I was recently posted to a Church sitting on the boundary of two communities: Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Ahia and Udakpa, here in Uromi Diocese.
Till date, some still make the mistake of thinking that Udakpa is a town in Ahia, and vice versa.
The truth is that both are autonomous communities in their own rights.
The Church has however become a melting pot for these communities in a most significant way.
It is only here in the Church that we call both communities as one and the same. Hence the name, “Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Ahia Udakpa”.
I’ve always known Ahia.
When I was younger, I would accompany my Mom to the market at Ahia to buy and sell all kinds of things.
I still wonder how a relatively small community like Ahia can boast of such a huge active market.
Perhaps it’s the influence of traders from Ozigono (Illushi), who bring in all kinds of amazing produce like fish, potatoes, tomatoes, etc, from the banks of the river Niger.
Again, maybe it’s the commitment of cassava farmers who come in with heavy bags of garri every market day for sales.
Then again, it could be the influence of buyers from as far as the North.
In any case, market days at Ahia were fun days for me back in the day.
Thanks to my Mom, I was privileged to know many communities in Esan land, as well as their market days this way.
I got to know Udakpa many years later, after my ordination to the Priesthood.
A few days after I arrived here as the first Priest in Charge of the Mass Centre, I took the foot path behind the parish house to the market.
It was an opportunity for me to relive aspects of my childhood. Looking round at the tall trees lining the path, I recalled those days we all went to the farm with my grandparents in Amendokhian, my home community in Uromi.
I’ll talk about my village some other time.
Hope you had an interesting day?
© Oselumhense Anetor, 2021.