Eko o gba gbere rara o!
“Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which grows not less but merciless as it refines itself.” Nineteen Eighty Four —George Orwell.
What is the poor doing in Lagos? I have never believed any poor man in his right senses would think he could make Lagos of today his home.
It becomes even more absurd when such a wretched person lives in the vicinity of the rich and the powerful. He has to go.
So, when I read the President of the Makoko Fishermen Association, Mr. Emmanuel Agbe, complaining last week about the afflictions of his people in the hands of the Fashola administration, I laughed. The man even described the area as his people’s ancestral home: “our forefathers came here in 1890, about 120 years ago. This is the only place we have come to recognise as home. Please, beg Fashola to leave us alone.” Unfortunately Fashola cannot leave them alone because he apparently believes they do not belong there.
Where did these fishermen’s ancestors come from in 1890? If they do not know, they should ask and proceed there forthwith. The Egyptian story of Joseph and his people in the Bible recommends itself to these fishermen. In 1890, when the fishermen’s ancestors followed the waters to Lagos and settled right on top of it, there was a king who knew the values of accommodation. Such an experience does not last forever. At a point in time, a king who has no memory of Joseph will come onto the throne. When his reign starts, the sensible thing to do is for the Israelites to go back to Canaan.
Fortunately, these people are Ilajes and Ijaws with governments in their real ancestral homes too. The Ijaws there even have the president of the entire country, so why are they complaining? What is their problem? Someone should tell Goodluck Jonathan to go move his Ijaw brothers and sisters back home. Olusegun Mimiko should summon courage and transport his Ilaje/ Arogbo - Ijaw people back to the Ondo waterside from Makoko. Is it not in our saying that if a host becomes too hostile, you pack and go to where you are naturally welcome? A king who knows no poor man Joseph is reigning in Lagos and any poor man who thinks his noise would change anything would soon realise how miserably stupid he is.
The Makoko rejects should have taken the warning signs when the king fired toll gate shots at his own people in Lekki. It is still a mystery that these Makoko people did not know that when a man is seen fiddling with the genitalia of his own blood sister, the half sister and all non-relations must seal up theirs, otherwise, they will be sorry for themselves.
And did I hear one of the leaders of the ex-Makoko residents, yes, ex-saying they could not survive on land if their eviction from the waters stayed? Anyone who is too poor to live in the exquisite estates which the godfather is building from sandfilled waters cannot be allowed to live in Lagos. And who says we need these fishermen anyway? Lagos has moved forward beyond crude fishing in the Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. Real fishes are in fish farms every where, you can check.
And I also read busy body lawyer, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa putting his mouth into this matter that does not concern him. One understood his noise against the Lekki tolls. He lives there. He does not live in Makoko or is that where he practices his law? Again, he claims the area by law belongs to the Federal Government, as if the government at the centre can do anything to the first class brains ruling in Lagos. This lawyer does not know that the current government in Lagos is held in awe by the lords in Abuja. Lagos cannot be wrong. It has never been wrong.
And he was also talking law. I am surprised that in all his years in Ife and in the practice of law in Lagos, he has never come across the truth that France’s Louis XIV is reincarnated in the Lords currently reconstructing Lagos. Louis XIV in April 1755 told the parliament: l’etat c’est moi ( I am the state), when some daring magistrates questioned the legitimacy of some edicts he introduced. And when rulers appropriate the ‘state’ to themselves, mortals are not qualified to query them. The law is scorned or they puff as comic hero Judge Dredd, asserts “I am the law.” The Lagos Lords are actually not just the state, they are also the law.
When you have power, and you have money and you have the right dose of daring to challenge what is, you get away with everything. Makoko people protesting to Alausa? Has any protest changed the minds of these Lords before? Ask Maroko, ask Ilubinrin, ask Lekki people and all those who have walked that way before. Going on protest against the government in Lagos is just an exercise in physical fitness. It changes nothing. The only protests that work in Lagos are those organised and funded by the godson and the ultimate godfather. They get things done and are never short of new ideas to extend the frontiers of their suzerainty. Ever heard of Karma Houdini? He never fails and all those stupid enough to stand up to him get struck down by the thunder of his powers. Karma Houdini is the bad guy who wins all his wars. He is the king of Lagos’ Dystopia. If you can’t live there, please ship out and look for your stupid Utopia elsewhere.
That is the message of the moment. And if you are the fool nursing some hope of a better future, just listen again to the voice of O’Brien in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four - “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever?” And did I hear you ask me whose boot? If you don’t like Orwell, at least you have listened to the Iyric before: Eko o gba gbere rara o (Lagos broods no nonsense at all). The poor in Lagos is nonsense in flesh and blood. No more!