The other side of Egypt
with some Nigerian journalists from Alexandria to Cairo, was victim of a sneaky thief inside the vehicle. As is the usual practice here, all luggage loaded inside a bus are tagged at the departure point, and a piece of paper (tag) handed over to the owner for easy identification.
The bag belonging to the Egyptian lady was kept alongside others under the bus and securely knocked. But the thief, who could have boarded the bus from the Alexandria bus terminal, struck immediately the vehicle made its first stop over in Cairo. He stepped down from the bus, studied the situation to be sure the bag owner was still inside the vehicle and made a quick one, picked the bag and left.
The bus got to its final destination, and the bag belonging to the lady was nowhere to be found. She presented her tag to the bus driver and ‘conductor,’ but the bag, which she claimed contained some valuables, had disappeared. The lady in her early 30s, wept openly as she ran around the bus looking for her bag. It was like some of those ‘one chance’ scenes inside danfo buses along the Oshodi-Mile 2 expressway or Ikeja-Maryland-Ojualegba route in Lagos.
In Egypt, the rich also cry
Have you visited the popular AJ city in Lagos or Sabongeri area in Kano before? These are hot spots in Nigeria with a lot of creative activities. There are similar areas here in Cairo, Egypt’s capital city.Egypt is the cradle of civilization in Africa, and one would expect that the government had gone miles ahead of other countries in every area. Though, some major cities in the country are far ahead when compared to the situation in our country, the ‘giant of Africa’. Constant electricity, portable water supply, good road network, and above all, security of life and property.But the situation seems different in some parts of New Cairo, where the government has failed to care for the residents the way it looks after people in other parts of the city.
Those residing in this part of the city are mainly nationals from other African countries like Sudan, Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana. The government of Egypt seems to have left the people to their own devices. With bad road network and unhealthy living environment, the people struggle for daily survival like those abandoned in war torn areas. Some Egyptians, who can’t cope with the living standard in the ‘main city,’ join in the daily struggle.
A Nigerian, who spoke with The Guardian, claimed that the government of Egypt doesn’t see any need to cater for those living in the area since majority of the inhabitants are not Egyptians. “We survive by the Grace of God here. When it rains, we find it difficult to move around because of bad road situation around us. Yet the police won’t allow us to rest. They raid our people on daily basis.”
Unlike the situation in other parts of the city, the major means of transportation in the area is tricycle, popularly known as keke Marwa in Nigeria. And means of communication is usually very poor. In most cases, some of the people move about with ‘pocket wifi’ to power their communication gargets.
The only difference between those residing in the area and those in places like Ajegunle and Okokomaiko in Lagos, as well as Sabongeri in Kano is that mosquito, which result to malaria, the number one killer disease in the world, is no longer in Egypt. The people only battle with flies.
Accommodation problem in Cairo, swindlers on the prowl
The exit of some countries from the on-going Egypt 2019 AFCON notwithstanding, there is still accommodation problem in Cairo, Egypt’s capital city.Everywhere you turn to in the city for accommodation, the response you get is no room here. At the Information center in central Cairo, accommodation has been 85 per cent booked everywhere because of the on-going AFCON.
The only option left for many visitors here is seek the help of some Nigerian residents in the outskirts of Cairo for accommodation. And it comes with heavy penalty.Some Nigerians in the city now capitalize on the situation to make quick cash from their fellow Nigerians. They have introduced all manner of levies the way house agents operate in Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria. In most cases, an apartment, which ordinarily will cost 3,000 Egyptian pounds, has increased to 5,500 pounds because of the activities of the middlemen called agents. Even at that, some of the house agents charge extra fees for every step taken before an agreement is reached with the house owners