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Epe Chronicles 2017: Monday 23 October 2017

Epe - Lagos State

Epe, the city where the Lord dwells, we have arrived

Royal welcome

Mummy Kate, Bruce, Sharon, Pastor Durosaro and Sister Dayo returned from a visit from the Oba Aladeshonyin of Odo-Noforija Kingdom full of joy.

The King, an avid Man Utd supporter, was given a replica shirt his countenance changed.

He became very happy.  He welcomed them warmly and receiving the gospel. He read the salvation prayer and gave 100,000 Naira towards the programme. After the meeting, he drove down to our camp site and spoke to the construction foreman who had refused us permission to erect our tents.  He decreed “No man should trouble you”. This echoes the words in Galatians 6 “From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus”.  We have the seal of the King of Kings who says, “No man should cause us trouble”.

Reflections

Further to a conversation with Mummy Kate, I ask, what does a King do? He counsels, fathers, solve problems and resolves conflicts, respects and is respected, welcomes, represents his kingdom, encourages, gives gifts. Well, the list goes on. The Oba Aladeshonyin of Odo-Noforija Kingdom is a good King who fulfils all the above-mentioned roles and many more. You will and can see the difference of the reign a good monarch. Prov 29 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice”. Good governance makes a big difference.

Epe, the city where the Lord dwells, we have arrived.

Funmi, my sister, dropped me off at the airport with 5 cases to grapple with. No, I am not leaving town. I am off to Liberty 2017 in Epe. Three of the suitcases were for me and two for Sister Hannah. I pushed the trolley with the skills of a Formula One driver into the checking-in area. Bro Kayode, I heard. Bro Sam gave me a warm bear hug.  Sisters Hannah and Beatrice busted into laughter. We weighted the bags and made some slight adjustments. I asked the customer service lady to please check in my hand luggage which she obliged. I strolled through security with my wallet and iPad.

The flight was smooth.  We landed at 4.35 am in Lagos.  We waited patiently for one piece of luggage which refused to come.  At 6.05am, we reclaimed all our luggage. I bulldozed my way through customs followed by Sisters Hannah and Beatrice.  Nobody was going to stop us from marching into Epe. Bro Adekoya had arrived at the airport at 4.55 am waiting patiently for us to emerge.  What a commitment.  He raised the Liberty handbill like a placard to identify himself.  We embraced and strolled into the newly construction car park.  The car was filled to the brim with nine pieces of luggage excluding the ladies hand bags.  We could not pick Sister Ayo on our way. A job for Uber.  Off to Gbenga’s house for breakfast.

We landed at NCC Ilupeju in their new address at Ikorodu Road at 10.00 am to a warm welcome.  Wife, friends, and family were there.  Slowly we filled the buses.  Every piece of luggage was identified and double checked. We left at 11.20 am, excited and expectant of great things to come. We missed our next pick up due to driver error. Nigerians must learn how to say sorry rather defend the indefensible. Sorry goes a long way especially when you are in the wrong.  Eventually we picked Sisters Fola and Tope up. Now it was Epe “straight”.

We were amazed at the physical transformation of Epe. Last year’s dusty roads were professionally laid with a good drainage system. The recreation centre had been transformed into a multipurpose sports centre. The waterfront was being sand filled. We could visual the proposed development.  What a transformation. The light is shining here.

As we arrived at Noforija Town Hall, a bus drove in with the American contingent. Warm “Eku a ti jo” greetings filled the air. As we did not know the way to our hotel, we asked an “okada” man to lead us with his motorbike. Lo and behold, the blind was leading the clueless. He took us to the wrong hotel! He did not give up. The man wanted to complete the contract without knowing what to do or where to go.  I have seen and heard that before. An endemic problem here.

We arrived at D-Rock-M hotel to meet our advance party – Sisters Shade, Tutu, Grace, and Bose. Ms Ifeanyi our hotel manager and her team were all Out to say hello. Where are thou Sister Enny?  Mama Isale of Akata. Grand opening of “Akata” was scheduled for later but I will miss Akata this year due to an otherwise pressing engagement.  We went on a mini tour of Epe later in the evening. Epe gateway, main market, waterfront, and recreational centre were our tourist points. They were all beautiful. A couple of waterfront selfies were taken. Contraband roasted corn was also purchased.

 

 

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