Lagos: A country in Nigeria10:27 13/12/2012 What does the Chairman of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, want for Lagosians? These days, his actions make me think that he doesn't want many people in his domain.
Lagos as it is known, is that heart of commercialisation; every damn business that you can think of can be found here. It is a hustle state.
Many migrate from the thickest of all villages down here for greener pastures, which is ironic though, because the grass ain't that greener here but either ways, they just prefer Lagos.
As a kid that didn't grow up in Lagos, I heard stories of this populous city and imagined all sort of things. But on getting here, it's been over 12 years now and honestly, life here is on the fast lane (high BP levels).
I've been to states like Owerri, Osun and I'd say that living there is worth every penny, as there are many unexploited opportunities. But no one cares mehn, Lagos is the way forward.
Having said so much, it seems the state government has seen the desperate heart of Lagos loving Nigerians and has decided to give people that second thought on why they migrate to the hustle state.
I might not know the "real" motive behind the registration and issuing of identity cards to Lagos inhabitants, which is to commence in 2013, but according to a report, it is aimed at "providing better governance and to control the influx of ILLEGAL CITIZENS".
Illegal citizens? When did citizens of a country become illegal citizens of another state within the same country? Or is the state government trying to pass a coded message (go back to your villages)?
I accept that keeping track of the inhabitants of a state is a wonderful idea, as every advanced country does that. But is that what my dear state government should be worried about at this point in time? Have they finished providing for my basic needs (employment, light, security of life and property, shelter etc.)
Last year, the state government restricted the operation of commercial bikers from 8pm and that was backed up with the excuse that robbery cases have been facilitated by them. To me, it was a reasonable decision.
Just weeks ago, another law to totally ban these riders from major roads was implemented with no justification except for the clichéd robbery cases.
To what should I owe this law? Since its implementation, life in the state which has not been so easy, got worse. I mean, going out on a normal day without your own car, has gotten to the level of "fatigue" (the military meaning). Some okada riders who can't afford to secure any other jobs, have been rendered jobless.
I would like to remind the state government that Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution states that, “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof…”.
From the aforementioned section of the constitution, it is clear that okada riders and citizens are at freedom to move throughout a state/country. So it can be said that the ban is an infringement of rights.
Besides the ban on bikers and the soon to be introduced registration of citizens, Lagos has got more uniform men than Tolu Complex at Ajegunle. It's like almost every offence you can think of has its own uniform men. LASTMA, VIO, Road Safety, KAI, LAWMA (yeah, they've got their own fair share of uniform power), the Men In Black (Police) etc. Are some of the uniform men operating in the hustle state. I even heard there are now anti one-way agents. O_o
Well, there's nothing wrong with having too many security agents in a state, but the question is, how effective are they?
I know my dear governor wants the best for us but I would like him to calm down. He should look on the bright side of having lots of people in his state. Below are few of the numerous benefits:
- a hotspot for any business activity
- an investment haven for companies
- more people to pay tax, therefore generating more income, and many more...
Also, when the federal government is allocating money every month, he'll get a bigger share, which we all know that not all the cash will be spent on the state ;). So why complain of immigrants? Just saying :)