Hey there. How are you? Well, if you ask me, I am fine really. Traffic has not been that bad (it has been quite bad but just regular bad). I think what helps is that my route is not exactly okada dependent so I can manage. But I really miss them though. These days, even if I can see the traffic ahead, I have no option but to sit through it or trek which I hardly have the strength to do. I think the Nigerian in me has adapted to the situation, even the online protests have died down. What about you though? How are you managing? Let me know in the comments. Well, today’s story is not about okada. It is just another tale of angry people in a high-stress environment.
This morning, I boarded a bus from First Gate to CMS to work which was the regular price surprisingly, seeing as most commercial drivers had doubled their fares. Apparently, the fare was the same because the driver didn’t see a lot of passengers at my bus stop and he did not want to lose the available ones. By the time we got to the next bus stop, there were too many passengers waiting for a bus and the driver started regretting not hiking his fares and was sulking throughout the journey. It was hilarious.
We got to Orile bridge and while we were trying to go over it, one sand truck that was speedily trying to overtake us brushed the side of our bus and spoiled its side mirror. We (the passengers) begged our driver who was still in a bad mood to forgive him since it wasn’t his mirror that broke. The driver agreed. What happened next is what I still can not explain. This sand truck tried to overtake us again while we were still parked and he brushed the side of our bus again, but this time, taking our driver’s side mirror. Our driver was mad. He started the bus, sped and blocked the road so the truck couldn’t move. He got down and started raining abuses on the truck driver and I think the most surprising thing about what happened is that the truck driver was actually remorseful. Most times, even the person at fault would normally yell back.
Before we knew what was happening, the bus was surrounded by agberos who according to them, just wanted to settle the case peacefully but we knew they just wanted money. I tried to make a video I knew that if any of them decided to whisk my phone off me and start running, I wouldn’t be able to do anything so, I just behaved myself and used my eyes instead. Honestly, if they had decided to rob us there and then, they would have gotten away with it because there were a lot of them. The driver told the agbero “leader” that he should collect ten thousand naira from the truck driver for his side mirror and that would settle everything. The conductor was busy with some stuff on the other side of the bus so he didn’t really know what they agreed on.
The truck driver gave the money to the agbero who then gave it to the conductor and asked the conductor to settle him which he did. The driver tried to start the bus and the bus refused to start. So, the agberos helped us push-start the bus and asked for another settlement for pushing the bus and the driver told him to go round and ask the conductor for money. As he tried going around the bus, the driver zoomed off. This was when he remembered to ask his conductor how much the agbero gave him for the side mirror and he replied, “five thousand”. The driver screamed. Apparently, the agberos had taken five out of the ten thousand the truck driver dropped and gave the remaining five to the unsuspecting conductor who was oblivious to the agreement. What’s crazy is that they were still arguing for their settlement after pinching half of the money.
And the driver couldn’t go back for two reasons: he tricked them and drove off when they asked for money the second time and also because the passengers were complaining about running late already. Because of that, he started speeding angrily and we had to beg him to slow down. He then said, “una no late again?” and i replied with my smart mouth, “better to be late to work than to be late in life”. Felt good saying that 😂. Well, I managed to get to work in one piece, unlike the driver’s mirror😫.