Saturday, February 27, 2010

Abuja, Nigeria's new Capital City

After we arrived in Lagos and experienced a little bit of that city which has a population of somewhere between 15,000,000 and 30,000,000 people, (Nigerian census information is rather fluid.), we went on to Abuja. The capital of Nigeria was moved from Lagos to Abuja between fifteen and twenty years ago. It was a small city at that time, so by making a new capital they built a brand new city.

After seeing all the small, outdoor shops that lined the roads and highways of Lagos, Fr. Callie took me to A MALL! I needed to pick up a blade razor since I had not brought the charger to my electric razor. So here it is.

Being a brand new city in many ways, it is more of a western than an "African city." Perhaps this is why I felt much more at home here than in Lagos. It was much more familiar and had landscaping and trees and wide boulevards. But people were saying to me that it was not really Africa, that when I got to Nnewi I would see a real African City.

So here are some views of Abuja, with painted buildings and enclosed businesses.

We saw this very impressive ecumenical centre with great spaces for ecumenical gatherings and liturgies

But, what for me was an image of Africa, there were still the typical groups of people gathered along the side of the road socializing or doing business or just relaxing together.

Coloured houses were much in evidence in Abuja, but still with a very traditional way of carrying stuff around

You name it and they carry it on their head. I wondered what long term effect this has on a person's neck and spine. Perhaps a typical western concern.

This is one of a multitude of three wheel taxis that are everywhere and usually crammed with people.

We paid a visit to the headquarters of the Pontifical Mission Society in Nigeria. As you can see, it is a beautiful and modern complex, typical of Abuja.

We visited and were warmly welcomed by Msgr Hypolite Adigwe, the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Society of Nigeria. The mission of the Pontifical Mission Society is to support the teaching of Jesus Christ and the work of charity and social improvement around the world. The societies promote awareness, prayer, sacrifice and fundraising to support world wide Catholic mission.

Near Abuja is the famed Aso rock. The word "Aso" means victory and the people who dwelt at the base of the rock for centuries were called "Asokoro" the "people of victory"

Fr. Callie also wanted his picture infront of Victory Rock.

This is the state Legislature building, beautiful and very impressive.

And some of the modern and inovative architecture in this modern city. Typical African or not, we had a good visit here and met some very fine people and dedicated priests.

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