‘The problem with Lagos is the same with America. Too many immigrants, taking awa jobs.’
‘But those people from Cotonou and Chad, its mostly menial jobs they do now, so how are they taking the jobs?
‘I don’t mean them jo, Igbo people? Niger Delta people. And because of those Cotonou people awa rural boys no dey see work again because dem sabi work and they are cheap’
Nope, what you just read is not fiction – I give him points for knowing the difference between Igbos and Niger Deltans – It was a conversation between two adult males I was unfortunate enough to hear at the mall some months back. I have tried to forget it but it keeps coming back. I have heard this kind of nonsense talk in different ways from folks in Lagos. Sometimes they say it like a joke. ‘
‘No be una make house expensive for Lagos?’
‘Stay in your village there will be no traffic again.’
‘You people should go to your village.’
If you complain about anything in Lagos, like I do on this column weekly then come o let’s talk about it today because I am going to assume people saying these thing do not really know better.
Immigrant: a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.
So going by the definition, and since we are all tied together in this one Nigeria, people coming from other parts of the country to work in Lagos cannot be immigrants.
Now why are over 21 million people living in this Lagos?
Lagos was the capital of Nigeria, until 1991. It means everything happened in this place, the colonial government did and established things here, businesses open here first before spreading to other parts of the country. Why? Apapa port.
Please don’t tell me there is a port in Warri and Port Harcourt so that thunder will not fire you this morning. How does it even make sense that a full country, ‘giant’ of Africa has only one functioning port? You see those trailers that have been keeping us on the roads for hours? They will be here until this port issue is fixed.
Then there is oil. Argue all you want but Lagos, like Nigeria was built and sustained and is still being sustained with revenue from oil. Random fact: Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Bridge, aka Third Mainland Bridge aka 3MB was commissioned in 1990.
Do you see how these factors have made Lagos investor friendly so that apart from government jobs business opportunities are everywhere?
And how is it the fault of the Igbo man that the FG refused to develop the East? Pick a book and see how ‘Biafra’ (please this is not a validation of the nonsense Nnamdi Kanu is doing) was sustained during the short time it lived. Then meditate on why the FG did not jump and develop those infrastructure. Why is there no 2nd Niger Bridge? Why have they not dredged the River Niger? Before you tell me about Igbo governors and senators, take a deep breath and think about how minority and majority numbers work in our system of government.
Niger Delta. Even the most ignorant of you know what the Federal Government has done to the whole region. ‘Oh, our leaders are thieves, they are greedy, and why won’t they fight the FG for the cause of the people?’
*Blood bath in Odi, November 20th, 1999
*Ken Saro-Wiwa and co &
*countless other nameless destroyed communities.
I hear you say – ‘Ibori, Igbinedion, Alamieyeseigha are thieves.’
There’s a proverb Warri people are fond of, it goes like: ‘Na only who them catch na im be thief’
Let us leave it at that.
Besides, since it is better to commit crimes and the Federal Government will pay you, why not? I mean, what is amnesty that this country has spent billions of naira on and yet achieved so little for the whole Niger Delta region till date? The government asked oil companies to return their headquarters to the Niger Delta. How does it make sense that oil companies are running their businesses from Lagos?
‘Oh, the Niger Delta is violent?’ I wonder why, I also wonder who made the region so tumultuous in the first place.
I have said this before, Nigeria is like a leaking football, every time a hole bursts somewhere, instead of looking for a permanent solution, we take chewing gum and patch it. Until the next time.
I have run out of steam for this rant. You people only tout one Nigeria when it suits you, then you go about calling fellow Nigerians, immigrants. Nigeria as it is, presently, cannot work for a long time. We will not grow, not develop. Until then, this jaga jaga country is for all of us, people will keep moving to Lagos as long as opportunities are here and you will deal!
P.S You will find it interesting that the people who keep saying this ‘immigrant’ thing in whatever form are also not originally from Lagos, they are from other Yoruba states, but they want to call a non-Yoruba person whose ancestors moved to Lagos as late as 1914, an immigrant. The same people also want to go to America, stay 10 years and claim citizen. Oniranu.
P.S.S: This comparison between Lagos and America, even Trump’s America is overreaching.
Sit your black asses down!