I was woken by the crow of a cock in far away Rivera, Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire on Wednesday 27th July 2022, same sound had woken me up to prepare for my journey to Abidjan from Abule-Egba, Lagos the day before. Locations were different but the sounds from nature were same. A cock first crowed at dawn in the garden of Eden, ever since then, the avian cock has distinguished itself from the plumage family as the herald of a new day to humanity. It has never failed to crow through generations.
We were told in the Bible Story of Creation how Adam the created man named every other creatures in context of the purpose they were meant to serve humanity. Thus establishing leadership of the human race over all creation, from inception it will be the responsibility of human GOVERNMENT to understand the nature bequeathed to him at maintaining the ecosystem for productivity optimization. The garden was first planted, we were told before man was created and placed in the garden to keep it and feed from it. This order is deliberate; sustainability system was put in place before humans were created. In the garden were plants giving out oxygen waiting for humans whose carbon dioxide will be plants’ intake. Invariably, it was like saying to man, the garden is your life, keeping it is keeping yourself.
How well then have the leadership of the “Lagos garden” kept same since the advent of our present democracy in 1999?
The trip to Abidjan started from my house. Jibowu Road was entirely cut off at the cargo end when my house project began in 2007. “Whoever told Fashola that I was moving”, he came and fixed the road from U-Turn Bus/Stop to the end of Jibowu road, thus access was made to my house. Whatever gave my neighbours the impression that I influenced the road when I have never met Fashola till date is left to them. Measuring a good government should never be by words of people who know the people in government and are benefiting from them. It must be by those who don’t, but are benefiting from good governance deliverables. In Fashola, his friends and foes have same testimony of performance of his tenures in Lagos. It is not the fault of my neighbours to believe that my new house in the area brought the development, that is the way things function in our clime.
A child of necessity came in Ambode as answer to the cry of fairness to the Christian community. If they tell you religion doesn’t matter, tell them it shouldn’t, but for now, they have made it to!
His priority was “Light up Lagos Project”, privileging my hood with an “Abule village” nomenclature with street lights like a morden city. What a beauty to behold at night! But he was not limited to light.
Ambode was driven for projects like a possessed man, Alimosho had road construction everywhere, the link his road network achieved into Sango Ota in neighbouring Ogun State is the reason the impact of unpassable Lagos-Abeokuta Express is not felt as much as it should.
Talk about the Pen-Cinema Agege Bridge, an effort so commendable, it was worth the re-writing of history by Sanwo-Olu and Obasa led House of Assembly to etch the name in gold Ambode smithed and to protect the name and error of their Emperor. Truth may be hidden in history but it will never be erased from history. The story of Ambode will one day be told in truth. Fagba traffic would have been a thing of the past if the same Obasa led House weren’t of the opinion that Ambode was doing too much for the densely populated areas of Lagos State where the majority of the electorates dwells. Altering the pro-elites development plans of the Landlord of Lagos was somewhat offensive, now they stand in the court of posterity to be judged by the people.
Freedom Bridge Abule-Egba saw the light of the day under Ambode, erasing the achievements of a man like him from the minds of political armies who can bearly feed without the crumbs from Bourdillon’s table was effortless. To keep eating freebies, their voice vote saw Sanwo-Olu, Tinubu’s “christian” replacing Ambode.
The road from U-Turn to Agbe Road Junction was terribly damaged by utility trucks because of diversion during Freedom bridge’s construction. The reconstruction carried out on that strip of the road is the best anywhere in Lagos. The road is a reminder to its users that Ambode once kept the garden called Lagos.
Unfortunately, the strip from Agbe road junction to my house in the area is a shadow of itself, simple maintenance of it has not been considered by the LCDA. Darkness has taken over the light Ambo lit and potholes have dented the once beautiful memories of Fashola’s legacy in my hood. The present administration can’t even scrape the affected areas and put interlocking stones to save the rest of the road. While it was bumpy on Jibowu road to the airport in Lagos, the glide on a street to my lodge in Rivera, Abidjan reminded me of the glide Ambode made of the road from Agbe road junction to U-Turn Bus Stop Abule-Egba, I challenge anyone to show me a better road in Lagos than that strip.
Lagos is indeed overated, everywhere in Abidjan cameras are position to capture pedestrians; schools, Churches, Mosques and Markets are not left out of the surveillance drive for intelligence, could it be that our intelligence system failed according to President Muhammadu Buhari because Government failed to provide them necessary tool to work with? I have learnt so much about Intelligence Policing through my interactions with Mr. Lawal M. Audu, Team Head Diplomatic Investigation of the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police force, that I am left wondering, why are we the way we are? My memoir of him will hit the book stand soon.
Still trying to figure why the few cameras scattered around Lagos give priority to capturing traffic offenders than general security surveillance. With their installation, one would have expected that the brigandage associated with arresting traffic offenders in Lagos would have abated, but no! LASTMA and Oluomo boys are recruited from the army of APC political foot soldiers and are therefore united by target set at Bourdillon for “Alfa Bitter” in modus operandi.
With the security in Abidjan, I can’t but agree with Peter Obi that, there exists a relationship between unemployment rate and crime, that the surest way to pull people out of crime is to cut off the source (unemployment) through which idle hands find crime to tend.
The facility that housed us in Abidjan was a bungalow without burglary proof because youths in Abidjan are too busy with productive engagements to be idle in mind to think of how to scale fences and break into houses for what to eat, the city is made safe for all.
The challenge of Lagos is to assume her rating as the 5th economy in Africa. Ranking higher than than most countries and with better economy than most city has raised the benchmark for Lagos.
Leaders After God’s Own Spirit Initiating A New State; LAGOSIANS! Must see a state having the potential to give us the best City in Africa and not the local champion status been taunted by politicians. The next Governor of Lagos in 2023 must be determined enough like Oluwatobiloba Amusan for a world record. Lagos can be the best city in the world; only if we dream and dare.
E ku ile o!