Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Going To Kaduna?Please Read This!

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Going To Kaduna?Please Read This!

''I went to Kaduna not to do city review; it is just that the amebo part of me won’t stop me from writing about what I saw on the way...''





The road to Kaduna from Abuja was horrific. I had been told that the journey would take no more than one and a half hours, and I had set out early for a 9 am appointment as scheduled, but I didn’t get to Kaduna until four hours later.

There were too many potholes on the road, too many terrible encounters, too many tanker and lorry drivers threatening to run into other vehicles or push them off the road, too many motorcyclists competing for space with vehicles, stupidly driving in the middle of the expressway, posing a menace. I felt as if I was on an expressway to Hell.



The air conditioner in the car made no difference. I sweated all the way to our destination with my heart in my mouth. For the most part of the journey, half of the expressway was shut down, and the to and fro vehicles had to share a half of the road. The driver explained that the other side of the road had to be shut down so it could be repaired ahead of the planned closure of the Abuja Airport and the diversion of air traffic to Kaduna. 

But no construction activity had started, less than a month to the planned diversion. I saw at different intervals, men of the Federal Road Safety Corps keeping watch, but they were just there, doing nothing. They stood by as the madness on the road went on. I had to take this particular route, because I had pleaded with the driver not to take the Southern Kaduna route. He then suggested the Bwari route to our destination, far away from the sickening Southern Kaduna route, that is the Nasarawa-Kaduna end, where persons are kidnapped or slaughtered whenever the devil of religious and ethic differences descended from the worst quarters of Hades. As we travelled, I ruminated over the prospects that await everyone who has been consigned to the fate of travelling from one part of Nigeria to the other to Abuja from March 8, due to the proposed closure of the Abuja airport and the diversion of air traffic to Kaduna airport. 



All such persons are bound to face the danger that lies in wait on the Kaduna-Abuja road. Not everyone will survive, I suspect, because relying on what I saw, the motorists on that route seem to be on a special kind of hard drug, in addition to the poor state of the road itself. 




    In retrospect, I now understand why a friend advised me to take the train to Kaduna. He had high praise for the rail system that now links the two cities. And I did make an effort to have a taste of what the Jonathan administration did while we were in office. For more than three hours, I tried to gain access to the ticketing portal of the Nigeria Railways. It did not work. All through the night, there was no access. The only other option was to go to the station itself, but that was far away from the city, in the middle of nowhere. Going from Abuja to Kaduna or vice versa is thus quite a nightmare, by road, rail or air (before now, only Arik Air went to Kaduna and we all know what has become of Arik Air). It is befuddling that those who want to repair the Abuja airport and divert air traffic to the Kaduna airport have not thought their way through this matter carefully in order to make life easier for travellers who would like to travel by road or rail. 


   I finally made it to Kaduna. Thank God, I did. Subhanallah. I saw a cosmopolitan city in varying stages of decay. Every city has a soul and a character. Kaduna has lost its soul. It is losing its character. It used to be a major commercial hub in the North. People used to travel from different parts of the North to shop in Kaduna - that commercial traffic has stopped. Kaduna is also the home of influential Nigerians, the home base of the famous Kaduna Mafia. It is the city where every Northerner who has made some small change wants to live in, it is the city of the Generals and their foot-soldiers, but the return to democracy has robbed Kaduna of its influence to a large degree. It remains all the same, a city of great potentials, like Lagos, like Aba, like Port Harcourt.


My take is that perhaps some day, Nigeria should have designated special cities. In order to spread development, and to address regional and ethnic concerns, we should have more than one capital city – oil and gas should be domiciled in Port Harcourt, trade and investment in Aba, and Lagos, foreign affairs in Kaduna - to create a greater sense of ownership and inclusivity, and to put an end to the cul-de-sac-ness of Abuja. 

     I am beginning to digress. I went to Kaduna not to do city review; it is just that the amebo part of me won’t stop me from writing about what I saw on the way. Now, the main story: I went to Kaduna as a guest of the Gusau Institute: the very important and laudable legacy of retired General Aliyu Gusau Mohammed. A few weeks ago, I had written about the scarcity and disappearance of bookshops and libraries in Nigeria.


