Lagos: My Experience Taking Photographs At Oniru Foot Bridge

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So, I went to Oniru for a meeting today and on my way leaving the venue, I decided to trek towards Foreshore Road and take the pedestrian bridge so I can briefly enjoy the toll gate, Lagoon and Oriental hotel views. A great view I must say and a tourist delight .

On top of the bridge, many other   tourists were taking some pictures . I saw a Corper and another dude taking pictures of the beautiful scenery and then I quickly whipped out my phone to join in the fun. Well, I can say I overstayed my welcome because the guys I met taking pictures had already left and I was still enjoying the moment when a security gaurd (he had a Man O’ War inscription on his uniform) came up to me and interrogation began.

He asked me why I was taking pictures and I replied that it was just for fun. He saw that I wasn’t taken him serious so he took out his phone and pretended as if he was calling a Police Black-Maria to come and arrest me – because I was taking photos!

He asked my name and what I do (the stubborn boy in me was still taking photos during all the interrogation) and i told him i was a photographer he attempted to hold me by the hand forcefully and I pushed his hands away, he became furious and ordered me to follow him down the bridge towards where they have this LASTMA cubicle thingy down the bridge. I followed suit but my main plan was to just walk past as if nothing is happening. He reported me to who seems to be like the Oga-at-the-top and the guy called me. He told me the same “nobody takes photo on this bridge” story and that I’d have to pay a 5k fine or be charged to court. Mind you, there was no signboard or inscription that prohibits people from taking photos there. I told them that I didn’t have any cash on me but they insisted that I’ll be taken to their office and I told them I still have a few more hours to spend.

They stepped aside and spoke some gibberish to each other in Yoruba and came back again, this time, asking me to drop something (BRIBE) for them so they won’t take the issue further. I grinned mischievously and told them again that I don’t have any cash for dash. They delayed me a bit and asked me to go and warned me not to repeat the mistake of taking pictures on that particular bridge again next time.

I didn’t thank them. I left there asking myself why people are greedy and foolish. What kind of law is that? Have you experienced this before?

Well, some of the photos I took weren’t all that good. Only this two stood out. #DiaryofaYoungHustler!

Cyprian Emmanuel Okonkwo

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