By Ayorinsola Obisanya

Standing on the pedestrian pavement with fat railings, I watched happily the sea that flowed freely without any form of artificial barricade. Despite the movement of the various means of water transportation from all angles and talks emerging from buyers and sellers on the sea, one could hear the quiet sound that comes from the sea. Either a fish swimming by or a fruit dropping from the trees on the bank.

Young boys squatted on the pavement top with one hand holding the long railing as a sign of not wanting to fall into the water. The other hand, served them good. It held a rope tethered to the iron rod and a hook dangling from the rope which would be lowered into the sea. These boys signaled to one another when unfortunate preys come their way. How do they know when a prey draws nearer? Perhaps, the boys who are professionals can answer this. For me? I can’t.

At least, many who are Lagosians don’t see this experience as a new thing. It’s what some people come across every time they drive to office and while some even don’t see it as something new. But you know what? Villagers like me who are first-timers in Lagos State would of course savour at experiences like this because we are accustomed to seeing lakes and streams. Spring water is definitely inclusive.

As I turned to move to my destination rather than get tied by the joy derived from watching sea transaction; fish catching and a lot of stuffs done on the sea, my attention caught a different thing from a different dimension. My heart skipped and later began to pound heavily like old women crushing cooked sliced yams with pestles in mortals. My eyes have never for once saw pretty dark things which many has tagged: ‘under bridge’. Of course, I would later get a change of movement for I shall get a full satisfaction from what may be called the ‘second part of Lagos’ or the ‘ugly scene’. Anyone you pick, I bet it’s very synonymous to what my big balls in the socket saw.

The woman who must be in her late thirties came out of her ‘room’ which has no perfect exit or entry. She shouted at her wards for still snoring on the ‘cozy’ cardboards which served as beds when others are out hawking on the highways, washing dirty windscreen, pick-pocket, clinging to buses as conductors and all sort of words that makes a man vomit immediately. In response to her morning cry, a masculine voice told her not to disturb the community. Wait! Which community? This was also the first question that popped in my heart. I don’t know a community exist under a concrete bridge. While, I pondered on that, these boys who are teens came out looking unhealthy. Yet, one pulled out an alcoholic beverage and sipped continuously while he explained how he managed to snatch two purses which accounted for ten thousand naira in the late hours of the night. Barrage of questions rocked my heart. Where was the mother at that time? How could a young boy perform such illegal act? And many more.

I moved forward and saw a lot homeless people who took to the underneath bridge for homes with admiration and eke out a living out of criminality. The children are turned to scavengers who don’t believe in goals, dreams and future. Parents are sorrowful for the poor state of the nation which is destroying them while some set of people enjoy the milk and honey the nation produces. ‘Gofment, contunu. Chai! Chai! There is God ooo!!!’

However, we can help these people in our own capacity instead of waiting for the government. The government may not come but will compulsorily come one day. You drive in good cars; live in good houses and can afford some luxuries including the basic necessaries of live. Help the poor around you and stop loving the happiness you derive when you see them in bad condition.

Help a soul!
Help a family!!

Help a generation!!!


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