It has turned out that there are indeed some individuals in this same heavily harassed country, in this season of extreme dispossession, who are using their time, resources and estate to promote knowledge, reading and research. General Aliyu Gusau Mohammed is a main torch-bearer in that regard. He has not been President of Nigeria, but he has in Kaduna the equivalent of a Presidential Library, dedicated to public service and the promotion of research and reading. Marlene and Mohammed, the two dedicated staff who currently manage the place took me round.  


     There are two sections: a building, which General Gusau uses as his office, with three electronically linked conference rooms where Number One, as he is called, holds meetings and seminars, in addition to a downstairs hall where his military records are on display, including banner displays of newspaper quotes, autographed books from world leaders, an electronic display of his life history and the history of Nigeria since antiquity, medals, certificates, commendations, and a subtle demonstration of his association with the leading intelligence agencies in the world. General Gusau has been at the centre of Nigerian politics for more than 40 years, serving majorly as Nigeria’s spymaster and intelligence chief. Every government has had to use his services one or way or the other, and he is without doubt, one of the most resourceful and influential Nigerians of Northern extraction alive today.



I met him for the first time in 1998, at General Olusegun Obasanjo’s house in Ita-Eko, Abeokuta, the day the General and former Head of State returned from Abacha’s gulag. I tried to introduce myself to him, but he cut me short by telling me about myself. “It is part of my job to know everything about people like you”, he said. 


    We moved from the General’s office to the Institute, next door: a four–floor edifice with a guest chalet at the back, in a serene part of the Kaduna GRA. What General Aliyu Gusau Mohammed has set up is a strong research and training institute, made available to the public free of charge, as his own contribution to the growth and development of Nigeria. On the first floor, we took a look at the Gusau Training Institute, an entire floor dedicated to the training of young Nigerians in computer arts, web development, programming, Java script etc. I met some of the students in class. The Gusau Institute prepares them for certification examinations. The General picks up their bills. We moved to the next floor.


This was the General’s personal archive. I found in this section of the Institute, some of the most valuable resources of Nigerian history. Access to this section, I was later told, is restricted, only with the express permission of the General himself. On that floor, General Gusau has a rich archive of Nigerian history. Sections of it are devoted to copies of everything ever published about and in Nigeria: from row to row, I saw bound copies of every edition ever published, of The Guardian, Daily Times, Punch, Vanguard, Newswatch, Nigerian Tribune, etc. When I saw bound copies of Classique, Newbreed, The Citizen, NewAge, Hotline, The Source, TSM, I screamed… 


    I screamed louder when I was taken to a section where I was told every piece ever written by any regular newspaper columnist in Nigeria is stored. The General told me that he has a copy of every piece that Reuben Abati has ever written anywhere in Nigeria or wherever. I looked around. I didn’t immediately see my own compilation but I saw a huge pile titled Chido Onumah. I looked again and I saw another section titled General’s emails. Every email ever sent to the General by whoever is on record. I looked again. I stumbled on military records including promotion examinations set for the military from one grade to the other as far back as 1970. In that section of the Gusau research Library, current newspapers are also still being archived, laid out on the ground, and being sorted out by staff. 




   We moved to the next floor. This is the main heart of the Gusau Institute. It is the Gusau Research Library. Wow. Wow. Wow. In this section of the building, there is a digital, virtual library where a researcher can electronically access books and journals from all over the world. The bookshelves currently hold about 22, 000 books. Marlene and Mohammed told me that the Gusau library has also given out about 40, 000 books. “We don’t stock books on children issues or education because we are primarily a research library, so we give out such books when the General says so. We also give out books on agriculture and architecture. But Number One has asked us to start a special section on agriculture and architecture based on requests.”  


    Going round this section of the building, I saw rows and rows of bookshelves on politics, science, foreign policy, intelligence, business and management, international relations, military arts, security, history, literature, Nigeria, Africa, the encyclopedia, and philosophy. In the foreign policy section, I observed that most of the books are on military intelligence and national security, and in the literature section, there is a huge collection of novels on espionage - apparently the library is a reflection of the reading taste of the owner and his life-long career. There is also a magazines section, with every current edition of a published magazine, Nigerian and international on display. I saw more than 20 on display, with back copies.

I was impressed, indeed overwhelmed. In a country where retired Generals take new wives and disappear into the sunset, and few persons are interested in reading and research, it is refreshing to see the likes of General Gusau investing in human capital development with their resources. Thank you, General.
BY REUBEN ABATI


68 comments:

Becky Divine said...

