Hon. Allwell Ihunda, Mayor of Port Harcourt

Port Harcourt Township:  Recalling The  Good Old Days

 

(By Daso Nemieboka) –

 

Those who grew up in  Port Harcourt, the pride of Rivers State know that the city center which earned the city its honor as the Garden City of Nigeria was the melting pot of socialization and unity. It was not just the core of the city; it was the headquarters for gigs, cultural displays, and fashion.

It was famous not just for the well-planned layouts, it was famous for its cleanliness, lush parks, social life, and cheerful population. The people lived looking out for each other. Port Harcourt was the must-visit city after the nation’s capital.

Regardless of the endless disputation of our Okrika and Ikwerre brothers, there is no Port Harcourt without the township which we call Town. The township was a leveler and a unifier. Town was a constant reminder that there is nothing more beautiful than having a slice of nature. The signature of the British was boldest in that part of our country. Just growing in town conferred on residents a sense of civility and pride. Old city boys and girls walked tall around the country. A city that had parks, playgrounds, and public swimming pools even before the country gained political independence.

I trust that many would recall with nostalgia the inter-street games, the frequent display of ‘Agaba’ masquerades like 007, 4040, etc. We left home and followed the cultural groups from town to Diobu without trouble.

Unfortunately, our pride is now our shame. Port Harcourt township is now a shadow of what it was in the 1970s and early 80s. Our city is now a pit hole. The maze of beautiful roads and streets is now a network of very bad stretches of potholes, street markets, and dens of illegal activities. Our communality has been raped by cultism, drug pedaling, and use. The heart of our city has been helplessly abused environmentally and those who should save her are collaborators.

Kpofire is the ICT of the city and youths of all tribes are in a race to outdo each other. Three out of every five Jetta taxis are crafts that move the illegal products. That enriches a few and poison all others. Oh, Port Harcourt township, the base of the legendary Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson.

I recall in 2010 when Isobo Jack was Chairman of the Sanitation Authority. I visited my family house and in anger sent a text message to Isobo Jack. I didn’t have any personal relationship with him, but my message challenged the Port Harcourt in him. And by the next morning, our town had the visitation it now needs monthly.

How can our streets be called Aba line? How can our streets be a depot for the trafficking of diesel for the north? How can our streets be mechanic garages and dump sites? Even no-man’s towns are better managed. It’s high time old Port Harcourt boys and girls rise to rescue our cherished city center.

* Daso Nemieboka FB wall

 

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