Lagos is a melting pot and it should well be so, with the hundreds of thousands of people coming into the metropolis on a daily basis to increase the already huge population of over 20 million residents and inhabitants. If only that daunting population size was largely composed of skilled labour or educated citizens, the value added to Lagos State and its economy would have elevated it among other metropolitan capitals of the world.
However, in this case it is not so, and numerous undesirable elements have also crept in across the state boundaries, both from within and outside Nigeria. A recent trip by THISDAY to the Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government office near the abattoir at Oko-Oba, Agege, revealed some disturbing facts, though state authorities recently levelled shanties along the rail line in the area. Composed mainly of petty traders and commercial motorcyclists, the dwellers have steadily encroached on the road, turning it into a single ever-busy lane, through which trailers bearing cattle from the northern states crawl on their way to the abattoir.
Three things readily come to mind concerning this scenario. One, how does the government control this growing population and the over-stretched public utilities available in the area? Secondly, how come those whose shanties were demolished were allowed to simply cross to the other side of the road and camp right under the nose of the local government office? And lastly, the resultant melting pot of humanity in that locale may well harbour cells of terrorists fleeing from the North-east military offensive. If care is not taken, attacks may be planned and launched against innocent citizens, right from that spot. Ifako-Ijaiye council and the Lagos State government would do well to step into this matter….truly worried
– Abimbola Akosile