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Old Oshodi: Crazy, scary

By Lekan Bilesanmi

Old  Oshodi! It  was a place  as popular as many other places in Lagos State. Meanwhile, whereas  Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki, among others, radiate warmth and opulence, Oshodi was crazy, scary.

Old Oshodi was a market but it was more than a place for buying and selling. It was popular and big.  There was hardly anything you wanted to buy that was not available there. Things were quite cheap even as some of them were fake. It was here you would see the good,the bad and the ugly. It was a place where you were about to be dispossessed of your belongings openly and people dared not alert you. Whoever (even the police) interferes in such  a  bold  move may regret it as the thief may attack him.  Old  Oshodi was  also central in terms of transportation. There was virtually no destination in Lagos and outside  that you would not get a vehicle to  Here, you would see a  stinking drainage and, beside it, people would be eating and merrying. It  was of no consequence to their health.

Read Oshodi: Ambode moves to transform transport interchange into world-class CBD

*Old Oshodi
*Old Oshodi

From Bolade Busstop up to the Bus Rapid Transport, BRT, terminus, you would see Kick  Against Indiscipline, KAI, officials  throwing away wares and effecting arrest of  traders who  defied the law against street trading and those  of the state environmental sanitation agency, with the support of the police, arresting offenders  crossing  the road, rather than using the approved pedestrian bridge. There  was really a lot to feed your eyes when you found yourself in old Oshodi. It  was in old  Oshodi you found that the human traffic was  more than the vehicular traffic. It  was here you found two passengers fighting over 50k change leading to abuses and, in some cases,they would go into physical combat. And this  oftentimes happened when the conductor of the bus that conveyed the passengers could  not find the balance of the fare to give each of the passengers. What the conductor would then do was to join both passengers so that they would split the money on their own. As the passengers fight, the traders, passers-by, would  watch with admiration. It  was this same place you would see  traffic offenders, most of the time commercial drivers and conductors, in trying to evade arrest, strip naked and start crying even while begging for forgiveness. That did not mean they won’t repeat the same offence few hours later even on the same road if not on the same spot.

Move forward and you would  see shrewd traders trying to lure you into parting with your money for a product that if not properly checked before leaving the spot,may turn out to be fake. In any case,the receipt given would have indicated that goods taken from them would not be accepted when returned. And God help you as a  lady if you dress provocatively and you are alone. Not only that you would be assaulted verbally,you may be physically attacked. There was no opening or closing time in Oshodi. As you are closing for the day, some are just opening for business.


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