THE BAYELSA CHILD

“Have you ever set eyes on him?” the chubby, Hausa woman in with the shawl thrown over her head and around her shoulders asked her tall dark Ijaw companion as they walked home along the busy streets of Yenegoa. They had light bundles of foodstuffs on their heads for they were returning from the local market.
“Who? The man in the black hat?”
“Oh that man?”
“Have you?”
“No, but I have heard so much about him that I see him in my head already?”
“What have you heard?”
“Enough”
“Like?”
“Enough to feel like I know him already?”
“And how much do you know about him?”
“Oh, this Hausa woman, you bug me with too many questions”
“And you this my Ijaw friend, you strangle the life out of me with your refusal to give me answers”
“But I have been giving you answers all these while?”
“Your answers taste very much like water”
“Okay, what answers do you seek?”
“How much do you know the man in the black hat?”
“Oh the pot-bellied man?”
“Does he have a pot-belly?”
“Of course Tekena, does have a pot-belly from spending too many hours in that hotel bar?”
“I’m not talking about Tekena for God’s sake”
“Then who?”
“The governor!”
“Oh, I should have known” the Ijaw woman held her palm to her fore-head, “Of course, I know that child of Toru-Orua, the OLOKODAU OF ORUA”
“Is he a good man?”
“Don’t you know him?”
“No I don’t”
“What do you have to say about a man that has made it possible for the both of us to walk freely along these streets at this time of the night without fear of being molested?”
“Sounds to me like a social crusader”
“What about his stand on transparency and accountability?”
“Sounds like an honest man to me”
“Of course he is”
“I have cause to believe so, for it takes an honest man to demand of honesty from others”
“He loves his people too”
“And wishes for them to live free”
“His is the best administration in recent years”
“I can tell that from the new look of Yenegoa”
“And tourism has been on the rise in recent years”
“Yes, I heard of AMAA and BACFEST”
“Don’t you think we are a hopeful people?”
“Especially if you have more of Governor Henry Seriake Dicksons”
“He is of this soil, there has to be more from where he came”
“I hope so, for the good of your land, I hope so” the Hausa woman said as they mingled with the busy night life of Yenegoa.

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