BY TOYE ALADELOYE
Not many of Lagos neighbourhoods have as much fame as Mushin, a typical Mainland slum, located right in the heart of Lagos State,
Mushin is a commercial centre with almost every street having one selling centre or the other. With a population of close to one million inhabitants which makes it densely populated. It has grown to be a community whereby people from the outside perceive it to be a dangerous, negatively-influenced abode where nothing good can spring forth.
First thought people have about Mushin is trouble, drug abuse, ill-sanitized environment with reference to reports heard, seen or read from time past. This situation has so far been a case of concern for residents who are therefore clamouring for a change of orientation in the minds of people not living in the community.
PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION ABOUT MUSHIN
Speaking on the people’s perception, the Executive Chiarman, Odi-Olowo/ Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area, Honourable Rasaq Olusola Ajala, noted that Mushin community is a chastised community which as an individual he’s not happy about.
‘Often times, i hear people say how our residents cope with all the troubles that loom in the community,. I never hear them say something positive which actually saddens me. This happens because i as a person was born and nurtured in this same community and with the help of its inhabitants whom are good people got me to my present status. So all stories that Mushin is not a good place, i disapprove it’, Ajala said.
In a related voice, one of the exco members of the Nigerian Union of Tailors, Mushin branch, Mr. Nureni Badrudeen, disclosed that he’s been in some gatherings where people talk a whole lot of negative things about the community.
He stated, ‘I’ve been to events outside my community and their perception about Mushin is really disturbing. Sometimes when I even try to speak in solidarity, the reaction is not always encouraging’.
IS IT SAFE TO LIVE HERE?
The words coming from the Executive Chairman is accompanied with trust and confidence, stating that nowhere else is safe to live in than Mushin despite for a few troubles in the acclaimed safe zones.
‘I can say categorically that when you are looking for a place to live in, as you will be thinking of those exotic areas, also think of Mushin because if you think it’s not safe enough consider why there are industries and big companies around. So when someone proposes Mushin to you, remain calm and accept it without a second thought’.
Residents also gave encouraging statements on the safety of living in Mushin.
According to a resident, ‘the community in question is sane enough to live in and the other destabilizing factor about the environment cleanliness and so on, i can hit my chest and tell you that the authorities in charge of sanitation have been working on their toes to ensure a serene community’
Another resident, Rasheed Badmus said, ‘even with the chaos reported happening in the area, the security measure deployed alone is enough for us to sleep eight hours straight with our two eyes closed without fear or cause for concern. Sodefinitely, it is safe’.
A community leader, Mr. Asiwaju, said that he’s been living in the community termed most tense for the past approximately twenty years without a bullet wound or scars on his body adding that people should not panic when they get accommodation options in Mushin.
One time resident of the community, Mrs. Bimpe Olayemi said, ‘if you are a member of the community, you get to learn a lot, the good, the bad and the ugly but all for a cogent aim which is to make you a better person. It is in this community I was given birth to and grew up to become a certified pharmacist, so on this question, I’ll only say that if you don’t have a taste of the area you are missing a lot’.
NOTHING GOOD COMES OUT OF MUSHIN: TRUE OR A MISCONCEPTION
‘It has always been a misconception because I am a product of Mushin. We also have some notable societal figures like Fola Adeola, Bayo Omoboriowo and so on, all coming out from Mushin doing great things out there and are proud of where they came from of which has given so much importance to their life. So definitely, something good comes out of Mushin, a lot actually because we have people who are focused, positive minded and hope to change the face of the community to the entire world’.
These are words of Honourable Rasaq Ajala who also addressed the issue of the so-called ‘area boys’ who are dominating the community.
He said, ‘we have been doing our best, putting together programmes to educate and keep them away from their irresponsible style of living, making them have positive view about life that something good can still came out of them’.
On a final note, CEO of Visible Impact, Fela Durotoye, said that MUSHIN represents a place for Making Unique Stars and Heroes In Nigeria. This is what the inhabitants of the community want the hoi-polloi thoughts to be and that all the negative way of thinking to be evaded.