The photo below was shot at Ejigbo, Lagos-Nigeria. On first take, one would wonder how the car landed upside down in the gully!
But let’s look from a different angle: “Why would such a deep gully exist in very close proximity to homes?”
This question begets another: “Is the gully is a new feature in the neighborhood?”
I think it is – it’s not likely that those homes could be built that close to the gully.
It is also a safe assumption to think that the gully is expanding and “claiming more ground”, and it will be a matter of time before it consumes the homes around it!
Now imagine you are one of the homeowners in this Ejigbo neighborhood. What would you do? Would you:
1. Pray that gully disappears or stops expanding?
2. Sell your home and move out of the neighborhood?
3. Abandon your home and move elsewhere?
4. Inform your local government office to fix the gully?
5. Contact and inform your elected representatives at the local, state, and national levels of the gully?
6. Do nothing?
Options 4 and 5 are the only reasonable choices, obviously. In fact, in some societies, the local government would have fixed the problem even before it got this bad. But this hasn’t happened, yet.
One of the expectations of democracy is that the government and the people are in sync: The government is expected to be responsive to the needs of the people, just as the people are expected to know how to “speak up” and relay their needs to the government, via their representatives.
Has this happened in this Ejigbo neighborhood?
The photo was featured in a Punch publication on May 10, 2008, titled: “Death trap in a Lagos neighbourhood.” http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art200805030481142