The Stakeholders In Lagos State

By: Yahya Oluwaseun

Phone is ringing, family is calling, if it is not billing, there’s high probability that something has occurred, which has possible lead to expenses that required your attention in monetary aspect. Extracted from the song of Victor Ad, title ‘Wetin we gain

Got you surprised? That was one of the prime song then, mostly in the mouth of lagosians, which serves as an inspiration and also a motivational factor about taking hustling hard to become a successful man, responsible person to the hood you are representing.

Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (Deputy Governor, Lagos State), once said if Lagos State is working, Nigeria is working, if Lagos State is moving Nigeria is equally moving, because Lagos State is the pace setter which Nigeria look upon.

Lagos State

Welcome to Lagos State, the State where her monthly IGR is over N30bn, despite having one of the highest population in the country, Lagos State is still flourishing in growth and development, it is incomparable, because Lagos is Lagos.

The Center of Excellence, the State where all other States looks unto, the State where her Internal Generated Revenue is sufficient enough to finance up to two other States, a well endowed State, blessed with numerous Private Sectors that is boosting her economy value amongst her contemporaries.

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Welcome to Lagos State where Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) checked driver’s license and asked for the particulars of your car, instead of controlling the traffic and ensuring there’s smooth ride for commuters, welcome to Lagos, where rule of law is very essential and paramount, asked those Soldiers that were caught by the then Lagos State Governor Raji Fashola, that was driving through the BRT lane, the discipline melted on them for disobeying the Law of the Lagos.

Take a trip to Ojuelegba-Shitta, the small city where bigger things happen, the city that produce the phenomenal Nigeria International hip hop star, Adedayo Balogun (Wizkid), ever since he rise to stardom, Wizkid has become an instrumental for the rapid growth and development of Surulere, and through him, some Youths in the city have equally become great in their respective endeavors.

The Youth in Surulere are known with their intellectual prowess and acuity, which has placed them above the Youth in other Local Government, most importantly, some of the renown State-Men in Lagos State would surely have a traced down to Surulere.

Shitta roundabout where pizza and burger are put on for consumption in the midst of the political thuggery, annexed to Small London Hood in Shitta where eyes are always on red, where tongue of the mouth always brings out green color and lips like charcoal for preparing Suya or Asun.

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A spiritual healing ganghood that took merriment and jollification more serious than life itself, players in the playing field waiting to lit up with saint simi ganja to cool off the weather and the body temperature.

Arguably, Lagos State is one among the state in the country that have a sound sustainable economic and political stability due to her leadership from inception and the huge boost from her internal revenue extracting from the business tycoons and organization, no doubt, she has continue to be developing using this pathway to flourish and has equally turned to be a leading figure for all states.

It is more like Lagos State have a blueprint on what to do for years to come, as Governor’s that have come to power always perform greatly, from the time of Abdulrasak Raji, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Raji Fashola, down to Akinwunmi Ambode, but this present adminstration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu would be remember for the legacy of his tactful approach in managing this deadly Coronavirus, and greatest advertisement during his campaign period, where Lagos State was defaced with all his posters, banner’s and jinggles, yet, it has become a mirage in itself.

However, one cannot but pick out some street that have been turning out to be the pained in the neck for government of the past and present due to the different type of wrong act and behavior that do occur in those Street.

Picking up Mushin, Oshodi and Lagos Island as the subject of discussion. Areas like Surulere, Lekki, Ajah, Ikorodu, Ikotun, Iyana-Ipaja, Egbeda, Ikeja, etc, are home boy’s before men. It is called separating Men from Boys, apologies to the Commander’s in these Hood.

Recently, I was privileged to be around Lagos Island underbridge in Lagos State where some group of men were engaging in an intellectual discourse about the concept of ‘National Interest, Security and Rule Of Law’ to which is Supreme between the two concept

The topic was extracted from the statement uttered by Mr President then, at the Annual Conference of the Nigeria Bar Association, which President Buhari was part of the invited guest and he said in the situation of the National Interest and Security is Supreme over the Rule Of Law.

Some NBA members frowned totally against the statement and it was said that, which of the two concept supersedes or override each other?

The topic was so interesting, with those discussants sighting copious examples to finetune their put forward argument, surprisingly, passer by at that moment had to stop and gave their own contribution and positioned on the said statement.

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As an ardent believer in the rule of law and Democratic ethos of the country in which the rule of law is been built on, I argued it out intellectually with copious examples in support of the law of the land

But then, looking at it in to-to, the statement is somehow complicated and it calls for sincere reflection before making a stand, so as not to make the wrongs the right.

Lagos Island is always a busy environment where different types of activities occur, business man and woman mostly ply their trade in this area, an individual coming to Lagos for the first time can hardly figure out the route because of it conner piece that have interconnection withing each street.

At then, the most celebrated culture that usually attracted the whites and the tourist down to Lagos State, the culture that have gained so much attention globally and it has been the pathway of what makes Lagos State to be where it is today, am referring to Eyo Festival, such as, Eyo Adimu, Ologede, etc.

Therein, Lagos Island is known with a Mafian Maestro, a Kwara Poly graduate that have been consolidating, and making waves in the street of lagos island, that name always ring the bell into the ear of all in that hood, popularly known as Kunle-Poly and Mustapha Sego, the Men that Men fear. It was equally learnt that they both got involved in the fight that occurred at the campaign ground of APC at Acme, during the declaration of candidature of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Governor of Lagos State.

