State of the Nation: Man raises his family under the Bridge

Monday Obuh and his wife, Dupe

It’s not as if Nigerians are lazy people, far from it. The average Nigerian is ready to work hard with a view to earn a living for him and his family. But the prevailing economic reality in the Nigeria major cities  is still turning a lot of bright chaps into endangered species, in the midst of abundance. The Textile industry, which used to be the pride of the nation, is one of the biggest casualties in the ongoing sham with many of those it employed in the past now at the mercy of poverty and its attendant consequences.

A resident of Lagos, Monday Obuh and his wife, Dupe, are the focus of this piece. Life dealt them a dirty blow since the textile company he used to worked with went moribund and folded, but his wife has decided to…
stay with him come rain come shine, with the hope that God will hear their prayers one day. Their story: Following their eviction and demolition of their home, Monday Obuh, a jobless Nigerian, is now raising his family (pregnant wife and son) under a bridge at Cele on Oshodi-Mile 2 expressway, Lagos. This is as a result of his inability to raise enough money to rent an apartment in the city.

The couple share the abode with dangerous reptiles such as snakes and cats that, according to Monday, often disturb them at night. They have been living there for two years after they were evicted from their home in the Itire area of Lagos. They hardly eat let alone being able to raise money to rent an apartment. Dupe, who is expecting another baby, sells sachet (pure) water, while her husband go about doing menial jobs to enable them eat ‘small’.

Despite the pains and challenges of living under the bridge with reptiles, Dupe said she would never abandon Monday because she loved and married him seven years ago when things were rosy for them. She said she makes profit of between N30 to N60 daily, selling the pure which her husband managed to raise N200 for her to start.

Dupe, who hails from Ilesha, Osun State, strongly believes that someday God will remember them.She said her family has been persuading her to dump her husband because of his present condition but she refused, insisting that ‘marriage is for better and for worse’. And because of her obstinacy her family abandoned her to her fate.

Recalling his predicament, Monday said he was an employee of a textile company in Lagos which is now moribund and when the company closed down, he became jobless. He said later when the construction of Cele bridge started, he was employed as a labourer there but was sacked ‘without benefit’ when he travelled home for his late sister’s burial.

It was while he was out of his second job that his apartment was demolished and since then he has been raising his family under the bridge. Monday also said that he would have loved to go and start life in his village in Edo State, but he is not used to the place because he was born and raised in Lagos. He said his parents also live in Lagos but her not doing well financially to be able to assist him rent a house. He added that they are quite old and needed his help but he’s in no position to render such assistance to them.

Monday said he is not handicapped in any form and wondered why life has dealt him such a cruel blow. According to Monday, his biggest problem now is how and where to get a job that will enable him raise money to get accommodation and move his lovely family from under the bridge and save them from reptiles.

Oh no, what a sad case! Cases like this are becoming rampant in our society today. Hope some people somewhere will wake up to their responsibilities soon, and make life worth living for the downtrodden… I pray God will hear their cries, at least for the sake of his good wife and the unborn baby.

By Olu Famous withAdditional report by PMNews.