He Stepped on the Gas
So I am back writing.
This is Lagos. I work here. The city is has been described in by many people with many adjectives. Idyllic is not one of them.
The nature of my job makes me take lots of routes to lots of places. My current route home takes me down the LAGBUS route from TBS in Lagos Island to Ojodu Berger in the suburbs.
Now, there is a problem on that route. On alighting on the Berger Bus-Stop, the buses drop their passengers on the Ibadan facing side of the expressway. As a result, the majority of the passengers have to cross through traffic to get to the side of the express that takes them to the suburban neighborhoods of Lagos that the majority of the middle-class of Lagosians lives. There is not pedestrian bridge and that makes crossing the express quite dangerous for the pedestrian and causes a build-up of vehicular traffic for the drivers and commuters on the Ojudu Berger axis.
So there I was, thinking of how the people that planned the LAGBUS should have thought about the safety of the commuter and had a pedestrian bridge installed at the site of the Bus-Stop and how transportation and project planners should be more sensitive to the human angle of the project when it all happened.
It jolted me out of my daydream.
There is this unwritten agreement that drivers stop for the passengers so that they may cross the road. So when the SUV stopped I guessed this lady and some others felt it was all clear to cross the road. They stood in front of the SUV, the vehicle lurched (that was odd-I thought) it lurched once more; everyone shifted back a bit, apart from this lady. Then the vehicle moved almost hitting the lady who was aware enough to get out of the way.
Then I saw it. It was a pilot vehicle for a convoy of one “Big Man”. I felt sick to my stomach. I had the good mind to throw my smart phone at the windows of his car. What if he had hit the lady? What would his goons have said? It was even more ironic when a horsewhip carrying bulkhead said “God punish you” from the SUV. I mean he felt that the road belonged to his principal and him alone.
So my mind shifts from business case studies on traffic management operations mode to angry and upset with the insensitivity of Nigerians mode. I mean that guy will go to Church on Sunday or to the Mosque on Friday. He is going to pray that God blesses him. I wonder where he thought he was rushing to. I wonder if the driver thought that pleasing his master was worth risking another person’s life. That woman could be someone’s mother, wife, girlfriend or sister. That woman had a life, an existence a purpose and the idiot stepped on the gas.
He stepped on the gas.