I was a little kid just like every other boy and girl and we all have something in common, even if we still have something that distincts us from one another. The difference could originate from the culture of our parents, ideology or religious doctrine. My father is a Muslim, so what he cares about all the time is not only the ‘Go to the mosque’ talk. He is the type that always wants to showcase the value and beauty of the Islamic virtues and the funniest thing about him is that, he’s not a cleric, he only knows how to read the Quran and go to lectures.
He would force you to do good even if you don’t want to and he would say ‘Allah has blessed us in this Nigeria with good people, our problem is the governance’. As a little kid, I cared not about the govt. except when a riot occured and when strikes caused riots in our schools. To that, most kids were happy, but in our own house, whether you are in school or at home, you must read. The only free period we had was when dad was at work and unfortunately, it was always the same time we would be in the school.
It was a rainy day and was very heavy then in Lagos, I can’t really remember the year because it was an annual routine for rain to mess up the streets of Lagos. Those who live in areas like Amukoko, Orile, Badia, Ijora, Cele Ijesha might know better what I am talking about during rainy season. Rain was never stingy to us, if it poured on land, it would also visit our rooms. Is that not a good thing?
Maybe a bad thing for fathers and mothers. I don’t know what was making them sad, but as for we kids, we were always happy. Pouring the water out of our rooms was another source of joy, the only sad thing then was if your parents were too strict and won’t allow you play in the rain.
I spent my first twenty years like that before vacating to another part of the world where rain doesn’t fall. Now I think I understand a bit of what government purpose and business is about. For more than twenty years, the so called mega city has not gotten it right with Lagos drainages. I will like to be factual in this post and be more of a layman tongue than speaking of region and urban planning.
It sounds sick, if we are talking about 50 years of Lagos and not talking about this, about the most populated areas of Lagos. And this same message goes to the governors of other states too, in the North and the East.
Some will tell me, it is the job of the local government and I laugh. Well thank God for the time this rain is coming, on the very morning of LG (local govt) elections, the street of Idi Oro was a sea in mess.
I saw a video of a guy on YouTube threatening to make a scene if any voting centre is opened. He said, hell to APC, hell to PDP, hell to political parties. Well, the question is not the election day.
I also saw a video of a whole compound where everyone was pouring water from their rooms into the passage and from the passage to the small area which is their veranda. The question is, doesn’t rain fall in the other parts of the world? Or is it that the government are just not ready to do things right. You can check YouTube for more videos.
My headache is this; countries that are not near Nigeria when talking about infrastructure don’t have our problem and rain falls over there too. The villages in Nigeria don’t always have this issue, don’t tell me it is due to their geographical situation, no, it is not, we just don’t prepare for the rainy day literally.
I won’t accept the argument that a nylon of sachet water someone litters the floor of Lagos with will block or clog the drainage, if it does, you should have agents catering for that on weekly basis if not daily. Or what is the money you charge offenders with used for?
I am not saying we as citizens don’t have where we go wrong too, but for now let me call a spade a spade and come back to the Lagosians.
My father will say, go to Iya Gladis room to help her drain some water, I was always happy then, but now, I know the reason parents were sad and the reason why people are still mad. I am pro Buhari and that will make me continue this in the post.
I really love Lagos, I want to come back and live in Lagos, but now, I am having a second thought, not only me, but many in diaspora.
What we have in Lagos is rain, it is not a flood, so, let the media also stop presenting the mater as if it is a film to be shown, cry for the masses. Those are the people your media is actually for.
Out of love for the government and of care for my fellow Nigerians, this is an open letter to Governor Ambode.
If not because people were affected, I would have claimed to be happy as the rain disturbed the election. When Governor Fashola demolished houses, some of us were of the opinion that the issues of drainage would be tackled through that, but instead of the witch to have a rethink she never ceased giving birth to a girl. (Yoruba adage)
Heaven has been so merciful to us that we have such nice weather, but our leaders are Mayweather punching us in the face and seeing our wellbeing as secondary issues.
Rainy season is suppose to be the happiest moment of a farmer, but the reverse is the case in Lagos. Not for only farmers but the whole masses. A married friend told me, he fixed his marriage close to July so that he and the wife would enjoy each other in that cold season, but unfortunately their two bed room apartment is a swimming pool and instead of them to enjoy the moment, the wife is crying, worn out by draining and mopping the floor. They could have given birth to Governor you know. Lol.
I do ask myself, rain is somewhat heavier in the US than in Nigeria, they should be the one doing what we are doing not us. Don’t you think the meaning if megacity also entails not pouring water out of our houses. Don’t think I am talking for the poor alone, some 6 years ago, a GTB branch had the same experience, it was a funny scene though, seeing guys in tie decanting water out of the bank.
Do you know how many businesses had been caused to halt out of the unplanned and frivolous attitude of our government. Do you know how many sick people who can’t go to hospital, do you know how many marriage ceremonies that have to be postponed, do you know how many trusts have been betrayed. Please help plan for the rain and repress your dippy act of governance if you can’t refrain from it.
Don’t take the issue of rain as the only thing, rain can never be stopped, may we not be unfortunate; but we can do something about the streets. If areas like Lekki is now a small River Lekki, then we need not talk of areas of historical tendency. Not all nook and cranny of Lagos have this problem, i know, but those having it are parts of our beloved megacity.
People living in Okoko, Iyana Isasi, Jakande and Ajangbadi have to go to work by ferries and canoes because of this. They ride in fear, though funny, I don’t know why they are scared; but the fact that some are scared to ride on water is also a call for another alternative for them, the initial means of transportation is the answer. Ask them how much they make a day and ask them how much they spend on transport.
I need not tell you of the dilemma of those old women who hawk for their daily living, the idea of packing them out of the street is not it, rather get them a place of their status and not with gargantuan prices, you can call it hawkers complex and not mega complex, we don’t need the name. (Ati major mega ati minor mega, gbogboe ti wa daru bayi, ibikan ose lo.)
That’s not the error of rain, it is why we elect them. I don’t want to call it failure, because they are still working, but in that subject, their GP score them a CO.
It is not a crime for rain to fall, it is not the fault of anyone, not the government and not the masses. I am also not saying the government are doing nothing, what I am saying is they should do more to better the state of community.
The rain should be a mercy, all we need is be ready to receive the mercy, but if we are not ready, all we will see is a messed sea, and instead of laughing we will be blue in face.