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article imagePhoto story: The Lagos 'mixed bag' Special

By Samuel Okocha     Aug 4, 2011 in World
Lagos - Lagos is one of the most populous and fastest growing cities in Africa. With its traffic, its green project, unpredictable daily street dramas and dirt, the Nigerian commercial hub is a 'mixed bag' of sort.
In this photo journey spanned across days, Digital Journal captures places and moments in Lagos likely to have been overlooked in the mainstream media as its people hustle and bustle.
As they go about their daily activities, the young and old continue to power Lagos as a city where only the strong literarily survives.
Stable electricity is still a dream in Africa’s most populous country. Without power to watch TV, chill drinks and do laundry or just entertain, staying at home can be quite uneventful. Small business owners suffer more. They bear the brunt of sourcing for power to stay afloat.
Nigerians are therefore always out, in search of fuel to power their generators. Those without generating sets, leave their houses to escape the noise coming from their neighbours old generators.
Nigerians out on a working day with traffic
Nigerians out on a working day with traffic
Out on the road, the daily argument between bus drivers, conductors and their passengers act as comic relief; public transport provides free comedy show in Lagos. For pedestrians, live road dramas, sometimes near- tragic, continue to serve as stress busters.
Nigerians going home after close of work in lagos with traffic
Nigerians going home after close of work in lagos with traffic
Major incident
At the start of the Ramadam this August, the month long period when Muslims abstain from food and drinks from dusk to dawn, Lagos was not spared of the regular incidents that turn passers-by into spectators, commentators, advisers sympathizers and comedians.
An accident scene in Lagos
An accident scene in Lagos
On Tuesday afternoon, a commercial motorcyclist [popularly known as Okada in Lagos] got involved in an accident that almost claimed his life.
Accident scene at the Obalende area of Lagos
Accident scene at the Obalende area of Lagos
“He is a Muslim and he is fasting,” an eyewitness said. “That’s why he survived.”
Dozens of passers-by had thronged to the spot where a mass transit had a motor cycle virtually trapped under its front huge tyre, thinking the operator was trapped dead with it.
The man who survived an accident with his commercial motorcycle
The man who survived an accident with his commercial motorcycle
“I was coming and two women refused to leave the way,’’ the man who escaped miraculously unhurt said in varnacular. “They [the two women] pushed me and I fell with my bike to the on coming bus.”
People including a policeman gathering the man who survived an accident with his motorcycle
People including a policeman gathering the man who survived an accident with his motorcycle
The story from those around the scene had it that a council official was chasing the motorcyclist who got involved in the accident while trying to avoid paying a fine.
As it turned out, a police man around encouraged the council official to compensate the man for his damaged motorcycle, but the ‘Okada man’ refused to collect the 5000 naira [around $33]. He insisted another policeman was coming.
The commercial motorcyclst refusing to collect money given him as compensation for his battered bike...
The commercial motorcyclst refusing to collect money given him as compensation for his battered bike.
“You must keep saying the truth,” the council official said, as he urged the man to maintain the statement made on the two women that pushed him with his bike. ‘’Remember you are fasting,” the official added.
The policeman who had tried to settle the matter remained to ensure the council official does not become a victim of the unfolding drama.
In the end, the man collected 8,000 naira [around $52] after 3,000 naira was added to the initial cash. With the cash, he is expected to repair his bike and return to his commercial motorcycling business soonest.
Sympathizers looking at the damaged commercial motorcycle after the whole matter was resolved
Sympathizers looking at the damaged commercial motorcycle after the whole matter was resolved
The Mass transit bus involved in the accident. The bus driver was not held for any blame.
The Mass transit bus involved in the accident. The bus driver was not held for any blame.
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