‘Oshodi Oke’ and the new aesthetics — Opinion — The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper – Nigeria and World News

Bad spots along Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Lagos

Users of the Apapa – Oshodi Expressway must have noticed the new attention the Oshodi axis of the road is currently receiving as the Lagos government, it seems, is now determined, more than ever before, to give the whole area the much-desired and perhaps long-overdue facelift. The pace at which the project is moving particularly the rate at which workers at the site focus all their energies on it suggests that the contractor(s) must have been given a time lag for completion and so are trying hard to beat the deadline.

And perhaps due to inadequate information as regards the Lagos government’s intention, some people are already speculating that the massive construction are modern shopping complexes to replace the old market demolished several years ago by the last administration. But as it is now, it is only when the project is finally completed that everyone would be able to see quite clearly what the government has done.

In the meantime, and perhaps to discourage and prevent a possible disturbance at the site, the whole area is being barricaded and the popular Oshodi is no longer what it used to be. Even the so-called relaxation centre built by the last administration is now no more than a dumpsite for construction materials and from every indication, the present government must have decided to jettison whatever idea the Fashola-led government had had in mind in putting in place what many must have considered a novel idea at the time. Perhaps lack of patronage was responsible for the Lagos government’s new stance about the Oshodi Heritage Garden.

Or of what benefit is a relaxation spot which has inadvertently turned to the home of touts and guttersnipes? In the first place, those who conceived of the idea of making that particular spot a relaxation spot must have either been foreigners who did not understand that particular terrain sufficiently, or local idealists living very far away from reality. How an…

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