I shall begin this piece by saying that unlike most of the loudmouths who ascribe every good thing in Lagos State to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), I am actually a Lagosian. I have observed that for years now, it has been the lot of Lagos to be ruled and pontificated on by people from distant lands, and that in itself would not be a problem if they did not hold the indigenes of the state in such utter contempt. I haven’t the slightest interest in Tinubu or his campaign, and will be joining issues with no one. I am however disgusted by the blatant falsehood being unleashed on the media space. You see, I don’t even know the next sentence to write because when you are dealing with lunatics, you have to calm your temper. Which Lagos was singlehandedly built by Tinubu? Is it the same Eko Federal?
Poor Lagos! Your history is daily written by outsiders! Well, if Tinubu turned Lagos from a jungle into a megacity, then my home town, Ikorodu, was not part of that scheme and, so far as I can tell, neither was Epe. I attended Anglican Primary School, Ikorodu and Yewa Grammar School, Ikorodu and people who have never heard of these names are my new teachers about the state where my father lies in Igbo Oluwo, resting from his labours! Itunmoja, Itunwaye, Aga, Ijomu, etc, have never been turned from a jungle into anything. It’s only just now that I’m learning that the Lagos that my townsman, Gbolahan Mudasiru, governed was a jungle. Ah, Mudasiru. I remember Ikorodu people repeatedly asking: “Ka ma f’asupe se ra?” (What shall we do with a whip?) when Mike Akhigbe was appointed to succeed Mudashiru. You see, asupe in Ikorodu tongue means the whip most Yoruba call ore or atori.
The people had been very comfortable with one of their own, who launched the Lagos State Water Corporation, and who had continued the great work started by Lateef Jakande, in my view the best ever Lagos State governor to date (closely trailed by Agent Fash), modernizing the schools built by the latter, etc, etc. I am a young man, but I remember Raji Rasaki addressing market women in excellent Yoruba. I recall Olagunsoye Oyinlola (who I once watched on TV, telling soldiers to arrest women dressing indecently, saying: “Bring them to me!”. I remember also his Operation Sweep). And I remember Buba Marwa and his Operation 250 Roads or something of that kind. I remember Area Boys working on Ikorodu Road. Somehow, I am supposed to think, because I am unfortunate to be in Nigeria in 2022 when politicians are telling provocatively insane and insanely provocative lies, that all of these men governed a jungle and it was one fella from Iragbiji who civilised us!!! Eedi re o, ogun esu ni! Is this how poorly these charlatans think of us?
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To think that a supposed resident of Lagos could ask what the military boys, especially Marwa, did in Lagos! Marwa that the people loved to bits! Perhaps Lagos was actually discovered in 1999 when Tinubu became governor! Ah, I am actually laughing now and I bet you are, too! You see, you don’t have to allow these politicians who tell lies with professional proficiency to get at you! As a governor, Tinubu ranks below Babatunde Fashola, but we are in 2022 and the season of atrocious lies. My people, are we not a funny lot, seeking to obliterate Jakande (of all people!) from the state he governed so well and did not put in his pocket, living in a modest house among his people? Ah, I’ve just remembered one of the Jungle Governors, Otedola, the man who loved white agbadas. Speaking in Obun Ale, Ikorodu, sometime in 1992– I recall he came in a Coaster bus–he regaled his audience with how his name had proved prophetic in his ascendancy to the office of Lagos governor. Do you recall the wahala between Femi Agbalajobi and Dapo Sarumi? That was of course before Tinubu brought civilization and returned the Area Boys that Marwa had taken off the streets back to the streets. Tinubu’s men talk as if we were all born in the year 1999, the year that Lagos became the property of one man.
Otedola again, for a moment. I recall him saying that “Lagos is the dirtiest city in the world.” So, Tinubu’s men are kinda believable when they say Lagos was dirty when he came in. But it seemed to have remained dirty until Fashola came and cleared up Osodi and other areas, and floated the BRT lane. Ah, Agent Fash, confined to the dustbin because his demonstrably less gifted boss wants to be president! If we aren’t careful Fashola, like Jakande, is going to be obliterated from the books very soon!
But in case it’s my memory doing me one kind and we were actually savages when Tinubu breezed into Alausa in 1999, isn’t it time he left us alone and allowed us to take charge of our own affairs? Isn’t it time Lagos streets were ruled by decent people, not murderous agberos? Isn’t it time Lagos tried another idea, as it was before 1999? Isn’t it time Eko fe to (Lagos wants to pee) loosened his stranglehold on a long-suffering populace? Thank you for civilising us, but now can we at least for once begin to make our own choices? Can we return to the days when Lagos wasn’t the property of any lone individual? For how long can Lagos be held down by a single individual? Is it that no one except Tinubu has sense in Lagos? And what do our elders call the person who thinks himself to be the only wise person in the world? The father of monkeys (fools).
Which Nigerian state is the property of one man??? Do not our elders say that it is with joint fingers that one beats one’s chest and that it is a whole bunch of brooms that kills flies? Can Nigeria ever progress under politicians with a messiahnic complex? And conceptually speaking, if Tinubu singlehandedly built Lagos, a state, is that any guarantee that he can singlehandedly build Nigeria, a country? If Nigeria chooses to be unfortunate, well, it is its head that sourced suffering for it.