Lately living in Lagos feels like walking on the wrong side of an escalator.
We’re just struggling against a set of machinery, going the opposite direction; but not moving because the equipment is wrong. Some days, I just wonder whether we are the only ones seeing it. Are the one per cent of the one per cent; according to that Biodun Stephen movie, seeing the mess?
Probably not because what is that statement Mr Governor made recently about all the robberies on Eko Bridge?
How do you ask the Oga Patapata of Ilu Eko about a solution to the constant traffic robberies and he says wind up your windscreen? Ha! Mr Governor, no! Your solution to us staying safe while on the road cannot be that we should lock up tight in our vehicles.
This windscreen you’re asking us to put up as our protection is not solid rock. One dedicated tap with a blunt object will remove it and the thieves are in. So, why this advice?
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Usually, when our political leaders make insensitive statements like this, we ignore them and move on. We are used to looking out for ourselves. But unless we all become mobile vigilante agents, what are we going to do? Traffic robberies in Lagos are not a joke.
I saw a video this week on social media where a man was lamenting about how one lady got robbed in Eko Bridge traffic. The thieves smashed her windscreen of protection to carry out their mission. What was crazy about the incident for me was how a shocked, traumatised woman couldn’t even afford the chance to react because the traffic jam was tight.
She just kept it moving as slowly as possible; with no time to park and cry, no space to attempt to chase the thieves down. She kept moving.
How about other people on the road? I imagine their panic. They’ll think the robbers will take them in turns and nothing will happen. Whether your windscreen is up or down, you’re not safe. This is why Mr Governor needs to do better than just making some type of statements.
At the end of the day, we can’t hide at home every day because Lagos is unsafe. We have a living to make. So, when you go out, deploy the outdoor safety protocol. Keep all valuables in a safe place and if possible, swap them with what you can let go of. Don’t use your phone carelessly while you’re in transit, especially inside Danfo. Pay attention to your environment, just in case you need to flee.
It always boils down to looking out for ourselves. Maybe one day things will change but for now, hold your side in this Lagos.
It will be well.