Lagos: The Falcon and the Falconer

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We all wake up every morning with the hope that our today would be better than yesterday and our tomorrow better than today. We all envisage a life filled with joy, a life of fulfillment and prosperity. We all have a brother or sister or a friend who had dreams and hopes of being great, but life has a way of changing our intentions and sometimes not for the better but for worse.

To be poor is a terrible thing. Abject poverty is demeaning, it is an insult and many people suffer hardships and deprivations. Lagos and Nigeria in general, are one of the most unique places on the continent, but all the good is being overshadowed by its detrimental poverty situation. Many Nigerians haven’t had it easy in years; they are living in dire conditions. Many have lost their jobs and businesses and while most people give up, others struggle to make ends meet, carrying heavy boxes or trays on their heads filled with loads of mainly food items; walking long distances in unfavorable conditions. That wasn’t the life they chose to live, it’s the life that was pushed on them.

We should not allow politics conceal the plight of the poor and powerless. Families who sleep on the streets, reduced to hawking and begging are testimony to an unfinished job, a reminder that the past continues to haunt the present. Building a genuine democracy must bring its material improvements to the poor and economically disempowered. Believe it or not, we are all at risk when we leave our houses every morning, so no job is actually safer than the other. The baton of leadership in Lagos state has been passed on and if precautions are not taken, it is easy to forget that you have been put into that position by the poorest of the people.

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