OGA REUBEN

Anonymous said...

No time to read all these. is it not the kaduna I go to almost every weekend? 4hours? you probably meant Zaria. from Abuja to kd is 2hrs. Anyway it's people that don't know the road that will believe this.

Anonymous said...

For once , I didn't expect to see ..R.A

#Myself# said...

Didn't read
why?

#too long..

Why did i comment?
#boredom

The Observer said...

My Reuby Woo! I stopped after d kaduna road narrative, to think that wasn't even d main story! Maaahn!

KIDJO said...

I knew it was Bros Reuben Abati, I was not disappointed after I saw the name at the bottom.bia uncle Reuben, wetin carry you go enter motor go Kd?abi the money from DasukiGate don finish? ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

North Dakota Siobhan said...

From zuba to kaduna used to be an hour's journey tops, many years ago when the roads were smooth and stretchy..
This country never gets better.. It gets worse each year.







Dum Spiro spero

BIPOLAR ME said...

Nice.

I don't know how to read online, it is so bad that I print out online copies of suggested books for my PG course, because I will simply doze off if I try to read online.

It's refreshing to see someone create a research library, we only have about a handful in this country, ALL of which are under-equipped.

God save us.

North Dakota Siobhan said...

From zuba to kaduna used to be an hour's journey tops, many years ago when the roads were smooth and stretchy..
This country never gets better.. It gets worse each year.







Dum Spiro spero

Doppelgรคnger said...

4 hours from Abuja to Kaduna? BV Reuben "Akwati", please take it easy with the lies.

De Unbreakable said...

Oga,Rubi Rubi I knew it was you,so I no kukuma read๐Ÿ˜• too long๐Ÿ˜”

LUCILE COCONUT OIL ABUJA 07059605320 Pin- 2BC6235E said...

Mr Reuben,must your write ups be too long?

Yori Yori Princess Loveme Jeje said...

El Rufai do something fast

Lolly said...

Stella the way you try to confuse people to read Abati's piece each time makes me laugh uncontrollably...lol Has it gotten to that? For me whether disguised or not I love reading those long essays. Kudos to Reuben Abati!

Pipi Lee said...

Reuben???
No, thanks. Not this time.

Zoey Cabrini said...

WOW! what an epistle!

A'isha B said...

This guy can lie! "motorcyclists" in Kaduna? How? Where? Even if you want to trek from Zuba to Kd, it probably takes less than 4hours. I resume work in Abuja from Kd every Monday morning back in the days. Did same when I was in Gwags.Just say you want to write kowei............I jump and pass this post abeg.

M.I.E.A Clothing - We SEW to FIT. said...

Oga Reuben so you have mouth to talk? That road has been like that since the days of your boss. So its now you can see abi? Your boss did nothing on that road after spending six years!
Mr talk talk Reuben abeg park well.

crystal said...

Too long abeg and it was screaming Reuben Reuben

Rhoda Rex said...

Nice

em jay said...

I didn't read.
Reuben u don't d summary for secondary school.

Anonymous said...

Don't mind him. Even public bus not public car ohhhh, its 2.30mins top to kd from abj

Rachel said...

My dear I tire ooo...I come dey tink say na diff kaduna from d one wey I dey go

Rachel said...

I tell u

fulness christ said...

Anon 16:02,i agree wit u totally. Its not true wat dis writer has written abeg. Wm

Anonymous said...

Abi o. I wonder the rubbish he is writing up there as if it's not the kaduna I pass every weekend. This man should it easy with the lies abeg

Anonymous said...

Am telling you doppelganger the lies is too much I hate to stop reading

nnuku Sexy pant-like boxers. 08170506432 Order now said...

The only reuben writeup I have ever read to the end is the Davido baby mama ish

Reva's cakes said...

Nice

Mrs anonymous said...

All this long story on top two hours journey?๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜’

Anonymous said...

This is a lie, I was in KD last week Wednesday, and the journey was less than 2hours..... haba! We should calm down with all these lies Biko.

Ify Lovie Lovie said...

Very beautifully written.
I mostly enjoyed the part about the Institute.
I was 'touring' the Library with Oga Reuben , I love books.
Kudos to 'Number One'
Nice one Reuben, always refreshing reading your write ups.

