Live in Lagos – Can I help?

Help by force!

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?

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4 thoughts on “Live in Lagos – Can I help?

  1. Hmmmm…Concluded with a good question….been asking myself the same question in my little room in Cathedral City, CA. Many times I compare the life I live now to the life I would possible be living if was In naija and I end up asking..”what can be done?” I was trying to help my girlfriend apply to a so-called “big” Nigerian consulting firm, only for me to check the website out, hoping to stumble on a careers link and to my amazement there wasn’t one… fig anyone trying to apply to that company would have to look for the company and transport him/herself there….was kinda pissed cos I am so used to going to a company’s web page and having “Taleo” assist with the job applications. I started thinking of the stress she would have to go through to locate the company from Ilorin….Point is Naija is backward….as in really backward and the saddest part is that the people are suffering and smiling. They would never seek to change what should be change.
    When gas prices in the US was rising the US people only whined and expressed fear, but they would never strike for such a thing, cos they know that gas prices can not really be controlled by the government, its a combination issues from different parts of the world, Americans will never tolerate a pot hole or inadequate water supply or power supply cos they pay their taxes and that can definitely be controlled…Its more like a “I pay for the service, you give me the service kind of thing…” but Naija people wont fight for their basic rights, instead they will strike when gas prices go up or when an election did not go in some peoples favor.
    Its Time for all Nigerians to wake up and start asking themselves this question u asked yourself, you don’t even live there anymore but you are willing to contribute…what about the people living there and would most likely even die there? Are they asking themselves the same question? Everybody knows the problem of Nigeria, even a 7year child would give an adequate analysis, with many of them declaring that the change should start with the government……I say the change should come from everyone. Everyone should be willing to change positively. The 1st step has been accomplished…we know we have a problem as a nation. The second step is a change all rounder….and that change my brother starts with people, especially the people who live in the country, by ask themselves that same question you asked yourself.

    Sorry didn’t mean to write much..its just something I have thought about lately. I am glad you got to Naija safely…I pray that whatever you went there to do would be accomplished in Jesus name and I wish you a safe flight back whenever you come back. Peace.

  2. Hi there I located your blog by mistake when i was searching AOL for this topic, I must express your site is really valuable I also seriously like the theme, it is superb!

  3. easy way to know it is you really writing; look for things like “bush part” e.g I reckon that most of the city’s dwellers only drove on bush paths e.g.2 It is fast becoming a bush path and reminds me of the road from Onitsha to Owerri in the late 1980s into early 1990s

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