|Oshodi before Fahola became Governor of Lagos State|
Lagos, the Centre of Excellence and undisputed commercial hub of West Africa is always alive with the hustle and bustle of its people as well as visitors. However, amongst the popular locations within the city, there is an elite division of must know and see places particularly bus stops.
Having been born and lived in Lagos virtually all my life except for the enforced absence for a year during national youth service, I feel qualified to do a review of the most popular bus stops in the city starting with Oshodi.
Oshodi is perhaps the most popular bus stop in Nigeria, it seems to enjoy its popularity because of its relative centrality to most parts of Lagos like the Island, other parts of the Mainland and heavily populated areas like Alimosho and Ikorodu. It is also an intersection between the busy Apapa-Oshodi Express Way, Gbagada Express Way and Agege Motor Road.
It is divided loosely into: Oshodi Oke (Upper Oshodi) and Oshodi Isale (Lower Oshodi).
You can get a bus to almost every part of Lagos at Oshodi and there are also many Interstate buses heading to the Southwest, North and Southeast. Truth be told though other bus stops like Ojota and Jibowu in Yaba beat Oshodi as a terminus for Interstate buses. However, Oshodi is also a major train station and it used to have its notorious "Oju-Irin" market in the past where the railway was transformed into a marketplace that disappeared when a train was approaching to reemerge after it had left the station.
Any major bus stop worthy of the appellation in Lagos must have a big market to go along with it and yes, Oshodi is still a huge market with many shopping complexes already built and more being built even after Governor Fashola cleared a lot of the road traders in 2009. You can purchase clothing material, electronics, food stuff, books, the latest movies, Musical releases and practically anything Nigerians can import into the country at Oshodi. Perhaps, the major exceptions are automobiles.
|Oshodi under Governor Fashola|
The problems that have dented the image of Oshodi over the years are unauthorised trading, crime, hooliganism and touting (agberos). Most of the road traders are gone (although, they are slowly coming back), there is still a high level of criminality in Oshodi with many first time and frequent visitors falling prey to robbers, con men and sometimes kidnappers especially those that use commercial buses called 'one chance':. Motor park touts known as Agberos are always harassing commercial bus drivers for money which is mostly unapproved and their methods of collection have to be seen to be believed.
Oshodi is an integral part of Lagos and if you visit the city without at least passing through it, your visit is hardly complete and you can take this as a fact. Therefore, whenever, you are in Lagos, do stop by Oshodi preferably with someone that knows it well to guide you.
Do you have stories about Oshodi or observations on this post? Please drop a comment, I would love to read from you.