Makoko: This sea shall be uprooted

(Images by Adolphus Opara)

I

Dreams brought us here and we arrived

With no enthusiasm for things stirring

– Currents, currencies – concurrently drift us

Into adamance, but we learnt before to be.

Lagos: the Nigerian coastal city is shriveled up by growing population; each new government seeks newer ways to expand the territory. The current governor started by clearing illegal structures and refuse dumps. It is difficult to believe that there was a time when Lagos was largely a scenery of garbage heaped so high that some mistook it for mountains waiting for climbers. Before long, many inhabitants of the city welcomed the initiation of “a new Lagos”, where the streets are cleaner, and cleaners in uniform sweep away dirt at intervals—a city which deserves the tagline: City of Excellence. Lagos is still not too clean, yet the ‘visible’ change and immersive Public Relations of Governor Raji Fashola’s first term in office has helped inhabitants to see the place differently, especially with the I see Lagos adverts. Fashola’s goodwill has been rising, until just recently, when it sunk a few metres below sea level with the demolition of some parts of Makoko, a pile dwelling that has existed for over 200 years.

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