This Lagos can drive somebody mad o – Lucia Edafioka

This Lagos can drive somebody mad o – Lucia Edafioka

Just when I think I have run out of things to write about Lagos, the city points and laughs at me. This city is – one week, one madness.

As a child, I had relatives in Lagos who when they visited told us stories of Lagos. I was fascinated and couldn’t wait to grow up and visit.

I remember one particular story of how robbers wrote a letter to residents of a certain area to inform them of their ‘visit.’ Well, the robbers came, robbed from door to door, house to house on every street and nothing happened. At the time I thought it was a lie. Now I know better.

Just after Christmas last year, at about 2am, I woke up to voices shouting inside out compound, asking us to open up, that they were policemen. For where? Everybody locked up. Lol. Trust issues.


Finally someone went out to answer them and they said they saw some thieves running out of the compound. Even though nothing was stolen, I remember how scared I was, different scenarios went through my mind.

In January, we just settled into a new place, the fence around the building is almost as high as the one storey building itself (who cares about air?) and electrified barbed wires snake along the fence with an iron gate to complete things. The gate is never left open as tenants bought heavy pad locks for it. So see? We covered all the bases to avoid robbery. Or so we thought.

That’s how last week we woke up to ‘ole, ole’ around 3am. I thought it was the next compound and was codedly trying to spy through the window when one of our neighbours started shouting too. I recognised his voice. First thing I thought was that he was being beaten up. The fear that enveloped me, ehn. . .

After some minutes other people woke up, we all came out. It was a ‘small robbery.’ These guys (had to be more than one person) had torn his mosquito net, managed to remove rods out of the burglary-proof on this neighbour’s window, entered his apartment and carried his laptop and the charger. There was no light; so how these guys broke metal so quietly still baffles me. When they attempted to enter another apartment, the woman raised the ‘ole, ole’ alarm and woke everyone up. Guess what? They jumped through that really high barbed wire fence (or walked through the walls, nothing is impossible) in nanoseconds. And all these while, a police siren was wailing nearby.

Lagos can drive somebody mad o. You have to be watchful everywhere: in a bus, on the road, market; everywhere you are in Lagos you have to be alert. Now even in your sleep, you have to keep one eye open and listen for unusual sounds.

No wonder I found a strand of grey hair on my head last week (ok, not really grey, but it was not as dark as the other strands).

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