So, yesterday while looking for a document, I found these scribbles of mine about Eku – Delta state- the sleepy town where I stayed till January this year.
Read on …
At first sight Eku appeared to be a bubbling active town. Sadly, that was a false impression. The first needle in that optimistic bubble was the response to my query about where I could find a bank or an ATM… ” No, Eku does not have a bank or an ATM” was the shocking response. I could not believe my ears… This was a town that had hosted European missionaries of the Baptist denomination for more than fifty years, a town that could boast of a primary school as far back as 1924 and was home to an hospital that recently got a 2 Billion (is it Naira or Dollars renovation by the Delta state government. No ATM? In 2015? I am sure you can tell that I am still shocked.
It was a market day on that Thursday and the market was filled to the brim. The hustle and bustle of the market even spilled over to the junction where I got a bike to take me to my first port of call. Inside the town was eerily quiet though on the two lane undivided tarred road that crisscrossed the town like a meandering river. No blaring music, but the sound of mechanical grinders provided a jarring alternative.
Alighting from the cab that brought me into town from Abraka, I had barely gotten a good look at the town as I was on a timed assignment. So while I took in sips of the town from the passenger seat of a ‘flying bike’; I knew my explorations of the town would come much later.
Mission accomplished- message delivered, feedback gotten and marching orders received, I went immediately to my assigned office where I promptly fell in love… Loved the facilities, the ambience, the warm reception from the substantive Head and the real Head of Department and from that moment I knew without a doubt that coming to Eku had been ‘an arranged job’. I could only say “thank you, Father” as the HOD assured me that should I wish to move into the quarters that would be assigned to me that day, he would sort it out without delay. I opted for Monday so I could go back to Asaba as I had only the clothes on my back on this visit.
My very affable HOD offered to drive me back to the Eku junction park when it was time to go back but eventually drove all the way to Abraka as there was no vehicle loading as at the time I got to the junction.
Even though I am yet to go to the Eku main market, I am fully back to Eku. My resumption on the Monday had been for a five day stay after which I travelled to Abeokuta to return fully five days later on a Wednesday-though this later changed to Thursday (the reason for that is not gist for these pages).
Eku is blessed with rain. An early morning rain has just bathed the land and I can look with fresh eyes at the beauty of the town . So while on a bike headed to the junction to make my way to Abraka, I notice a small shop tucked into a brown low hanging roof bungalow with a sign which reads XYZ microfinance bank… Then, I am amazed not only at the shabby exterior but also it’s outrightly despairing look. It succeeded in removing some of the shine off that beautiful morning. An equally gloomy looking police post was not far from it.
My amateur P.I. skills had at least yielded one vital piece of info: the town’s lack of a Divisional Police Headquarters was responsible for the absence of banks and ATMs. An attempt to bring an ATM inside the hospital had failed because of this major reason. The fears of guntotting men of the underworld is I suppose the beginning of wisdom for 21st century Nigerian banks.
Keep a date with this page to follow the rest of my adventures in Eku. Just click the “follow” buton