Monday, July 6, 2009

The changing face of Lagos

For many of us who have seen Lagos when it was “Lagos” would not have believed that Yaba could ever look like oxford circle in the UK or Oshodi like Paris. I got hold of this video. It was a documentary conducted by CNN (Inside Africa) of some of the developmental plans by the Executive Governor of Lagos State (Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN). I believe it’s worth watching as it also gives hope to those of us who believe and are involved in the development of our dear country.

To zones (Agege et al) that have not fully felt the effect of the F-Factor (Fashola factor), I ask that you be patient…very soon you will testify. Let us keep speaking and breathing change. Then it will materialize.



I was out with my dad and our destination was a little village called Isoto somewhere inside Iyana Ipaja. I hope you’re not surprised that there are still villages in Lagos. Those villages earnestly await the fashola factor (F-Factor). We spent a couple of hours there and decided to head back home…but we were to make one stop at Ikeja to pick some supplies. It was there at Ikeja while I was waiting in the vehicle for my dad to return from His purchasing that this story of change began.

Up until this point I haven’t particularly enjoyed the journey, as I was hungry and had my mind on other things but what my eyes saw withdrew me from every other things the present situation. As we (I and my Dad’s driver) sat there in the vehicle we observed two women who apparently were roadside traders, deeply engrossed in a discussion and also treated themselves to bananas. And then it happened, one of them peeled out a banana and threw the pill right onto the middle of the road. To make thing worse, she did it as if she had just tossed it into a bin. I looked with disdain not knowing that the worse were yet to come. Before I could even pass a comment to the driver who was also staring with disbelief, she threw a second peel and then a third peel…..

There, it once again dawned on me that our problem isn’t just bad leadership but it’s bad followership as the follower today will be the leader tomorrow. It just reminds me of where we used to live (Bariga). The locals always made incessant complaints to the local government about a Canal that overflows especially when it rains. Luckily enough, the local government chairman came to inspect the canal on a day it rained and here is what he saw… as the heavy rains poured, the” complainers” who lived on the bank o the canal trooped out and began to dispose their refuse into the flowing canal… bad social character.

Well back to our initial story, having taken enough of this I felt a strong urge to approach her and “educate” her… but I had this restraint. You know that feeling we always have; a feeling that says “what’s your own business? At that, it further dawned on me that it really is my business, what was happening was completely against the vision of Nigeria I have…I had to make the dream a reality. As if we were thinking on the same page, the driver also decided to make a move, we drove forward to the woman and spoke to her. After it all, all she had to say, “sorry oh” then she ordered her son (I think so) to go pick up the peels. I thank God though that she did what was right eventually (maybe because the plate number of our vehicle was Federal Government). The following are what I consider to be valuable lessons from my experience:

What you don’t condemn is what you encourage

Your refusal to stand up for what is just when an unjust act happens in your presence is as good as you been a party to the u just act. Always take the side of what is right. Speak up, because it concerns you.

Take action! Make your dreams become a reality.

What I saw was an act in contrast to my dream. Right there, I had to make the situation conform to what I was seeing, I HAD TO TAKE ACTION! A good number of us have dreams, we must however realize that the world will not celebrate those who have dreams but rather those who take action and produce results. The next thing you must do after you dream is to wake up! Waking up is an action that requires conscious involvement and it provides a platform for the fulfilment of that dreams.

We must stand for the change we desire against all odds, it must diffuse into our actions. Our dreams of the Nigeria we see and believe must build our value systems and also of those around us. We need to bear in mind that even though the event may seem small, inconsequential and irrelevant (just as my experience above), its impact is invaluable especially to the parties involved. Never fail to cease the moment