Thursday, September 06, 2012

Which Way Nigeria?

A neighbourhood in Lagos Ajao Estate
Well, I have to accept I am a pessimist when it comes to Nigeria; but accept it or not, I have very valid reasons to be. And sometimes, it is impossible not to be hopeless but very difficult.

So after 8 years away, returning into Murtala Mohammed INTERNATIONAL! Airport, Lagos Nigeria last night turned me into a hopeless pessimistic pessimist. The airport is, in my own opinion, rundown. But most people I have spoken to here argue that it is renovation... well, there is some bit that looks like renovation but broken-down aircondition units held together with celotapes, torn carpets and uneven floors that pose dangers of trips, unmanned immigration points causing unbearable queues, temperature soaring in the airport lobby due to lack of aircondition, non-working stair-lifts, detached broken-down glass panel doors leaned dangerously against their once former hinger blocking passage ways and posing danger too... and the list goes on.

None of the above represent or looks to me like renovation. They spell R-U-N  D-O-W-N! And that is what they are. And outside the airport, it was rather pathetic and thats sums it up.

Nonetheless, I believe Nigeria is on the way to progress; just how long that will take, no one can tell. Yet the signs of that onward movement is almost non-existent. I am yet to go farther into the city to see more. But seeing trucks bearing huge containers with no headlights, door on the other side of the drive wide open, smoke (or vapour) billowing from the bonnet and completely covering the windscreen, and a second not far from the other with heavy black smoke rising from and covering the entire container, I couldnt but be scared off my skin.

The above type of vehicles were uncountable and in many shapes and sizes; from ordinary cars to buses and trucks; all on roads with rough surfaces and not far from the so-called International airport. I asked myself; which way Nigeria?

It was many years ago that a once-famous Nigeria singer, Sonny Okosun sang and asked the same question;
"Which way Nigeria
Which way to go
I love my fatherland..."

Like Mr Okosun, I do love my country and in that love, I repeat after Okosun;

Which way Nigeria?

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