(Barr. Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo writes on his visit to the Holy Land of Saudi Arabia)
I was privileged to attend the 2015 Ramadan Umrrah (lesser hajj), havingmissed the opportunity of performing the 2016 edition due to the clash in the timetable for my interview for that year’s SAN Rank Award which unfortunately coincided with my Emirates Airlines Scheduled flight.
All the above are just preambles and digressions. The meat of my story was that though I entered Saudi Arabia in 2015 through Medinah before we proceeded to Mecca after the fourth day, I exited Saudi, however , through Jeddah.
As a good student of Mass Communications with Geography background, I was very observant of the terrains and the developments along my routes and I paid painstaking attention to them.
The City of Medinah to Mecca was said to be 500km of 5hours drive at a speed of 100km per hour while the City of Mecca was a distance of 120km away from Jeddah and can be covered in 1hour20minutes.
What strucked me most was that when I first performed the 2012 Ramadan Umrah with my Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and again in 2013, 2014, 2015 and this year 2017, I did not see, encounter or witness any potholes and or failed portions on any of the roads or highway either in Medinnah, Mecca or Jeddah.
Interestingly, all the roads have, at every year under reference , been progressively widened, reconstructively resurfaced and widened in such manner that they become more enhanced and beautified as the years grow. This is contrary to the Nigerian situation where our roads degenerate and degrade as the years increase.
Also, all the roads in the Saudi Arabian cities of Medinnah, Mecca and Jeddah are well serviced with street lights which make them motorable at any hours of the day or 24/7 as we are fond of saying here in Nigeria lipservicely.
Except at the two toll gates encountered along the routes, I didn’t witness or see the presence of any security men or gun-wielding soldiers or policemen. Even at the toll-gates , the security men there did not carry any arms and we were never stopped and or searched. There was also no extortion by any security agents who were very civil and polite. By the same token, no driver offered them bribes or gratifications.
This year I entered through Jeddah and also left Saudi Arabia via Jeddah. I was astonished to the point of confusion and total loss as to whether the highway I plied from Jeddah to Mecca is the same highway that I had plied in 2012, 2013, 204 and 2015 in view of her massive transformations. More lanes have been added and the roads are quintessentially a beauty to behold.
All roads in the cities that I mentioned herein are all constructed through very hostile and unfriendly hilly and rocky terrains, yet nobody passed shifty blames on the terrains as excuses for non-performance or constrains for underdevelopment.
Today, the non-cooperative environments are challenges that spur them to deliver quality services to their people and humanity unlike here where we use same as lame-duck excuse to underdevelop and impoverish our nation and her people by our governments at all levels.
An Author once wrote, “Why are we so blessed” but I am now asking , “ Why are we so cursed “. And my mind quickly went to Williams Shakespare in his book , Julius Caesar for an answer when her wrote, “ The faults , Dear Brutus is not in our Stars, but 8n ourselves, for we are the undelinings. “
For crying out aloud , how do you justify the ridiculous explanations of the National Assembly for the unrelated and dubious insertions of extraneous caricature projects in the budgets of various ministries and agencies all in the name of cheap political expediency. When are we going to get it right in this clime?
Allah has said that he will not change the conditions of any people until they have changed in themselves. The Change , I agree , actually begin with me and you.
Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo (Esq) is the immediate past Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of Oyo State. He can be reached via
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.