Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Happy 51st Birthday = Heightened Security...and a Walmart Sighting?

Today is October 4th which means I am 4 days late in wishing this (as some would put it) overgrown baby of a country, my country Nigeria, a Happy 51st birthday. Well, it is more of an anniversary of Independence really because the country itself was actually formed (politically as a state) I believe in 1912. Now before all the questions of fireworks and patriotic displays start, I just want you to know that we aren't into all that. Sure there's a parade and we get the day off work and school, well, in this case we got the 3rd of October off because the 1st was a Saturday but that's where most of the comparisons with the 4th of July end. Well, that was until recently...

We now share a sense of elevated security around special dates. Now for full disclosure, since Boko Haram became a house hold name here after several attacks in the North, security has gradually and steadily increased around Lagos especially witnessed at the airport. Recently it has been witnessed even closer to home. For those who don't know (and without giving specifics to the actual location), we live close to the Embassies of many countries and one in particular with perhaps the most to lose in the event of a "sitiation" is the US Embassy. On Sunday, Amy and I went on a walk around the neighborhood, something we hadn't done in a while and lets just say, it looks like perhaps, our street is a tad bit safer. Now we had noticed extra policing of the waters around us when using the boat home but I hadn't noticed the streets yet. I would love to share a pictures with you but to avoid looking like a scout, I only took 3 of the exact same thing and I will share one.  

Hopefully the picture speaks for itself. Now incentive to put down my photography equipment a.k.a. my phone was the presence of at least 3 dozen uniformed and armed personnel roaming the streets. I was cordial and glad Amy was with me or I reckon I would have been questioned a few times considering the fact I was wearing mostly black. To some, it might be unsettling to see so much fire power in less than a half a mile walk but it didn't bother me. For me, it means that if all you want is to break in and grab my TV or the two Naira I have on my night stand, you would be walking into a hornets nest. 

We also witnessed something during our day off that made Amy smile and I must admit, it gave me a taste of home. Some of you more financially conscious in terms of what corporations are doing around the world may know that earlier this year Walmart was given the go ahead to finalize their acquisition of South African based retailer, Massmart. Massmart is also a parent company of a retail outfit (Game) with presence in Nigeria, specifically, the Palms Mall at Lekki where we stopped by yesterday. While looking for battery backup for Amy's treadmill, we saw this...


Well, as it is said here, Walmart, you are welcome!

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