I’m currently working with a firm on the mainland, and as I went home today, I experienced a sight that would probably be quickly forgotten by many, but which left me a sense that something is really wrong with the way we handle problems generally in our dear country, and that we obviously do not have our priorities in order!
As soon as I got on 3rd mainland bridge, I encountered traffic, which came as no surprise, as a matter of fact, I had my fifty naira, ready to call on the nearest hawker to buy mentos, however, all I saw were hawkers selling water, shortbread, ground nuts and what not, and none of the dudes that sell ‘p.k’ n other sweets(I have a veery sweet tooth! :D. While still keeping an eye out for my beloved mentos, I heard one of the street hawkers shout something unclear and all the others started running in a haphzard fashion across the road, not even checking for oncoming vehicles! A couple of them even dropped their wares in their rush to flee, and you could see so much gala on the bridge!
Apparently, I was not to see the last of them, as they came back still moving in that haphzard fashion across the bridge, but most of them without their wares this time. Apparently, the LASTMA officials were on around, hence the excitement!
However, to my surprise, the hawkers came back out(still running around the bridge) with an assortment of ‘weapons’! They had stones, bricks, wooden planks and metal bars! And they were headed purposefully forward in the direction the LASTMA officials were said to be! Soon enough, they started throwing a couple of bricks towards them which was obviously to deter them from coming to harass them.
As my car moved away from the ‘armed’ hawkers i saw that not only were there LASTMA officials up front, there were also a couple of soldiers armed with guns! And they were heading in the direction of the hawkers! Alarmed, I looked back to realize, with relief, that the hawkers were also quietly but rapidly retreating. I have no doubt that if the hawkers had not retreated, those soldiers would have fired ‘warning’ shots at them!
And this leads me to wonder, are we really reduced to hunting other humans with guns in broad daylight because they dared to sell their wares on the bridge?
Do we really need such drastic measures?
Yes, I understand the need for a new lagos and uncluttered streets/roads is not a bad place to tackle it from , yes, I’m all for it, but at what expense?
Why build pretty flowers and have uncluttered roads, but what does it mean, what good does is do if the people are still hungry?? I’m sure the people would prefer an unfresh lagos with food on the table, than a fresh lagos that with starving people!
I’m not against the beautification et al, but you when displace people from the place where they earn their living, you must be prepared to provide an alternative, otherwise, your actions would simply create another set of problems in another area that you would have to tackle in due course! So whoever is in charge of clearing the streets, please make sure that yhuu have an alternative place or manner for them for them to earn a living, because they have to survive, along with their dependents. Because as for me, I would prefer to have of people on the roads making some money for themselves to live on, rather than a, spotless bridge knowing full well that a whole lot of people had to sacrifice their daily bread so I can have an uncluttered highway!