I’m starting these notes today as a salute to the Abuja I used to know and love- which, by the way, I still love very much.
I remember the first day I came into Abuja. It was a road trip from Lagos, through lokoja, or was it through someplace else? I do not remember too much about the journey but I know how I felt when I got to Area Motorpark.
I had on the kind of smile one wears when they have been handed a secret cache of gold.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The place looked so neat and organized to my Lagos eyes. Everywhere I looked I saw order, I saw rows of houses that looked like some London neighbourhood and I was impressed.
I kept quiet though, it was too early to make any form of judgement. It was possible I had landed in the swanky neighbourhood. I rescued my bag from the bus and made to hail a taxi to Area 3 where I was to meet my “cousin.” A taxi with western Nigeria registration plates stopped and asked if I wanted a “drop.”
“Sister na drop I dey carry to area 3 o!”
He mentioned a sum that was much less than what it would cost for a crowded bus ride in Lagos. I got into the cab and leaned back with that smile threatening to split my face in two. The lower part of my face was trembling slightly as I did my best to keep a straight face. The taxi headed for Area 3.