This Hell Road On Ahmadu Bello Way
By Joy Isi Bewaji
I live this life every day. Driving by Ahmadu Bello way, to and fro, is one of the heartbreaking experiences of living in Lagos – the commercial nerve centre of the country that is stuck in under-development and crass neglect. It’s unrequited love that has drained my pocket, my joy and exhausted my belief.
Victoria Island and its faux bourgeoisie environs are the cream of the state, yet it is a slum (check out Lekki when it rains and beat your chest in anguish). The roads are bad, the town is filthy and the drainages are not functional. So what do we have? An expensive ghetto, imagined to be as significant as Dubai, yet run like a red light district.
When Fashola was governor, there was an attempt to show favouritism towards The Island (Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki). I thought it was a genuine and logical project… because every state deserves its own paradise. Somewhere we can all dream to be part of. The gloss didn’t last too long. We are back to driving to work from the mainland with that familiar glum of moving from one hell to another part of the same hell.
Where is the sheen of Victoria Island? Where can Ajegunle kids, for instance, visit leaving their mouths open when they drive by? There’s no semblance of beauty, development, advancement… even a gimmick of first-world polish to excite our youths. Nothing.
What part of this dreary state is meant to fuel our soul with wonder and excitement?
We keep failing as a nation.
Look at this road on Ahmed Bello Way, next to a police station, and be very ashamed.
Isn’t there anyway out of this deplorable life that we parade as vibrant and colourful?
Photography by King Solomon Ekhaiyeme