Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Madness called Lagos

I was sent this article via blackberry messenger this morning and i couldn't stop myself from laughing hysterically all through , the writer hits the nail on the head on issues bothering many Lagosians. Kudos for this wonderful write up. Dig right in and enjoy 

The Madness called Lagos

A lot of people have been distressed by the recent developments in Lagos State. They are not alone. The news of the deportation of some Nigerians from Lagos hit me like a train. How can one be an alien in his country? Such a question can only be answered by the gods of the state. On reading some of the news excerpts, I reckoned that some of these deportees were returning from their place of work. Some of these people are those selling their goods in the Lagos traffic that has become our skin. I thought to myself, what if I was arrested like these unfortunate people? I don’t possess a birth certificate that will show that I’m a bonafide Lagosian as I lost that in an inferno some years ago neither do I possess a national identity card that will show that I’m a Lagosian. I might have as well been deported to Kano state because I can pull off a Hausa look comfortably.
A popular lingo within the older generation of Lagos residents, “Were lo le gbe Eko”, which means “only the mad can survive in Lagos” in loose terms, has become the status quo in the state. So many madness have been exhibited from the state government to the very last citizen. Aren’t we tired of the touts? It is the same government, who generates debatably the highest internal revenue that will toll a public road. Some might argue that it was a public private partnership, but it should be understood that in a well civilized environment, a consensus is meant to be reached by the very people that would  ply the road by an agreement as to whether they want a tarred road which will be tolled or not. Where are the taxes going to? A large chunk of money is allocated to the state because of its status as one of the most densely populated states in the country. Where is this money going to?
I can remember the hypocrisy exhibited by the governor when he lent his voice in the sit-at-home strike spearheaded by Occupy Nigeria to force the hands of the federal government to reduce the hiked pump price of pms. I can also remember how he vehemently voiced out his disagreement with the move of the federal government to use the military to dismember the crowd from gathering at the appointed venues for the protests. This same governor went ahead to use the same military to prevent people from staging a peaceful demonstration lending their voices against the erection of Lekki toll gates. Who is fooling whom?
In continuance of the aforementioned argument, I went to pay a visit to my granny during the Moslem holidays and I felt really bad for my car. The hinter-roads are such in a dilapidated state that one will be forgiven when one thinks this is a post-apocalyptic area. “Fashola is working” some of his proponents will be quick to point at. Do you get applauded for eating? This government has only used pigheaded style of government to get away with things. Some will further point to the fact that he being a lawyer is what the state needs. I beg to differ. His style of administration is close to an Emperor’s where “take it or leave it” moves have been taken so many times by the administration.
During the campaign for 2011 election, AC Party shared helmets to bikers popularly known as Okada riders to serve as protection as they ride on the road. This was used as an avenue to solicit for their votes during the election. Bang! Few months after the election, the Okadas were banned from “some” public roads. Be sure to have the law enforcers to seize this opportunity to inflict pains. Lagos state residents were turned to Israelites, walking to their various destinations. I recall having to walk miles after work from the bus-stop to my house. During this period I usually find myself talking to myself. I couldn’t and can’t still explain this occurrence. When I couldn’t take it any longer, I sent a well constructed text message to the PRO of the Police Force reiterating the fact that bikes were allowed in the hinter-areas of the state. Few days later, the bikers were allowed to ply the routes leading to my house. Why not inform these bikers of the ban during your campaign if there is any iota of truth in you? Why gain their votes then few days after take away their means of livelihood? However, bikes with 200CC upwards are allowed to ply the roads. Is this a better way to circumvent the imploding number of bikers in the state? What if the number of the allowed bikes increases? What other easier way to die.
We are antagonistic beings and reasoning with humans has to be the hardest thing to accomplish. However, that doesn’t mean iron fists should be used on the people who humanely voted you in democratically. A very good example will be the case with the trucks transporting various commodities to and from the state. Some years back, the truck drivers had an unwritten agreement to ply the public roads at appointed times. This administration came up with idea of giving a window shelf for their movements which didn’t sit well with these drivers. They flood the roads at anytime of the day contributing to the already dire and life killing heavy traffic on Lagos roads. I spend nothing less than three hours from my place of work to my house which by the time I get home; I’m fully spent from just sitting in the vehicle seeing as the commuters move slowly like a very long centipede. This problem would have simply been avoided if there was a round table discussion. It has gotten so bad that once a truck breaks down on the highway, the driver will leave it for LASTMA to deal with.
One now drives with the fear that one will be arrested by one of the road and traffic law enforcement agencies. There are so many of such posses that it is very confusing to know what and which each stands for. If you have ever been stopped by VIO, you’ll understand this. There is a joke by a popular comedian that Lagos state has exhausted all the color codes that they now use Ankara prints to signify and distinguish the new and upcoming law enforcers.
What confirmed the madness of Lagos has to be the two news that drew the final straw. One being that Lagosians, in the next few years, will not be allowed to bore holes to get water for domestic use with no alternative. I started wondering, when the news got to me, that are we in a Military dispensation where the welfare and compassion of the populace means nothing to the government? The water board I grew up knowing has become defunct and it is six feet under the ground. How does the state government intend meeting the water needs of about 20 million people in the state overnight? And the second being that Lagosians are no longer allowed to spread clothes on the fences and verandas of their houses which the state didn’t build for them. I find this very funny that I can’t seem to understand why and how this came up.
For what it’s worth, if he really wants to reduce the nuisance in Lagos, he should return the Agberos back to Oyo state where they came from. Let it be known that I don’t intend painting this administration in black, I only want to bring things to perspective. There are two sides to a coin, I have only dealt with one side that is facing me; blinding me with its shiny surface. Think about it. If it isn’t madness, why toll a public road. If it isn’t madness, why make life hard life to the very people that voted you in democratically. If it isn’t madness, why deport people in their country of origin. In fact, Lagos is mad.

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