Economy and Development

Suffering And Smiling In Lagos

I was in Ikeja government reserved area (GRA) recently and could not believe the deplorable state of the roads inside the venerable estate of the rich and powerful in Lagos. Ikeja GRA was and perhaps remains the place to be for old money in old Lagos. Of course, things have changed and new money in today’s Lagos is now on Banana Island. With the likes of Linda Ikeji!

However, the likes of ProRad Diagnostic Centre, Genesis Hospital, Radisson Blu Hotel and Jevinik event centre are some of the fabulous places and business centres in this part of Ikeja.

So, what would it take to repair the roads?

The families and businesses in the area could club together and pay to repair the roads. However, I learnt that the local government would frown against such repairs and perhaps even take them to court, should they dare.

Okay, just so you understand this clearly.

The government does not see fit to repair the road (maybe not Sanwo-Olu’s government since he is a new kid on the block) but will not allow anyone else to repair the road. Same reason why governors cannot repair so called federal roads even though the local people…not ‘’federal people’’ use the roads.

Anyway, back to Lagos!

A light rain turns the roads upside down and gridlocked. Drivers jostle to get ahead and end up bashing into each other. Then, they come out and exchange blows instead of a reasonable conversation. Pent up anger and frustration overflows!

Talking of gridlocks reminds me of Lekki.

The Lekki Peninsula tollgate is hell on most days. Huge traffic jam, go-slow with the attendant lateness to work and lateness to get back home. Someone said it would ease traffic to do away with the tollgate. The Governor Sanwo-Olu experimented with opening the gates wide for a few hours when he resumed office. Traffic heaved a huge sigh of relief and the people rejoiced. For one day, then he slammed the gates shut and continued collecting the toll from the people he was elected to serve.

Continue suffering he said, for someone is benefiting from the collective misery!

Why do we make life difficult for one another? In the most religious country in the world! It seems that everywhere you look people are going through hardship and suffering because someone else is benefiting from the chaos. If the roads are repaired, yearly contract awards for the same road will no longer profit some mad man somewhere. The same man who would go to church or mosque asking God for favors.

Oh, talking about churches and mosques.

These places of worship also allow people to park randomly and haphazardly on the roads, without care or concern for other road users. Regardless of whether there might be an emergency or not: all in the name of religion. So, as long as the church/mosque is making money, who cares!

Are we still in Lagos?

Someone and some people in Lagos are definitely ready to pile misery on others. My nephew blew a tyre in Lagos recently. He had to limp and park on the road to change the tyre. Within a few minutes, local boys came out of nowhere and started beating him up, asking for money. They did not come to help him change the tyre but to loot and plunder. They ended up taking his computer, his wallet and left him just enough money for the damn vulcanizer. This is what we have become as we slowly lose our community spirit and humanity.

This is Lagos! A jungle of a city!

Life in Lagos: Courtesy Farabale.

A friend said Lagos is vibrant and pulsating. That it has a spirit and a buzz. I agree. The buzz is called hypertension! The people in Lagos are suffering and it shows on their faces and in their health. Hypertension is rife and all my patients in Lagos are on medication. Well, except the new born! He has something waiting for him in a few years.

Lagos is hell on earth and has nothing good going for it. It may be the economic capital of Nigeria and the streets paved with gold. But what is the benefit of all the money if you don’t have your health.

If stressed and unhappy!
Suffering and smiling!

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