AdeEsther (Do you work and live in Abuja, Lagos, ph $ ibadan? do you need a quick loan upto 2.5m without collateral?call/whatsapp 07037873466 said...

4hrs to Abuja? You should have go by rail oga. Mtchwww never knew it was written by Ruben. Too long abeg

Anonymous said...

Reuben I dey hail oooo. Wait u drive 20km/hour? Shuoooo. Abi na the same KD I know? Chai.... theris god oooooo

Vice and Virtue said...

Abuja to kaduna is hours.
Reuben just disappointed me with this piece

Vice and Virtue said...

Abuja to Kaduna is 2hours.
Reuben just disappointed me with this piece.

Elixir said...

I wonder where your own Kaduna is situated. The Kaduna that I know is 2 hours from Abuja... and hey Uncle Abati... the road no get pot holes.

Yemi7up said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gwax godfrey said...

Nice read actually. Oga Abati if u wan dash money to pesin wey read ds post, no forget me

OmoBee said...

Your boss spent 6yrs in office without doing anything about the bad roads in the country.
Lagos-ibadan that he started sef was abandoned.
And you had to lie to make your point, too bad.

Anonymous said...

Leave the idiot. I am from Kaduna and I go through that road every weekend .this write up is all lies.u people should stop it already.

ukwu dimond said...

Reubens weldon, na only you Waka come Kaduna abi una many?

Jasmine said...

I thought they said northern roads r the best??? Well...

Cutemumm said...

Is there another Kaduna in Nigeria?? Like who comes to the public with such lies.Really?

Dr who said...

That has always been my dream. A private research library...

Anonymous said...

Na wa. Na real wa!!!! There's no article that Reuben Abati writes that I'm not always interested to read cos I see him as someone that does a proper readership before talking. But this one,u lie,went to kaduna today from Abuja and came back today.very smooth ride with good roads and people controlling traffic. I'm really disappointed in this article

Anonymous said...

KD to Abuja is not 2hrs but 3 i know cos that was my route in those good old school days.... More over the kd you pass every weekend. What happened to all the textile mills in Kaduna, UNTL, AREWA textile and the host of others , Barnawa and Malale where you have the Generals is no longer what the used to be. What about Durbar hotel and Hamdela hotels. Come on. KD is dead accept it

Anonymous said...

Campaign for 2019 has started in earnest.

Munch Mee party foods and small chops. 08033833239,08189706279. said...

He said a portion of the road was blocked due to repairs. That explains the 4 hours journey

Rukky's cakes @rukky_cakes said...

Is there another Kaduna in Nigeria? 4hour? Na wa oga lie with the fear of God na haba.

Munch Mee party foods and small chops. 08033833239,08189706279. said...

I tell you

sharon juliet said...

This writer should go and take several seats biko, am sure the driver took you to some where else that looks like kaduna. There are no pot holes and abuja to kad is just 2 hours.

Sparkles said...

Na only Abuja to Kaduna story plenty all this one? Oga Reuben na wa o, you sabi talk sha(abi na write) sorry for your madam...

Anonymous said...

Abati falls short by not addressing the absence/poor maintenance of public libraries versus the richly-resourced private libraries of Naija's ex-military and civilian "leaders". Why is that the case in a nation of close to 180 million people half of which are illiterates? Shouldn't the focus be on educating and enlightening the masses via tangible and long lasting institutions, such as, this type? It stands to reason the Gusau Institute would have the earliest & latest publications in its vault bcos its founder is part of the corrupt fat cat establishment that have cornered the public treasury into private enterprise. And, for what purpose? So that you (Abati) can be paid to write such a glowing report of it, in order, to further the "benevolence" & legacies of the Gusau dynasty in the psyche of the masses, whether they want to hear it or not. It is really pathetic it's come to this end and that you (Abati) of all persons, should be a signatory to this buffoonery. Isn't this the same thing OBJ did with Operation Feed the Nation? Upon all the millions poured into the program it never took off and the suffering masses are still malnourished bcos of its failure. Yet 4 some reason, OBJ's farms are thriving and suddenly, he ( ex-military head of state & civilian president) is now a billionaire-farmer among other things. Abegi, no get on my last nerve with this yeye again...abi you think sey all Naijas dey gullible. QED@atm

Ada Nnewi said...

