By Emmanuel Audu

Becky! Hurry up; I
don’t want to be late O. I screamed at my little sister who was helping me pack
my things in preparation for my trip to Lagos. I was traveling to Lagos for the
first time in search of greener pastures after my sojourn in Abuja. After youth
service, I had gone to live with an uncle in Abuja to see what life had in
store for me. Abuja though a thriving capital city didn’t quite agree with me.

The reason being
that, apart from the high cost of moving from one location to another in the
rapidly developing city, the cost of a decent accommodation was way beyond the
reach of most residents of the city not to talk of an unemployed graduate who
is yet to secure his first job.

To add pepper to my
injury, the uncle who I chose to live with, a disgruntled botanical scientist,
was a strict disciplinarian who never understood why anyone in his or their
right senses would give money to a graduate. ‘Who helped me when I was your
age’ he will always remind me
Such was my
predicament and one of the principal reasons why I decided to call it quits
with the Abuja dream. Though many people would tell you that Abuja is the land
of the rich. A land of opportunity and flowing with milk and honey, but for me
I have had enough.
So my trip to Lagos
began. But, before I got to Lagos, I decided to make a stop at the village. If
you’re from Benue state and Oturpko in particular, you will understand that
abundant food is why Benue state is popular. In fact, Benue is christened the
food basket of the nation by many because of its rich and arable lands and for
the great variety of food it produces. I wasn’t about to go to anybody’s house
in the city without taking with me some fresh foodstuff from the village.

Apart from the fact
that food from the village is very cheap, they are also more nutritious than
those you’ll find in the city being that they are organic. So, it is usually a
delight for anyone in the city when they can get a fresh supply of village
foodstuff. Now, you can understand why my luggage was unusually large for the
trip to Lagos.

To get to Lagos on
record time, I needed to be early at the park. The morning bus that leaves by
6am from Oturkpo to Lagos takes-off by 6am. This then explains the reason for
my impatience with Becky, my younger sister even though all the poor girl was
doing was helping her big brother on his sojourn to the big city.

With her usual
amiable smile, Rebecca aka Becky as we usually call her brought out the last of
my bags and loaded it on the cart which will take it to the park. At the park,
I was lucky. There were just three more seats to fill when I got there and not
long afterwards we were full and ready to leave. By 6:35am, we were off.

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