‘Everybody in Lagos is a thief…’
‘Everybody in Lagos is trying to scam you…’
‘Lagos is filled with criminals…’
When I travelled to my hometown during the last Christmas holiday and told one of my relatives that I lived in Lagos, she just hissed and said; “that Lagos that is the home of criminals!”
I wanted to argue with her, tell her it was a lie, that the bulk of people in Lagos work and hustle really hard to make a decent living, but then, I had a rethink and held my tongue.
I had to keep shut because I also know that a lot of people have also been scammed or robbed in this same Lagos, so, to a large extent, what my sister said is true.
I know it feels like over-generalization but is there really anyone in this Lagos who haven’t been scammed or robbed at some point in their lives?
Sometime last year, I had some work I wanted to do in my house, so I got a contractor to help me get the carpenter and plumber who would do the work and supervise them too.
We agreed on an amount and the work began. The guy was good and made sure that in less than a week, 80% of the work was done.
I had only a few complaints with the quality of some of the things used and he promised to change them for me.
For the remaining 20%, silly me thought since we’ve worked together so well, I should just pay him upfront for the rest of the job and that, brethren, was how the man vanished.
I called and called and anytime he managed to pick my calls, he’d promise to come the next day but until today, I am still waiting for him.
The amusing part was that during the project, whenever I called him before 8 am, he was always in church. What an amazing Christian, abi?
One of my close friend and her husband lost almost a million Naira to scammers in this same Lagos.
It was so painful because they thought they were careful. A group of people teamed up to act as house agents, lawyers and the owner of the property, aka landlord.
The person who acted as the landlord was a man well over 80 years old. ‘Old man no dey Lagos,’ is the popular saying.
Throughout the negotiations and before they paid the money, whenever they called him ‘Baba’, he would promptly answer them.
But after they paid nko? Both Baba o, the person who acted as his agent o, and even the fake lawyer all disappeared.
Everybody in Lagos has one story or the other on how they were either robbed or scammed, especially the scamming part.
I remember when I first moved to Lagos, how those people who try to scam you with foreign currency met me. I didn’t even know it was a popular scam; it was God that saved me.
Anyway, the point of this story is to remind everyone to remain alert o; don’t let your guard down; remember that everyone in this Lagos, whether they are dressed in suit and tie, driving expensive cars or trekking under the sun, are mostly criminals.