Social life in Lagos, as we know it, is usually exhilarating and the joie de vivre is inevitably sometimes overplayed with occasional tragicomedies. Easter Sunday was a rain-spoilt day as another tornado-like windstorm drove through Lagos causing the usual damages to houses, roofs and trees. Lagos took the brunt of three sporadic storming days within one week culminating in the heavy downpour on Easter Sunday 20th April, 2014. It was therefore a soothing relief when on the following day, Easter Monday, April 21st, the sun came out in its full blessing blazing a trail of succour to the citizenry. Coincidentally, and fortuitously this was the day slated for the Fante Festival of Lagos. This is a festival celebrated by a hodgepodge of Lagos Island inhabitants made up of “natives”, Sierra Leonean and Brazilian resettlers, Togolese, Liberian and Ghanaian families of the Island. It is mostly always restricted to the Popo Aguda area of the Island but basically celebrated from Obalende to Carter Bridge. The Lafiaji, Campos and Olowogbowo Fante groups emerged in their resplendent costumes, danced and swayed to Agidigbo and Kokoma music, sometimes playfully lashing out at each other with tiny strips of whips made up of tree branches. Trust Lagosians, all Lagosian descendant families on the Island, nay from afar as Agege, Ikorodu, Badagry, Etti-Osa areas of the state came aglow and the carnival, now rooted in its splendour at the old Racecourse, now known as Tafawa Balewa Square, overflowed to the entire Lagos Island neighbourhood, bars, restaurants, social clubs, nay petrol stations. There was dancing in the street, leftovers of the Good Friday Fraujon were sold and served to beer guzzling celebrants who nostalgically reminisced about their growing up days in Ehingbeti, Campos, Lafiaji and Okepopo areas of the Island. The social clubs buzzed with exuberance and all the top clubs—Island Club, Yoruba Tennis Club, Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Waka Club and House of Commons were all radiant with gaiety. Beer parlours and area joints like Ranti Dawodus, Maureen’s Kitchen, B’s Corner, Baba Congo’s and the Son King of Lagos area joints, Onipopo’s, with Dr Flash Yomi Magregor in full flight, were all overwhelmed with unparallel merry making.
People tended to overlook the problems prevalent in the city, state and country as some drowned their sorrows in “liquids” denser than fresh water. It was in the twilight of this inebriated sobriety that the Waka Club, Lagos received one of its old members who had, as his usual practice, made his rounds of different places of merriments and ended up in his club, the Waka Club. The dignitary was no less than the former General Manager of the Lagos State Waste Disposal Board, General Manager of the Lagos State Water Corporation, General Manager Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and Permanent Secretary Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Engineer Ajibade Shekoni breezed in and showing some signs of unsteadiness akin to a sailor on a pitching and rolling vessel in a gale force 10 storm, exchanged Easter greetings with his fellow club members, Arch Bishop Atilade + “1″, Professor Leigh, Professor Rokosu, Chief Johnson, Hon. Abosede, Prince Adele, AIG Cole, Mrs Sode, Dr Randle, Mr Dele Sobowale, Captain Carew, Mr Olorogun and several others. On sighting Mr and Mrs Dapo Gorgeous-Cole by the Campos old Cemetery (now mini stadium) fence, Jibade made his way across to exchange pleasantries with the couple and also, possibly, to do “No 1″ in the open gutter adjoining. By a bizarre twist of fate, Shekoni tripped on a cable lying on the floor by the gutter, fell down heavily into the gutter banging his head on the concrete up riser of the casement. As readers can see from our picture herein of the scene, the vicinity was very dark and there was a huge shout of yeah as Jibade banged his forehead on the gutter siding. All present in the immediate gutter environment rushed to the aid of the former Environment Permanent Secretary (no pun intended) who was as Perm Sec responsible for all the gutters in Lagos State. He was bleeding profusely from his forehead and club members played the roles of medical doctors, matrons, nursing sisters and First Aid workers for which none of them, including the pork seller, Aramide, was qualified.
Rather unfortunately, when Jibade took a dive into the gutter, his bunch of keys including the keys to his beautiful car dropped into the deep gutter and, as no one could be found to do a bit of gutter-searching at 10pm, AIG Charles Cole took Jibade to his Norman Williams, Southwest Ikoyi, residence to retrieve the spare keys to the car and Mr Dapo Cole had to drive Mr Ajibade Shekoni’s car to his residence. Jibade had been advised by the beer guzzling motley crowd of medically opinionated “specialists” to obtain immediate medical attention and avail himself of anti tetanus treatment. It is obvious that the ex-Perm Sec, who has just been suspended from the Eko Club, just escaped sanctioning by the Waka Club Executive Committee after expulsion of his cahootees, the G-10 of the Ile Binti club, is a happy-go-lucky guy who is always in the company of his ex-Gregorian buddy, Prince Oyekan Adele. He seemed to have been unperturbed by this tragedy and took it well in his stride.
This report will be complemented by future reports on why an armoured cable was lying dangerously on the side road. Pictures from the scene and the cable that felled the ex-Perm Sec below: