4/9/12: Transport in Naija

OMG I take it back! I don’t want to become a hateful individual but I can’t stand them Okada dudes! I mean would u believe that my valiance at riding to Silverbird, racing through the frenzied traffic to meet my impatient friend for a film, was rewarded by me being slapped by some dirty Okada driver? I mean slapped; two dirty, grotesque, grease covered hands forcefully shoved into this fragile, innocent-looking face??! What an abomination! It happened as I was patiently waiting by the side of the road, tryna find a gap within which to dash across the furious traffic, seeing as Lagosians drive like manic lunatics! Desperate to get to their destinations regardless of how many victims result. So I’m standing by the side of the road, eyes darting furiously to no avail, and here comes the crazy Okada man driving recklessly around the cars, dodging pedestrians and jumping over sewers, driving relentlessly towards me! It’s next victim. Dude obviously wasn’t satisfied with driving on the road and decided that he would stupidly mount the dusty pavement where innocent bystanders were standing, and as he carelessly did so he felt the need to throw his hands in my face and shout some incoherent babble as I jumped back aghast, outraged at this mindless man who was escaping in the mud, seemingly proud of his shameful achievement.

In my opinion if Nigeria wants to progress even a little bit it would ban okadas from being on the road, or at least make sure that the divers undergo a rigorous training course so they are not driving around like headless chickens, or maybe put strict regulations on drink driving or using mobile phones. But noooo Naija being the joke that it is has instead decided to implement half-hearted traffic rules, such as banning drivers from eating whilst they drive. OMG and those Danfo buses need to have capacity restrictions! How can the door be wide open with people loosely blowing in the wind, putting their lives in the hands of a loose grip, and not to forget the random dude wearing sooty clothes and loose slippers, clinging to the exhaust pipe for dear life with his big toe. Just the other day I was told how one of those buses manically drove off the Falomo Bridge, plunging into the watery abyss that swallowed the lives of its poor passengers. When I look at that bridge I can’t fathom how the driver managed it. He must have been going so fast that the wheels flew like a bird over the TWO barriers resulting in the devastating accident. Ultimately it all comes down to lawlessness and poverty. The government is at fault because they don’t guide the people, educating them on what is right or wrong, additionally it’s likely that the Danfo drivers were victims of poverty, just desperate men desperate to exceed the rent of the vehicle and bring in some income to their needy families.

But these accidents don’t just happen to the impoverished. Recently a fellow youth corper and Oando colleague died in a fatal car accident. When I heard I was deeply saddened along with many others. Dude was just one of us; Young guy who journeyed back to Naij from UK just to do his NYSC. To be honest it just angered me. Travelling in Naij is not safe at all at all. I know accidents happen everywhere but in Naija death is so common that you can’t help to become zealously religious or call upon some omnipotent power that transcends this world for protection. And rather than conveying their sympathies some heartless people made ignorant comments like, “Well that’s what happens when you drink and drive!” Well you Ignoramuses! For 1) there is no proof that dude was actually drinking. In fact it seems he was speeding home to meet up with some friends. 2) Everyone is human. We all have accidents. And although a lot of deluded people think they know it all. YOU DON’T! So get off your high horse and show some human compassion because you never know, it could happen to you.

Unfortunately, we never know when our time will come. This impending doom is heart-wrenchingly scary but I guess it’s a horrid fact of life that we are definitely going to have to live with. What kills me is that people seem to be dying so young, like roses they were blossoming and reaching their peaks, when death sinisterly decided to uproot them. So many innocent people died in that Dana air crash and so close to home: s not to forget the numerous people that have been crushed by rusted old oil-tankers on the road, or burnt to death due to oil spills. God help us all. I wish people would realize that it isn’t all about making money. Cutting corners in quality can ultimately lead to the death of so many people, but in this corrupt country that is Nigeria nonchalance has poisoned the minds of many and making money is all that concerns them in this dog eat dog world.

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