July 20, 2018

Lagos is too violent – Lucia Edafioka

Lagos is too violent – Lucia Edafioka

Lagos finds new ways to torture one mentally every time you step out of your house.

This city is so violent, it is scary. A person could be walking next to you and next thing they are dead from a mob action or an accident that shouldn’t have happened.

During the week, in a bus to work, I was making an effort not to pay any attention to the quarrel that was brewing in the bus between the bus conductor and one of the passengers sitting behind me, but I could no longer ignore them when said passenger stood up and slapped the conductor.

Of course the conductor will not just chop slap and keep quiet, he retaliated by punching the passenger’s face and before I could make sense of what was happening; that two grown ass men were fighting inside a moving bus and the bus driver was humming along to some old school song playing on the radio someone’s blood had splattered  on my face.

Along the road was some policemen and FRSC officials who stood by, leisurely enjoying the live WWE show.

I remember the first time I saw someone’s father brushing his teeth on third mainland bridge. He just brought out his head and spat on the ground using the side mirror as guide to brush his teeth, rinse his mouth and spit on the floor. Nobody told him anything, he just acted as if he was in his bathroom.

What is wrong with you people in this Lagos sef?

I was unfortunate enough to pass through Oshodi on an errand last week. I saw two roadside traders – old men who couldn’t resolve their conflict with words begin to fight. Nobody paid them any attention until one of the fighters head was gushing out blood. That was when fellow traders reluctantly pulled them apart.

Violence is as Lagos as yellow danfos.

Lagosians are like kegs of gun powder moving around looking for any slight thing to set them off.

I remember hearing someone in a bus who had had some disagreement with the bus conductor threaten to push the conductor off the bus, and I wondered how someone will conceive such thoughts in the first place.

Pushing the conductor from a moving bus onto the tarred road would most definitely kill him. So people just go around with casual thoughts of killing others over N20 change?

Why is this city, the centre of excellence so violent?

It is not just the people, it is the way Nigeria is set up. When government wants to build luxury homes in people’s communities is there not a process to follow? Even after the court had ruled in favour of the people government still sends its men to burn down  homes.

Some secessionist group leader is flouting his bail conditions why wasn’t he arrested the first time he flouted his bail condition? But no, they sent pythons to dance in a little street. Everything is by force, let us all tear our clothes and fight because we are cave men?

I am mentally exhausted from interacting with Nigeria, with Lagos, on a daily basis.

Last month the bus taking me home suddenly burst into flames. Passersby rallied quickly and put out the fire. Everyone thanked God and went their way.

I was so stunned.

I ‘crammed’ the plate number on the bus. Three days later I saw the bloody bus was back on the road ferrying people’s children, fathers and mothers. Who checks these things? Is it that our lives are worth nothing in this Lagos?

Living in this country is like being stuck in a nightmare you can’t wake up from. I am tired.

From today, I am Canadian-American-European. I will keep speaking good things upon my life until they manifest.

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