, he saw a few vehicles returning to Lagos. Water was dripping from the vehicles like they were coming out of a river.
He suddenly realised that the water dripping from the vehicles was mud water.
"What is causing the hold up he asked a driver of one of the vehicles who was now bailing mud water out of his vehicle.
"Guy! Na flood water o (It is flood water)," he said.
While it appeared that many had made up their minds to go through the flood, Chinedu was having none of it.
He continued his journey after spending over one hour 30 minutes in traffic when he took a diversion that other cars had considered.
Chinedu continued to the Onicha Ugbo area of Delta state and another reason to stop was announced by vehicles that were already waiting for the evil to pass them by - men of the under-world were on the road perpetrating their nefarious act before Isselu Uku, the capital of Aniocha North Local Government Area.
He had to pack at Onicha Ugbo, the hometown of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
Patiently commuters waited until a police van arrived the scene and headed towards the location it was reported robbers were operating at.
Few minutes later, news came that the road was clear and he continued his journey running on top speed and not ready to consider the brake.
Chinedu continued his journey but did not arrive his town until about 8:30 p.m.
That night, sleep could not come, as his mind pondered over the true reason for the agitation for Biafra - marginalisation - and the state of the Lagos-Onitsha road.
Could a smooth and secure ride from Lagos to the East have made Chinedu and other Igbos agitating for Biafra feel less marginalised and thankful for the leaders of Nigeria? Would the Biafra agigators quit their unrest if there's a way out?
Chinedu continues to ponder.