On my way to work last week, one of the passengers in the bus commented on how the roads are a lot freer that morning.
He said it’s because Omo Igbos are beginning to go back home for Christmas. Another person in the bus supported him, “yes o, let them go let traffic reduce.”
I wanted to tell them that the roads are freer because schools are on vacation but what was the point?
By the way, if you live in Lagos and you are not Yoruba, or Hausa, you are Omo Igbo. Don’t bother explaining about being Tiv, or Bini, or Igala or Urhobo. Just forget about it.
Anyway, a few days later I would hear the same comment again. “Omo Igbo are leaving, see how road clear, there is space in Lagos.”
What if everyone doesn’t have to be in Lagos in the first place? That is, all the ports in the South-South are fully functional? And that ships can actually dock in the River Niger? And there is a proper international airport in Asaba and in the South East? What if our national transport system is very efficient?
There are speed trains going between North and South transporting goods? And we have good storage facilities? Imagine the way cost of food will drop and if people can actually farm in peace in Benue and Kogi. Imagine if we have fully utilized our fertile soil across the North and all the many things we could do with animal husbandry instead of carrying cows from field to field as if this is the 19th century.
There is so much just having security, good road/rail networks, proper ports and electricity will do for us.
Nigeria is that child that everyone had high expectations for but he turned out to be a tout and no one can explain how.
Will Lagos have less population if the rest of Nigeria is even working at 50% of its capacity? Definitely! Our resources are enough for the reported 180m people in Nigeria but every year, people keep moving to Lagos to find jobs. Some get lucky, others end up under the bridge.
They say if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Until then, let us all be here choking on bad air in Lagos traffic. E go better!
Merry Christmas, fam