Lagos…the beauty we are too busy to see

by Ikechi Uko

I drove from the Muritala Muhammed International Airport to Victoria Island without seeing a pothole.
Lagos has so changed that most of us have not noticed.

I have lived in Lagos for close to 30 years and all we hear are stories of bad roads and traffic jams.
Because of the gridlock, we do not often notice we live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
On Tuesday, I felt like a tourist.

I started my trip from the massive and beautiful International Airport Road heading towards Oshodi.
This road that former  Governor Akinwunmi Ambode built was a delight to ride through.
I had had issues with the road because of the absence of shoulders and lay-bys for buses.
But last Tuesday, the road was beautiful; almost sexy.

I took the flyover at Toyota bus stop and joined the newly reconstructed all-concrete Apapa-Oshodi Express Way. Descending the bridge that Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, built as his corporate social responsibility looked enticing; inviting you to enjoy the smoothness. Arriving at the World-Class Terminals at Oshodi, it is possible that you died and woke up at another place. Oshodi is arguably the biggest bus stop in the world going over 1km in four different directions.

It was a nightmare for any visitor to Lagos. But now, this beautiful place cannot be the Oshodi I knew some years back. The road architecture has transformed this crazy place into a Tourist Attraction.
The Dangote concrete road leads me to the 3rd Mainland Bridge, the longest bridge over water in Africa.
Cruising on this bridge offers unbelievable sights of life on the lagoon. Feeding my eyes on the waterfront of the University of Lagos and surrounding environs through the floating wooden villages of Makoko.
Arriving at Onikan I venture through what has been identified and celebrated by global ranking agencies as the Coolest Neighbourhood in the World.

Descending just at the Onikan Roundabout I have the National Museum on my Right and the almost ready J.K Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History on my left. The Swimming Pool Complex and Muson Centre lined my left and City Mall as well as the Tafawa Balewa Squire on My Right.
I slid through the beautiful Bus Park at TBS facing the Lagos Tennis Court through the Church and USAID; sneaked a view at Freedom Park through the NET Building, which was once the tallest building in West Africa before heading for Bonny Camp.

The Confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and The Five Cowrie Creek welcomed me into Victoria Island. I decided to follow Ozumba Mbadiwe to Civic Tower and 1004.
Lagos is so pretty I decided to stay longer in Victoria Island where the rich boys play and work hard.
I plan to go back through another route.


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