Lagos Enjoys Public Holiday Tomorrow as Buhari Arrives to Open Ikeja Bus Terminal

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Buhari comes to Lagos

You really couldn’t make it up. Our president Buhari has finally overcome his aversion to Lagos state and will be in Lagos for a two-day official visit. One of his stops during the tour will be the official opening of the Ikeja Bus Terminal. Yup, you read that right – bus terminal. Not space programme, not the next step towards technological brilliance and world domination. A bus station. A place where buses park up, pick up people, and then leave.

Anyhoo, to honour this massive achievement, a state-wide holiday has been announced in a statement read by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Kehinde Bamigbetan: “The Lagos State government on Tuesday declared Thursday, March 29 as work free day in the State.”

Ikeja Bus Terminal -6Ikeja Bus Terminal -7Ikeja Bus Terminal -4Ikeja Bus Terminal -1Ikeja Bus Terminal -2Ikeja Bus Terminal -5Ikeja Bus Terminal -3No work, no roads, no movement. Because bus terminal. The work free day, Bamigbetan announces, is so that Lagosians “will come out en masse to welcome President Buhari who is on a historic two-day visit to the State.”

Lagosians? Come out en masse for who? That what? I’m not sure Lagosians will come out for Jesus, they’re that jaded. A president who is sitting on a very shaky table is the least of their problems, I assure you.

For a city that neither sleeps nor slumbers, it is bad enough trying to enforce a standstill on a weekday. I think of the businesses that will be affected, and it just makes no sense to me whatsoever. This is Buhari’s first visit to Lagos since assuming power in 2015, and the state has been doing just fine without him. However, when you consider the tremendous logistical inconvenience this visit will cause, it just further drives home the point that the leaders are not in touch with the needs of the people.

Routes in Ikeja, Agege, Maryland, Ikoyi, and Victoria Island will be closed tomorrow – effectively bringing Lagos to a standstill. I can’t understand the rationale behind it. Safety, yes. Security, certainly. But to bring the Centre of Excellence to a close for two days? Ayam not understanding.

So far, the only good news I think might come out of this visit – other than the stellar,  ultra-modern, intergalactic Ikeja Bus Terminal, of course – is that the filth that has recently become the hallmark of Lagos’ streets will get cleared. Silver linings and all that…

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