Na so I siddon jeje o on Friday, minding my blogness and staring at the clock in anticipation of the close of work- you know the usual Friday itinerary- when my phone rang. Now this friend of mine had been calling me all day, but I had been in one meeting after the other, so I couldn't speak to her. But she persisted, so in the evening I was finally able to answer her. She had said previously that she wanted us to hang out that day, so I was expecting her to tell me to meet her up somewhere. But she didn't say that. Instead she said she wanted to invite me for something. No wahala. I'm up for being invited for things. What's it, I wanted to know. A protest, she said, we are protesting the felling of some trees on Bourdillon road (IKOYI).
Now to understand this story properly I'll give you a little intro to Chili!'s personality. When children, women and human rights are concerned I will take leg waka the whole of Lagos and even Nigeria to protest. I no fit siddon dey look my fellow women and children dey suffer for nothing. But, my dear brother and sister, I no fit carry my jalopy Nissan, begin drive from Ikeja or Ojodu-Berger, cross Third Mainland Bridge- wey dey vibrate, by the way- come enter that Awolowo- Kingsway traffic, because I wan maintain the position of some inanimate objects. Yes! Inanimate! And before you turn all Al Gore on me and start giving me a lecture on the environment, the danger of our civilization becoming extinct due to a lack of oxygen( yes she said that!), I will list a few things that are sure to make us extinct faster than a few felled trees:
a. Our nonchalance to the number, and plight of children begging, hawking and generally hustling on the streets of Lagos. (Bear in mind that winding up your windscreens in your car does as much to prevent you from being brutally attacked, as calling the police in the middle of the night.) I don't see anyone protesting about that.
b. And still speaking of police and attacks, no one operates on you, if you sustain a gunshot wound, unless you have a police report. And the amount of time it takes you to get a report is dependent on a number of factors, few of them being the mood of the police officers and the amount of money you have. I don't see anyone protesting that.
c. And speaking of hospitals and surgery have you noticed that a simple task like turning on, and keeping on, the equipment needed to perform a life -saving medical operation, is a HUGE deal in Nigeria? No thanks to the ineptitude and inefficiency of the sole provider of electric power, in our country of 100 million. Things that are done mindlessly, using electricity, in other countries including our next door neighbour, Ghana, are a huge struggle for us in Nigeria. I don't see anyone protesting about that.
d. The high unemployment rate in the country vis-a-vis the number of 'graduates' churned out by universities, yearly. Graduates cannot afford ONE meal a day. I don't see anyone protesting that.
e. And while people are languishing in poverty, politicians are making headlines with accusations and counter accusations of multi-million dollar scandals. taking away the equivalent of years worth of food, health and livelihood of millions of people. We shake our heads and sigh. No one is protesting about that.
And the list is endless. Na im you siddon think o, say na Chili! you wan invite come help some jobless Ikoyi wives make sense of their feeding allowance. (Yes I said it, call me anything you like, I'm jealous, I'm shallow, na you sabi. I no send.) When the government is trying to provide the much needed respite along that road by providing a dual carriage way, so my Nadine, my jalopy, no go dey overheat for our 4 hour traffic.
Abeg commot for road before I jam u jo. Protest ko, Testpro, ni.
How ya living