Does it seem the international media wants to make Lagos city really look bad?
Is it just me or does it seem that every month there is a bad news about Lagos city?
A few days ago, a new reported that Lagos was the 8th most dangerous city in the world for women.
Surely stories like these must be PR headaches and nightmares for the boys at Alausa.
Is Lagos that bad or are these stories part of a conspiracy to make our beloved city look bad?
I have lived in Lagos all my life and I would be the first to tell you that the city is not a paradise. Area boys, corrupt policemen, bad roads, traffic and an embarrassing refuse problem are some of the features of the Centre of Excellence.
Lagos isn’t for the faint-hearted but is it really one of the worst cities in the world? I think there are worse cities in Africa not to talk of the world. Let’s not forget that there are cities like Mosul, Baghdad, Tripoli and Port Au Prince that have been ravaged by war and natural disasters.
Lagos is not a war-torn city and in the gangland days of the mid-90s when armed robbers were a true menace to society, it’s wasn’t as bad as Mogadishu.
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Lagos is the home of Nollywood, has a thriving night culture and is the economic hot spot of the country. Banana Island is one of the most expensive places to live on earth.
We should tell the world to stop hating on our beautiful city but before we do let’s look at some things objectively.
With a population of 21m, it’s quite crazy to think that Lagos does not have its own railway system. The one under construction has been going for a while and it seems to be taken forever. And what’s a megacity without an underground railway?
The transportation system of present-day Lagos state can’t handle the huge population. This is why Lagos traffic is straight from hell. If you are talking about stressful cities in the world, Lagos has to be there because of its bad traffic.
Let’s be honest, there are some places in Lagos where women have to be extra careful. In markets like Yaba, women are manhandled and have obscene words spoken to them. It is a harrowing experience for a lady to be grabbed or catcalled.
Women have to be vigilant at late night events and concerts. One wrong turn down a dark road can lead to sexual assault and rape for a woman who is not accompanied by at least a man.
The Lagos state government has however done with regard to violence against women. The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has helped women who have been abused or physically assaulted.
Lagosians know that this city of ours is not Paris or London or Geneva. We know it has its faults as many as they can be but there are also many good things about Lagos. It is not bad as they say it is and it is not as great as some of us think it is. Lagos is in the middle and that's fair enough.
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