October 19, 2018

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Why is Lagos not working? -Lucia Edafioka

Why is Lagos not working? -Lucia Edafioka
“Ah, that wicked woman no come today o, na hin make us fit park for here.” The bike man taking me home explained when I ask why he was parked at a spot they have been banned from parking. He was referring to the policewoman who usually man the spot and prevents commercial motorcyclists from picking up passengers around her beat.
“If to say she dey work, she no dey gree lai lai. She no go allow us carry passengers; she be very devilish woman.” I tried to reason with him as I am not the biggest fan of the Nigerian Police but some things are just plain silly.
So I told him, “you people are not supposed to park there, so how she take wicked?”
“Aunty, forget that thing, the woman too wicked. She no dey gree collect money sef, you no fit bribe am, she no want make we work, she no want make we chop.”
The ‘wicked’ policewoman, according to the Okadaman, would not allow him and other riders park at the entrance of a major road because they cause traffic for cars trying to drive in and out of the road.
Apparently, when she is not on duty, the other police officers collect money from the Okada riders and let them do just what they want. And in the universe of this Okada rider, the policewoman doing her duty is evil and those who collect money from him are God’s angels.
This is Lagos, folks! Everybody and their daddies and mummies are lawless in this place from danfo drivers, Okada riders, G-wagon owners, even the law enforcement officers – everyone wants to break rules and get away with it. Last week, I heard a story on the radio (while stuck in traffic) of two LASTMA officers who were beaten blue black by policemen.
The story was that a policeman was driving on the wrong lane and the LASTMA officers were only doing their jobs but more policemen came to ‘help’ their colleague to beat up the LASTMA officers while the erring policeman escaped.
I can assure that the best that will be done for those LASTMA officers will “ehya” “ema binu” and “pele.”
This is Lagos! People know what they are supposed to do, but no, they prefer to take chances, do the wrong thing, then try to bribe or talk their ways through it or use the usual ‘do you know who I am?’ threat to get away with their crimes.
The other day, I was sharing a cab with my colleague since we were going in the same direction. Halfway, there was traffic on Freedom Way (as usual). Anybody who works or lives around the area knows that there is always traffic build up on the road but it moves gradually, so all you need is patience, right?
So we told the cab driver to be patient, letting him know that the traffic would ‘flow out’ eventually but our man was either too smart or too stupid to be patient. Oga couldn’t wait but instead, he turned into the wrong lane in a bid to smarter by half.
Little did he know that there are policemen stationed around the road he decided to take and any errant driver would be arrested. I told the driver that much but he just waved me away by saying ‘sister, no worry. Na my guys dem station there, nobody fit hold me.’
It was with that confidence that he turned into the wrong lane. and gbam, we got face to face with the policemen and unfortunately for our obstinate cab driver, his ‘guys’ were not the ones on duty and he was promptly arrested.
But you would think the officers would do the right thing by taking him in and either charging him to court or giving him a ticket but no; after some moments of haggling as if they were pricing fish in an open market, money changed hands and we were on our way.
This is Lagos!
Lagos is populated, yes, but there are more populated places in the world where people do not act like wild animals. A full human being would buy groundnuts and eat along the road, dropping the shells as they walk along.
A person driving a fancy car will casually fling out food wrappers and plastic containers on the road. Yes, Visionscape is not the best but you Lagosians, why can’t you stop littering?
Everybody wants to be ‘sharp’! Let’s forget politics and eko oni baje. Why is Lagos not working?
What do you think can be done to fix Lagos?

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