For those who don’t know I am a certified Oil and Gas Engineer, which is, I went to a university and learnt the rudiments of drilling, production and the rest. Why I write is a story yet for another day or year but as a young engineer in this sector my dream was the city of Portharcourt. I was elated when I finally had the opportunity of stepping on its shores and I was soon taking aback by the sight that befell me. 

By now it’s no news to state that the Portharcourt airport was named the worst in the world as at last year, the incidence was caused by a fire that didn’t occur last year, or probably the year before. This is what I came to see as the spirit of Portharcourt, the ability to avoid responsibility or better said pass the bulk of responsibility, therefore making a seemly straightforward process seem very complicated.

The airport was merely a shadow of the happenings in Portharcourt, the norm being a traffic that spreads several kilometres which in a glance, one sights the members of different security agencies going to assist in the control of passage to make life easier for the civilian or so I thought then, finding out later as not long after the orderly movement and their vehicles come to the foyer where sometimes you notice them transporting a foreign expatriate (an oil and gas worker most likely) or a politician; the security agent enter their cars and zoom off. And again the scramble for passage begins causing a much crazier traffic at that location. It gets to a point you ask if there are any Security agents for the mere civilians in Portharcourt, not rich, not famous, not white and not a 
retired general?

It’s a good question to ask because seeing the state of the police station around the popular MTN junction, one has to wonder who is to blame for thinking security for a civilian is just overrated? My friend’s phone was snatched in broad daylight with people watching, when I was told I felt for my friend but more so for the people watching, because you could imagine how much loss and fear they have had to live through to sit there so inactive and lifeless at that event unfolding. My friend was passing by, but they live there and so that’s how they would live in fear as the security doesn’t seem like it’s also for them, but who is to blame for this?

There are bad roads in all of Nigeria but when you have had so much internal revenue as Portharcourt over the years because of the heavy presence of investments and low turnouts of great roads or infrastructure, sometimes you are tempted to blame the Devil because the arm of flesh alone, cannot just on its own fail like this. It can be likened to a person told from a thousand feet to jump into the sea with only a spot of dry ground in the middle and as the person jumps he still manages to land on that dry land that person must either be a genius or the person never jumped.

In some part of Portharcourt water is a problem. Let me rephrase that, in the capital city of Rivers with an emphasis on “Rivers” state there is a recurrent issue with water so much so people have to pay for their own boreholes, some residents don’t even know where the water board is located. On the state level it’s very easy to put the bulk of the blame on the political party, but still dispose of waste anyhow you feel wherever you see, drive on walkways, sell merchandise on roads, security agents keep collecting tips from hardworking bus drivers at Rummola, cult groups are more pronounced than the police in some areas and parents tell their children to be a part of a political campaign rather than in school.  Who is to blame, you or the government you have been electing?

Well, I am Just a Bystander.