Biggest lie ever. I live in kaduna and the road from Abuja to kaduna happens to be one of the best roads in Nigeria. Don't know which kaduna he is talking about. Maybe he meant Zaria. Kaduna to Zaria road isn't that good tho and its just 45min/1hr at most.

pixiedust said...

Anon 21:47... We upgraded...we are not in that level again...u are certainly an old comer. Stay there and be fantasising on durber hotel when we have better ones. Yeye dey smell

Anonymous said...

Abuja to Kaduna is 1.30mins-2hrs. Maybe you are the type that likes controlling the driver and are a human speed limit. Haba 4hrs, fear God.

Adesina Nicholas said...

Oga Abati sir, you're born liar! That's all.



STELLA'S GOT A NEW FAN!

priceless pearl said...

Oooh I thought it was only me seeing this lies... I came from kaduna just this weekend through the same route ando saw none of these mentioned in the write ups

Zainab said...

Rueben is a lier. You can only believe this if you are not familiar with the route.

REXOVIC said...

OH MY DAYS! KD USED TO BE MY BASE! BORN AND BREED DER......NOW A CITY WITH RUINS!!!

Ladi Aduwak said...

I m highly disappointed Rueben Abati. I enjoy reading your write up but this is laced with so many lies. we know kaduna is not how it use to be and so is every city plagued by war or any form of violence and it could be so for ogun state or lagos if that happens. you are a respectable figure but we should always be careful not to be sentimental or clouded by our love for our bosses, party or kparakpo of any sort. Kaduna is not more than two hours away and it is obvious after our EFCC case you cannot afford a good car to move you to kaduna or did you pay the regular 1200 to kaduna you shouldn't expect air condition. Namadi sambo is part of the people who ruined the state if you may know.i m beginning to think there is no truth in all your write ups. this is pure fallacy and yes I think yo should be kidnapped so you will live to write a better story. stop the lies.

Anonymous said...

I had a NEUTRAL view of the person called Reuben Abati. But now, he is in NEGATIVE! He is beginning to sound like Segun Adeniyi - they write from "both sides of their mouth". I guess Reuben is yet to get out of the shock of being out of the comfort of the seat of power. His recent writes-up are disjointed and lack objectivity. May be it is due to survival instincts. This write-up is a sponsored piece (backed by brown envelope) for General Gusau, one of the military men that has been in the corridors of power for ages and ruined this country. Reuben, you are a disgrace and embarrassment to journalism, now.

Ladi Aduwak said...

in the bible Jacob curse Rueben referring to him as 'Unstable as water' mr. abati I believe u are answering to your name. just like you said to face answered to his name you just answered to yours. keep it up.

Chunghainese said...

I'm pained at this write up and I had to comment because KD is my home town while I base in Abj, and to say that I used to be a die hard Abati fan???
Bros, Kaduna is not that bad. Not as you described it. There's much decadence there like in any other part of the nation but not that bad.
From Zaria to Kd might take you up to four hours because of the Kawo-Goni Gora by-pass. But from KD to Abj is two hours maximum except if the traffic at check point close to Zuba holds you.
I see that road as the best in Nigeria any day and time. Please stop misleading people. It's not that bad.
Even with the repairs you are talking about, it cant be up to three hours. I'm ashamed of this write up. Speaks less of you and that no Nigerian can be trusted as we are all sentimental.

Chunghainese said...

I'm pained at this write up and I had to comment because KD is my home town while I base in Abj, and to say that I used to be a die hard Abati fan???
Bros, Kaduna is not that bad. Not as you described it. There's much decadence there like in any other part of the nation but not that bad.
From Zaria to Kd might take you up to four hours because of the Kawo-Goni Gora by-pass. But from KD to Abj is two hours maximum except if the traffic at check point close to Zuba holds you.
I see that road as the best in Nigeria any day and time. Please stop misleading people. It's not that bad.
Even with the repairs you are talking about, it cant be up to three hours. I'm ashamed of this write up. Speaks less of you and that no Nigerian can be trusted as we are all sentimental.

young FOREVER said...

I expected it

Anonymous said...

You honestly mentioned Dunbar hotel in 2017? Face it, youve not been to kaduna in a while! Stop trying to understand down a beautiful city!

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