I arrived Lagos like an Israelite carrying the half-baked dough into a determined exodus. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, particularly how I will react to the weather, coming from extreme conditions like we saw this year in the Northeast US. Nothing really changed about the humid conditions, even at 8pm the wind was warm and slightly noxious. But hey! I am used to this, just have to acclimatize a bit. Err…I will dare not talk about Murtala Mohammed Airport, else it will be the rantings of a raving lunatic. Lekki Airport to the rescue!!!!!!!!!!
The road from the airport still is the famished road. It is fast becoming a bush path and reminds me of the road from Onitsha to Owerri in the late 1980s into early 1990s, It may soon need the kind of old Mercedes-Benz 9-11 trucks to ply it. It still amazes me that the government expects people to encounter that road first on a visit to the country through Lagos. Again it may be one of those roads that fall into the grey divide of Federal and State roads and no one is responsible for it. Very soon I will get dangerously upset to code red levels and will fix it. If the government refuses, private business making a fortune refuses, very rich men whole have stolen us blind also refuse to act socially responsible (at least to save face and the impending anger of the State), mere men like me will one day carry a digger and shovel to repair the road. At least beyond our children traveling safely, the police checkpoints will run smoothly and not be afraid to stop more vehicles and harass tired travelers. I have an idea, I will first start by asking my neighbour from Borno, who owns an active barn in his backyard (suitable to shoot a medieval movie), to lend me his cattle so they can graze the weeds shooting from the islands on the entire stretch of the airport road.
The second peril was driving through the Anthony expressway (expressway?). My in-law was literally driving by faith as there was no way to see ahead with the wrath of full headlamps from oncoming vehicles on the opposing lanes. I will beg my fellow citizens to please buy solar-powered torch lights and attach to the defunct street light poles on the road. This will at the least illuminate the road and we can then drive on the dimmed headlamps necessary for safe night travels. However the Third Mainland Bridge was a relief to the latter trouble, but I kinda felt I was driving on Seattle’s Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge floating bridge. I could swear we were rocked from side-to-side as we drove over Nigeria’s most popular the bridge.
I got home safely and rested well even though my biological clock is sort of twisted at the moment. Meanwhile ignorant me was requesting that a friend pick up a Sim-card for me by the roadside on his way to see me. Sorry for me. I was at Zain office getting a new Sim and registering it by afternoon the next day. The promise was that 2 hours after the registration, I will be able to place calls, but could receive calls immediately. The latter was fulfilled, but the former is yet to 14 hours after. So for now I am mute and hoping something will happen by the break of dawn.
I am back in Lagos and nothing has really changed for me because it was as though I never left…or Lagos never left me. I am glad about the significant effort at public infrastructure and the attempt at restoring order (for me the single most important reason things don’t work well here). So now that I am around, what can I do to help in the small way mere men can?