Sunday, 02 August 2015 12:40

Isn't Lagos a No-Man's Land

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Is Lagos a no-man land? I have asked several  Nigerians this question as a joke and also in all seriousness. Was Lagos ever a no-man’s land? Is Lagos becoming a no-man’s land? Many Nigerians have weighed in on this controversy.  Some have done so angrily. Others are hiding their emotions. I am finding out that jokes serve some useful purpose in life. I am also finding out that every joke has a truth in it. A joke is told to reduce the poisonous impact what is to follow may have on the hearer or hearers. Now, I understand why fool s were employed to entertain kings and princes of olden days. Today’s comedians are modern-day fools who tell jokes to make us laugh and we reciprocate by paying jokers  millions of dollars. A wise man does not start to discuss a serious matter without first telling a joke or two to get the audience to relax, look up, sit down, and pay attention.

I called up two Nigerian men familiar with Lagos and asked  them a simple question: “Don’t you think Lagos is a no-man’s land?” Both Dr. Ogan  and Dr. Chika are Nigerians of the Igbo ethnic grouping.  Both are familiar with Lagos and the controversy surrounding Lagos land. One was upset that I asked the question. The other told jokes.

Chat with Dr. Ogan

ME: Dr. Ogan, you’re Igbo who has lived in Lagos for a number of years, am I correct?

Dr. O: Yes , I have lived in Lagos all my life until I came to America. My parents owned houses in Lagos  as  I was growing up. Lagos was very good to my family.

ME: How did you like Lagos, and do you still like Lagos?

Dr. O: Oh yes. I loved and still love Lagos and the Yoruba.  I have many Yoruba friends who are better than my fellow Igbo men. Igbos are the most hated group of all people both in Nigeria everywhere. How can Igbos say Lagos is no-man’s land when the Yorubas….?’

ME: I’m glad you mentioned that. Isn’t Lagos a no-man’s land? You buy a piece of land in Lagos, you develop it, and it’s all yours. Isn’t that the way it should be?  Aren’t we  One Nigeria under one Constitution?

DR. O: The Ibos are arrogant, paranoid, schizophrenic. They feel everyone hates them, is envious of them, and seeks ways to kill them. Igbos are the craziest---“

ME: You never finished your sentence  when the Yorubas__?

DR. O: When the Yorubas  have allowed Igbos to live amongst Yorubas who gave Igbos land , and now Igbos are claiming that they own Lagos. Idiots! Let them go develop Igboland. Igbos are hated around the globe.

ME: Isn’t there any truth in what Igbos are saying about ownership, hatred, envy, and killings Tell me something. Is there a plot against Ndiigbo that you know?

 DR. O: Plot by who?

ME:I don’t know. Plot by anyone. Yoruba, Hausa, any other people.

DR. O: Igbos are paranoid, They think everyone hates them.

ME: Don’t Igbos own much of Lagos?

DR. O: Can Yorubas say they own Owerri, Enugu, Aba, Onitsha? Can they say that? Why can’t Igbo go develop their own place?

ME: I don’t know why. One thing I know is this: if I bought  a piece of land with my money and develop it with my own money, it’s all mine. I’m the owner. For example, I have bought, lived in, and sold several houses on land in these United States

Chat with Dr. Chika

ME: Dr. Chika, you’re Igbo who has lived in Lagos for a number of years, am I correct?

DR, CHIKA: I have lived in Lagos on and off since 1996 I have built two homes in Abia, and completed two houses on the market in Lagos. I am about to acquire land at Abuja to build a commercial property.

ME: How did you like Lagos, and do you still like Lagos?

DR. CHIKA: I love Lagos. It’s a great place. There’s plenty of money to be made in Lagos.

ME: There are  lots of problems in Lagos. Igbos say Lagos is no-man’s land. Yorubas disagree. The Oba of Lagos said__.”

DR. CHIkA: I don’t care what the Oba says. I will buy and build in Lagos until my money runs out. Igbos are developing Lagos with lots of their money and the other people are complaining. Nonsense. Why can’t Lagosians develop their place? Why complain when Igbos are doing the job?

ME: Why aren’t Yorubas developing Lagos?

DR. CHIKA; There’s nothing more to develop. There’s no more land in Lagos. Igbos have bought it all up. The Yorubas sold the land.

ME: What do you think will happen to people who owned the land? Will they want the land back?

DR. CHUKA: You are not listening to me. Once sold, you cannot get the land back. Igbos paid with their millions. Yorubas used the money for owambe. You know, owambe will kill Yourubas dead. Owambe, Owambe Owambe. After I had paid several millions of Naira to my landlord for my two houses in Lagos, what did the landlord do with the money?

ME: What?

DR, CHIKA: The man partied with his friends. Every time I look, landlord was throwing parties for his child’s birthday, his wife’s ashoke, and so forth. I never saw that man again because of his frequent partying.

Me: Did you join in his parties? How were the parties? Nice? I like Yoruba parties.

DR. CHIKA: Hahahah! I never joined him once. I was busy working while Landlord partied.

ME: Hahaha hehehe hihihi. My Lord! Look here, man. Suppose the owners of the land want it back? Suppose the owners  want to drive Igbos out of Lagos? Remember the Texas cardiologist?

DR, CHIKA: You still don’t get it, James. They can’t get the land back anymore. They’ve spent the money doing  the owambe. Owambe. Money is gone. You can’t do owambe and then want the money back.

ME: Do you mean to say owambe costs money? I’m beginning to fear owambe. But I like owambe dances.

DR. CHUKA: Why?

ME: Because of the shape of Yoruba women’s butts as they stoop down to owambe.

DR. CHUKA: Hahahahah

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.