Suleja, Not a Traveller’s Delight

Picture Source: Google

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I was in Suleja last Saturday and it reminded me of the little sleepy communities of Badeku-Jago, on the outskirts of ibadan. Just like Keffi reminded me of Offa-osogbo-Ikirun townships.

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I had heard so much about Suleja, the little sub urban settlement along Minna Road, Niger State, enough to make me eager to see what it looked like.

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The only memory that stood out from the little things I heard about Suleja was about a very popular school for the Gifted- Suleja Academy. I still don’t know where this school is. And when I asked, I was told its on another end of the sleepy community. I don’t think I am curious about it again. Not just the school, but the entire community.

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I guess people like to romance the community and hype it so much because its a centre of cheap commerce. I guess that’s the most attractive thing that keeps people talking about it. And the fact that life is relatively easier there, accommodation is cheap, even the air is cheap.

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The air in abuja isn’t cheap-if it isn’t extremely dry and dusty, almost biting/cutting your skin open, it is terribly wet and chilly, blowing air mixed with cigarette and tobacco into your nostrils especially when you make the mistake of passing by those kiosks manned by abokis. But, just maybe, you can get a breath of fresh air when you stroll out in the evening.

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Especially when your leg takes you to that popular chicken suya spot. There, you inhale fresh air mixed with spices and onion. Almost every house is fitted with its own A/C so air isn’t free or cheap.

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Suleja welcomed me with a gust of fresh air and dusty roads, speakers blasting loudly and everyone seemed to be carrying loads here and there.

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The people of Suleja are a mix of Hausa-Yoruba-Fulani but in my own opinion, I would say its more of a Yoruba settlement. Too much Yorubas are living and breeding convieniently there. Most of them are traders in the popular Babangida Market.

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Picture Source: Google

They say the market is very big, too big that you can get lost. My fantasy was to visit this market but it wasn’t to be and it may never be. Suleja turned out not to be a traveller’s delight. I won’t be packed like Titus again just to visit the place.

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The buses that ply the Zuba-Suleja route are rickety and over panel-beated, devoid of colour and lacking in strength. You can tell that the engine is serving a life sentence with its grumpy sound.

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Even though buses and bikes don’t ply major roads in abuja(except for cabs), suleja has enough of the rickety vehicles that were probably banned from major abuja roads some years back. I think the people of Mararaba-Nyanya axis also have these buses.

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The way you are packed like sardines in these buses make you continually gasp for air especially since there’s a large load underneath your feet and a big one right in front of you behind the driver. People majorly go to Suleja to transact business so you won’t probably enter a bus that isn’t jampacked with people and loads.

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The commuters are never in a hurry even as the bus stays put at Madalla or Dei-Dei and begin to call imaginary passengers. This was a day after sallah when the road was dry and empty, when people were still in their houses.

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When the driver finally had the sense to move from that spot, I heaved a sigh of relief. I didn’t really find Suleja as alluring as it was hyped to be.

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The houses are closely built together without space. You can almost peep at your neighbour’s sitting room. The houses are roofed with corrugated iron sheets that makes Ibadan popular. But the new iron sheets that adorn suleja houses would make the old, dusty sheets in Bere-Oje to bury themselves in shame.

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Anyways, ibadan is older in stature and strength so this isn’t bad altogether. Suleja is only a microcosm of the entire Labo-Oranyan-OritaAperin-OritaMerin in Ibadan.

Author

nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com
She has won many awards in writing and poetry amongst which are CLO essay competition (1st Prize Southwest) NDIC essay competition(5th Prize in the southwest) and a World Bank Essay Certificate of Participation She has worked with woman.ng as a content editor and a host of sites as a ghost writer. She has written great inspirational content for fashion brands/blogs. She has been featured on radio and recently added public speaking to her portfolio. You can hire her to write a professional/business profile for you, online content editing, book editing, guest blogging, ghostwriting, content creation or if you need copies of her book, contact her via nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com Facebook.com/Yetunde Olasiyan instagram.com/Yetunde Olasiyan Follow her business page on Instagram @officialladywriter

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