A very Good morning to you and here is wishing you a happy Sunday. I rarely do anything here on Sundays but today being the remembrance of Mama Tinubu and with all the brouhaha connected to it, I am compelled to write.
I woke up very high spirited on Friday and even shared how I felt with you all (click here if you missed that). But just about an hour after that article and barely 30minutes after publishing the social media person of the week, my mood wavered at the news of our very own (Kokoroko croona) Kefee’s demise. May her soul keep resting in perfect peace. Amen! 🙁
I had to go pay a condolence visit (which was long overdue) to one of the best friends I have ever had and still have, on the death of her Dad (May his soul RIP). At this point, I am sure you can tell what a week I’ve had.
Anyway, moving on. On my way back last night, at ogba bus-stop, I happened to be in the same keke (Tricycle ) with an interesting but visibly frustrated lady. This lady was so pained and worried that she just didn’t mind pouring out her thoughts to me. A much younger stranger. Being a business woman at Iponri market which she says had been renamed to Habibat Mogaji Shopping Complex (I hope I got that right though, because I don’t go to market like that o, talk more of knowing their names, don’t blame me sha), she was the one who made me realize how much trouble (Hunger) I will be in today, due to the fact that markets will be closed in remembrance of the late Iya Oloja (Mama Tinubu) and the fact that I was hoping to buy some food ingredients today. Sigh*
She went ahead to let me know that they were all made to pay 200 naira each in preparation for the remembrance of mama Tinubu and were also asked to buy the material (4,500) made in honor of Mama Tinubu. She made me understand that she even had to pay (200) for 5 people including herself due to the poor market sales the other women had been having as a result of the poor state of the nation’s economy. That when they started insisting the other women buy the material, she had to step in for them to say they will all share the 6yards she already bought. After much argument, they were left alone. She also said she was sure some other major markets in Lagos state were mandated to pay the same sum of 200 naira for the same purpose. She also said and I quote,
“Asides from this 200 naira payment we were mandated to pay for this remembrance, you can’t just imagine how much we pay every day to these people, most of these payment have no receipt and we must pay them for peace to reign. Whether you are making sales or not, you have to pay.”
She also said she heard something about the materials meant for mama Tinubu was to be given to the market women for free but she has no prove to that because they were asked to pay for it.
Listening to her for about 10 – 15minutes got me wondering. Why would you mandate people to pay money in remembrance of your mother and even go ahead to make them spend as much as 4500 naira for a material that can’t serve them any purpose because according to the lady, mama Tinubu’s name and face (I think) was inscribed on the material.
Let us assume the government knows nothing about this. Why do people in this state especially, derive joy in exploiting people who reside and do business in Lagos state?
When we celebrate the birth of Mohammed or that of Jesus Christ, no one is mandated to close his or her business for them. Yes the government gives public holiday but that ends it. If you have a private business and you feel your services will be needed even on the 25th of December, no one disturbs you (I stand to be corrected). So why do you disturb people trying to make a living just to honor a woman that has no physical, financial or even spiritual attachment with them.?
I am not saying you shouldn’t celebrate or remember the late Iya Oloja but please, not to the detriment of poor market people. Men and women who are struggling hard to make a living.
You don’t beg to be honored, you don’t force people to honor you. Honor is earned. I think most of our leaders beg for honor. Firstly they honor themselves by naming roads and buildings after themselves. You can inscribe your names on a wall or on a metal but one thing is sure, you can’t forcefully inscribe your names in people’s hearts. You have to earn it.
I am using this medium to beg the APC, The government of Lagos state, from the head (Governor Fashola) to even the tail (chairmen, counselors) and even the Agberos and Omo onile to live and let live. RIP Hajia Abibatu Mogaji
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