When many people hear “Rivers State”, the first thing that comes to mind is Port Harcourt. Some don’t even know the state, they are satisfied with the popular ‘PH’. However, we have quickly realized that there is so much more to Rivers than its most famous city. Poor, ignorant us.
What’s gotten us so gung-ho about Rivers all of a sudden? Well, for the past four months, a group of people have been waging war against substance abuse in Nigeria.
To cut the long story short, too many young Nigerians have been falling victims to cocaine, heroin, tramadol and other horrible substances. Frankly, it’s annoying because it’s something we can avoid. Nobody said it was easy, but it’s avoidable.
The MTN ASAP (Anti Substance Abuse Programme) team – the warriors – headed for Rivers on Monday, 6th May 2019, and there has been a lot of gist filtering in from the State. Substance abuse is a very serious issue affecting millions of people, but we’ve been hearing a lot of interesting stories too. And curiosity is taking us to Rivers! Yeeeels, we are Rivers-bound.
So, as we head for Rivers, here are some things we are excited to find out about the State:
- The statute of King Jaja of Opobo: If you don’t know about the legendary Jaja of Opobo, then we have some very serious questions to ask you: are you Nigerian, sef? Did you go to a Nigerian school? Who are your parents? Lol, just kidding!
Some have described Mbanaso ‘Jaja’ Ukwaraozurumba as “the most troublesome thorn in the flesh of 19th-century British imperial ambition in southern Nigeria.” He was alleged to have been sold into slavery at a very young age yet he rose to such prominence that he became a big threat to the colonialists. If he was around now, he would be the perfect example of a ‘Boss’. His statue is erected in the centre of Opobo town. We just want a peek.
- Finima Beach and Nature Park: For the nature buffs, this is the place to be. Finima beach has one of the most stunning seashores spread across Bonny Island and the most visited by tourists. Why? It’s drop dead gorgeous and it’s a natural habitat of saltwater, the rare Hippopotamus, and other interesting flora and fauna.
Before we get lost in the technicalities of what spans this park and beach, it’s a place to gist with nature, relax and be surrounded by serene beauty. Bye bye Lagos wahala and traffic!
- Rivers State Museum: You probably have never heard of Rumuosi in Obio-Akpor. It’s where one of Rivers’ most popular spots is located. The museum boasts of breath-taking antiques from different ethnic gatherings scattered across the state. The Indiana Jones in all of us feels like we will unlock some 3,000 year old mystery as soon as we step through the doors. Lmao!
- The Rivers State House Of Assembly: How is that exciting? It’s not the place that is giving us the goosebumps exactly, it’s what ‘s going to happen on Thursday, May 16th, 2019 – the ASAP Round Table discussion.
Some of the finest minds on substance use in Nigeria will meet to talk about the problem and the way out. If you are a fan of great talk, tired of seeing videos of people strung on substances, and are curious about why the ASAP team is so passionate about helping young Nigerians steer clear of substance, check out the #MTNASAP on twitter and click here for all there is to know.
Because of this, we have officially changed the slang from “IJGB” to “IJGH”, so it will no longer be ‘I Just Got Back’, but “I Just Got Here”. When we land in Rivers we shall proudly say we are ‘IJGH’ and hopefully, the reality will surpass the gist. It has to!