Many atrocious, extreme criminalities, Injustice of the highest order and cruel act have attributed to these Men, but they still live and walk freely on the Street of Lagos, because our Law is not make for them, wrong assertion, but it is the reality.

Spherically, Oshodi is another area that always got me in awe, the rate in which working people works in that area, leaves me with shock, residents are full of sharpness and even the believe small boy can sell you out without you knowing their aim and intention

It was a feeling of fear and reverence on that fateful day, when coming back from a three days program at Akure, on getting down to Lagos State, around 2:am in the midnight, I was worried on how to get down to my destination, little did I know the song in Oshodi have taken another centre stage.

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I was totally amazed seeing group of people walking around and still going about their normal business, to be factual, without any form of exaggeration, i saw some group of people that was just bringing out their goods and shelfing them for selling, I was flustered and went into soliloquize.

Then, I asked my friend that we were together; why are these Lagosians still stay woke till this hour of the day? And he honestly replied me that, no sleeping in Lagos State, if you are to be among the money spenders and being regarded as man of the moment

That’s the spiritual healing in the state, boys are always on the go, moving with long legs, crooner to be regarded as prime time of the moment.

Oh! The planet mega projects that has given the area another beautiful look at night, more like a Manchester City in Lagos, it is a remarkable project in town that can be described as magnification with magnifying of unequivocally magnificent by Akinwunmi Ambode, the then Lagos State Governor

At then, there’s always a king of the street, the stabilizer of road and decider of money collector from the transporter and even all the truck, coming or passing through this route must pay their dues before giving road pass, the Gaozul of Oshodi, the Ilufemiloye 1, the State Chairman of NURTW in Lagos State, Alhaji Musiliu (Mc Olu-omo).

Apparently, this man have been ensuring there’s peace and tranquility in that hood, no wonder, the redefinition of human consciousness towards National Union of Road have taken a good centre stage before the eyes of the Government, and it has been said that, seeing is believing, take a walk down to Berger and Oshodi at night and see the transformation beyond recognition.

Truly, Nigeria is not a cursed country, we only have some cursed Leaders, who always derived joy in the hardship of their people.

How about that hood that serves as a heavy giants to all city in the state, the ring leader, the playmaker of football, the hood that scares virtually all the security personnel in the country, the city that brings fright to her occupants, name any trigger puller or the finger operated lever that doesn’t have his origin traced to that hood, tagged as Anaconda of Lagos, better still, ‘Mushin Ajina‘ as fondly referred to and known with.

This hood virtually gave birth to the earth disturbance of today, Mushin is been known with one street that all young boys and girls of the residents cannot do without going there in a day, ‘Ojo or Akala‘ street.

It should be relate to all that this street is more like the Fela Anikulapo Kuti Shrine, only few would understand that irony, the street where destiny are being rewrite into another form, the street where monk live, monk that can swallow an individual alive, monk with buddhist apeanrance, who engaged in illegal business, that have turned them into legality, men with an extreme mental exhaustion with information worker, men who sells latest phone and jewellery in town at a cheaper price, without them buying from the owner, neither are they having a shop to display goods, but communicate through sign when buyers comes around, which is called, street vibes owner.

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The bitter truth of this is that, I had my basic Education from this hood, I could remember vividly, how we usually run for our dear lives from one class room to the other when the street fight occurred, fighting in taking over of park, battle for supremacy and domination of street champion, eyes have seen, yet, we make our way out, without getting Influenced by peer group, thou, focused shaken, but parental factors gives us the stand of today.

The mind boggling about this street is the aspect of these men referred as comptroller general of Mushin, men like Toba, Adigun the hit maker, No Case, Olori Esho, Ilesanmi, above all, the shelter of them, the Baba of all boy’s, Alhaji Taoreed Faronbi, fondly and known as ‘Baba Alado‘.

Baba Alado, a man like a foundation and pillar to all politicians in this geographical axis. Also, the politicians who valued his political career always abide by his stand, the developer of houses, engineer and landlord at all time always bring forth their homage and reverence in kind, just like paying of gratitude to the King.

Some are even called the One million boy’s, and Ónyabó boy’s, regardless, all these boy’s are under the watch of Alhaji Alado.

In this context, late Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe have this to say “how will you convince the upcoming generation that education is the key to success, when we are surrounded by poor graduate’s and rich criminals”.

Some of us have laboured to become successful in this life, by passing through the basic principles of life, which is education, vocational studies, among others, but now, it’s seems, it is only by the grace of Almighty God positive intervention will happen in our lives. Where the Government have choose to celebrate criminalities, kidnapper’s, Boko Haram, while leaving the common man that struggle to earn a living to continue to be wallowing in abject poverty.

The Government should start looking inwardly on how to further create employment opportunities, people with skills in their various ways need to be given job, or recommendation to some private sectors that needed such services, not the one of man know man operation, free and equal opportunity for all to participate, and merit should be considered, without any affiliation or connection with any personalities before given the job.

However, without mincing words, am not writing this piece as a way to celebrate or honor these men in their doings, neither am i their aide in publicity, somebody like me just derive joy in writing to inform and communicate with best of knowledge to the people, perhaps, spread the gospel of our environment and educate through the line of journalism.

A razor blade is sharp but cannot cut down a tree, an axe is strong but can’t cut the hair, we all are important in our own unique ways, so, kindly don’t look down on anyone, unless you are admiring their cover shoes, because humility is the ability to give away your pride and still retain your dignity.

Yahya Oluwaseun
A writer, public affairs analyst, and an advocate of youth in governance.

He can be reached via:
[email protected]
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