Just two months ago, I was living in fear in Lagos. We had the Boko Haram causing havoc in the North, and the kidnappers having a field day in the South, especially in the South East. Lagos seemed calm on the surface, but deep inside, there was tension everywhere. The Boko Haram was bragging and boasting that they will soon hit Lagos, and other major towns in the South. The Governor of Lagos was assuring Lagosians that it will never happen. Down where I live in the outskirts of Lagos, there were signs that it could happen.
Every day, we saw groups of strange looking boys and men with nylon bags, roaming the streets, and sometimes, converging together at particular spots, waiting…
One day, a friend of mine and I saw some members of these group walking through our Estate. We stopped them to ask where they were coming from and where they were headed. Their spokesperson told us that they were day workers looking for job. We did not believe them, but we warned them to always go through the main gate if they were to come to the Estate, so that the security will search their bags before letting them through.
We have never seen so many strange people converging near our estate until that threat from Boko Haram, when we started taking notice of them. They have to be watched. They look and act like people waiting for some order to be given them. I believe that if they have been able to find someone willing to hide, support, and sponsor them in Lagos, they would have done the un-thinkable. They are still roaming, and I believe, studying the town. The group is also getting larger by the day. If the authorities go to the Isheri/Magodo major road any morning before eight o’clock, they will be there, a large group of strange looking people, acting strangely too.
The present administration of Lagos, and I mean that of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola has given me hope that Nigeria could still be savaged. Of all the governors in Nigeria, and all the Lagos governors before him, he is the only one who has governed and has something to show for his governorship. Rulership in Nigeria has always been winner takes all. It used to be that the winner took ten percent and left ninety percent for development. Today the winner takes ninety percent and leaves only ten percent for development.
No wonder we can hardly see much development, but not so in Lagos. It is clear that the winner is leaving something substantial for development in Lagos, because we can see the development. Well done governor! I hope that the one coming after you will build on the foundation that you have laid. The usual thing we know is that the new person tears everything down and uses that as a loophole to steal. The new person will be judged by your standards.