Lagos! A Place of Restlessness – Bukunmi Adelani

LAGOS is unarguably the commercial nerve center of Nigeria. The only city in thecountry with a native name (Eko) and yet an English name (Lagos). Although, there are some arguments as to the accuracy of her population figure; while the Federal Government (National Populations Commission) seem to have her figures, the State Government has hers, while the teaming populace also has a vague idea of what the accurate figure is.
However, they all seem to agree it’s nothing less than 15million.
So for the purpose of this article, we will be using the populace’s figure.With that great number of people living in the city, everything, almost including the oxygen we breathe is scarce and must be “struggled” for. This article is channelled towards the enlightenment of those who seek to know more about “LAGOS” as a city and as regards Her lifestyle.
When visiting the city for the first time, the surrounding events around you will confirm to you within an hour that you’re in the centre of Excellence. Although people from Abuja, Port-Harcourt, and even our neighbouring cities and towns like Ibadan, Abeokuta and Osogbo can’t seem to understand how the system runs and how a human being can survive living with such ideology like ours. But I can promise you that you will need to live with us for about 2 to 3 months to behave and look like us (choices are inevitable in this regards).
Let me give you a little introduction about the city. First, you must understand that living in this city means you must loose your respect for steadiness and orderliness. This is because we do everything “in a hurry”. We put it this way; “let me quickly eat”, “let me quickly take my bathe”, “let me quickly sleep” and even pray, “We quickly do” that too. I know you’ve probably heard about how we rush for taxies and buses but you might not be aware we also rush to alight off those buses at our stops; even when nobody is chasing us.
On driving, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been driving in your sane city or town before coming into our city because now that you’re here, you must learn our own style of driving. You need to know how never to allow another car join your lane when in traffic; because an average Lagosian is not sure if the road will still remain there after granting you passage. Even when only one car is allowed on either side of the road for contingency reasons, your driving isn’t great if you can’t make the lane 2 or 3now that you’re in Lagos. After all, you’re rushing. And when at a cross-road, we never loose the eagerness to go first; even when that slows down the traffic, we still won’t. Remember I told you, we’re not sure if the road will still be there… everything is scarce here.
Also, when at a bus stop, in an organisation or anywhere and you see other people trying to get or do same things as yourself; please be prepared to push or be pushed. Our women, young or old are not to be underrated in the struggle to get a place and please don’t be deceived by their gorgeous dresses. They are prepared to rush and push because we don’t see any reason for queuing in this city. It doesn’t matter if “first come is first served”, who gets there first doesn’t matters; who can struggle most is the norm.
Please don’t think we are godless or don’t love the Lord because we can not stay in any place of worship like people in other cities and towns. The challenge is that we can’t stay in a place that long. We have places we must “rush to” and staying at the worship centres for hours will be waste of a very scarce time.
Many still wonder why even with all these “smartness” a good number of people in this city still live in poverty and the seemingly rich ones, with time, pay with their valuables like health, families, Jobs and even their accrued wealth. They lack the ability to plan and take control of their lives since they are lost in the process of struggling to make more at the expense of these valuables. They wonder for us how long we would be able to maintain this life style since they know we’re now one of the most unhealthy cities in the world and how our life expectancy rate is reducing by the day. Well, we really don’t care; I told you we rush everything here, maybe our life-span inclusive.
Bukunmi PREACHER Adelani
Twitter : @bukunmipreacher

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