Lost in Lagos Island as President Buhari visits

Buhari at the commissioning of the bus terminal in Lago

By Rose Moses

So, I was in Lagos Island yesterday and it was a gruesome experience. All my life, I have never seen where a people are made to go through hell or subjected to the kind of capital punishment Lagosians had to go through yesterday, and perhaps today, because a president they elected to office was in their hood.

So where does he live? In another planet, one may want to ask, if this is what you have to go through anytime he is in your city.

Anyways, my mind would flash back to some personal encounters in other climes.

For instance, I was on the road somewhere in Dallas few years back when President Barack Obama and wife, Michelle, were visiting Texas.

Worst thing for us then on same road was to be asked to stop briefly at an intersection for the very sparsely presidential convoy to drive pass.

Yes, I saw 'The Beast' and three or so other limos/cars making up the motorcade. Dassol!

And then the Obamas waved and we waved back. Or vice versa. Again, dassol, as in a jiffy, everyone was right back on their lanes, just like the president and his motorcade.

There was no commotion. There was no pain, no road blocks, no blasting of sirens, no holidays!

In 1996 also, the one that would later show up in a courtroom on a stretcher following charges on corruption, had a programme at a neighborhood in Cairo where we were. There was some kind of road block, yes, but before you could complain, it was opened and everyone went back to business. President Hosni Mubarak was done and left.

Though another African leader, I did not see the streets of Dakar closed when then President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal came to declare open an international conference holding In Dakar, Dec. 2011.

In Bali, a tourist province of Indonesia, the people of that Island had no troubles going about their businesses when President Joko Widodo came to town in 2016 to be part of an international program that brought world leaders and policy makers to his country's most popular Island holiday destinations.

I was waiting for the loud presidential 'noise' and I heard little to none.

Yesterday, President Buhari was not at CMS or Marina but the commotion on that road till late night must have taken so much out of the lives of many Nigerians.

Many other roads in Lagos, not exactly where Buhari was, were closed to public use.

Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, had actually declared the day a public holiday. But since that action would not guarantee food on the table for private citizens, unlike civil servants that will still get paid for not going to work, it was business as usual for most private business operators, who where in turn severely punished with road blocks for going about their business.

At CMS, people were driving one-way back on the express from either VI, or they may have been turned back from hitting the Third Mainland Bridge while trying to get out of the Island.

So, they were driving back to meet those of us still struggling to make our way out of CMS so as to get to the same direction they must have been turned back from.

Now, you can imagine the picture at the point were the two commotions met for a diversion into Marina from where one would find his/her way out of the Island.

For yours sincerely, whose sense of road direction, especially at night is usually straight to the point, or one-way if you like, the chaos got me lost on the Island. I was driving round and round Lagos Island looking for a way out.

Only God brought me safely out of Lagos Island last night, even when I ran into a psycopath using koboko to harass other road users just to make way for his car and members of his gang.

In other words, Yours Truly and many others were not just lost in Lagos Island, with its host of alayes, yesterday, we went through hell because awa president was in town to commission a bus stop in Ikeja, attend Tinubu's birthday ceremony among other things.

Nothing, indeed, like any experience I encountered with 'The Beast' among others on the road.

I am still recovering sha, and this too we shall overcome.

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