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The Truth About Lagos Is Bitter

By Farouk Martins Aresa 
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Lagos has no business sharing the state of Poverty in Nigeria. The individual entrepreneurship spirit in that little island carried what became Nigeria for some centuries. The people of Lagos were not only Oloko shipbuilders and traders, they were professionals: architects, teachers, doctors, lawyers, iron workers, carpenters, Agbonmagbe Bankers and of course "London Tailors" etc. Their buildings, various professions under Petesi, Water Works, Aso Martin, Omo Alaran and more remain in Lagos to speak for themselves.

Therefore, lamentations on social media by Abisoye Oshodi need no introduction. No matter how crude or offensive some might find them, these lamentations struck a cord of conscience in Lagos. Not only among Youths but within the older generation that know the history of Lagos inside out. Lagosians including the poor enjoy the simple civilized way life has to offer, not known for materialism. Saro say na poor I poor, no be craze I craze. You may not agree with everything Abisoye says but the truth is bitter: Otito koro.

Some of the favorite sons and daughters have come out to absolve themselves, their loved ones or even denied Bisoye's take on the issues he passionately espoused. You see, it is not enough to deny his assertions, you have to disprove the consequences of your actions as Enablers of the decadence perpetrated in Lagos and where we have found ourselves within Nigeria today. A country that went from the richest in Africa compared to Asia, South America and some countries in Europe before Oil Income, went to the poorest in blazes.

Blame Amoda Yekini Ogunlere from Iragbiji all you want, Enablers crowned him as gubernatorial candidate over Funso Williams principally by Pa Dawodu because Funso was not a member of NADECO. Inadvertently, Wahab Dosumu, Yomi Finnih, Obanikoro and Funso fought one another to disqualification thinking Yekini was the least of their problems. He would fade away since he is not a Lagosian. So they left him alone and dealt recklessly with one another. The rest is history.

Yekini Amoda Ogunlere then waggled his way around Lagosians, obsequiously prostrating and rewarding sons and daughters of the soil with contacts. As he gained trust and influence in Lagos circles, he started appointing makers and shakers of Lagos including his successors as one term Governors, Senators; then the House Representatives, Oba, City Council Chairmen. It was no surprise that he later appointed his wife and children as he wanted. What is surprising is that no one, so far, has been paid well enough or sponsored to declare Bisoye an illegitimate son.

Bisoye Oshodi's point is that Yekini has too many Enablers within Lagos including our close relatives we respect too much to confront. It has got to the point where the suffering of Youths in Nigeria generally and Lagos in particular, can no longer be upheld leading to the eruption of #ENDSARS. These are just the symptoms, the problems of Nigeria have infected Lagos and we are dying helplessly under the yoke of not only the oppressors but sadly with the help of their Enablers within us. Seriously, how many places the size of Lagos can absorb thousands of people everyday without overwhelming the same old infrastructure locals depend on for years after Jakande?

There is a point in life when you want to leave the world a better place than you met it. The prayers of our parents when we were growing up was that their children's generation would do better than them: E to wa, e juwalo. We cannot say that in Africa, Nigeria or Lagos today. These greedy older traitors want to die leaving the Herculean stables they created while they ship or fly their children overseas. Little did they realize it is not about their children or whether they wasted fare money into the air or sea. It is about the generation of all children.

How much money is enough to sell the rich heritage of Lagos? E nfi Owo Abu se Abu lalejo. The money they laundered overseas like most African looters, produced little returns in their children that do not speak our language, shun their culture and deny their very selves or in self-denial out of the inferiority complex of both parents and children. The loss in dividends is the impoverished state we find ourselves.

It is a trend in the Country. One Nigerian politician claimed he made his money from McDonald's franchise in America but one of his cars can buy 10 McDonald's in the USA. Evidence was produced that another made money from drugs as others that defrauded money from clients were training wheels precursors for looting in Nigeria. These American and European trained crooks inspired home grown 419, drug peddlers and ritualists of body parts traders to waiting overseas clients.

When former President Obasanjo withheld Lagos' Allocation, the State survived without. It demonstrated the enormous amount of Internal Generated Revenue as Lagos sends more money to the Federal Government than the State gets in return as allocations. When OBJ finally released the money, we knew whose pocket the money went! None of these blatant greed and avarice could have taken place without Enablers!

Never in the history of Lagos had it been captured. Even the British with all their Army, lost to Tijani Oluwa at the British highest Court, see here. ( https://nigerialii.org/ng/judgment/supreme-court/1921/1 ) A precedent dictating the land owners, not only in Lagos but in the whole of Africa. Those fairy tales about who owns Lagos are for the birds, we know ourselves and who owns Lagos and can never be disputed. The problems right now are the Enablers. They have to be exposed, brought into light to account for where Ogunlere got the money and influence to buy so much of Lagos.

Lagos: Ilu Ogbon, Gedegbe L'Eko Wa: has ever been so taken for a ride by those who think they are so powerful and mighty. Fairy tales and wishful thinking have never shaken Lagos community this much. Yoruba are proud of one another and the bond between us can never be broken but we do not take one another for granted. It has led to unpleasant consequences in the past: A ki bani tan, ka fani nitan ya! Haba!

It is insulting in this day and age to claim that Awori children, the owner of Lagos are not well lettered to assume the affairs of their State. Indeed, that was the cliché about Lagosians in general at one point to deny them their rightful place in Nigeria. Before Nigeria had professionals, Lagos boasted a great deal of them indigenously and as returning freed slaves. Their skills, swagger and talents were the emulated attraction to Lagos. Those who came to Lagos to learn, trade and got rich have hijacked the steering wheel to drive the Lagos grace they had benefited from into the Rock of oblivion. Our parents taught us that if strangers entered Lagos at dawn, before dusk, he would be fed, clothed and given a place to sleep.

There has to be a fault line in the wall for a lizard to squeeze in: ti okiri koba lanu le, alangba kole wo! Enablers of those that refused to develop our communities inside Lagos so that they can declare it a slum for Nigga Renewal to the highest bidders must fail. They are using our money on our land to reclaim water while our land is overtaken by rain. How many Africans or Lagosians can afford to buy houses at Eko Atlantic after being displaced on precious land for Urban Renewal as if we are Blacks in America. Lagosians shine your eyes well well O!

Disclosure: Omo Aresa Omo Ojora.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Farouk Martins Aresa  and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."