A Tale of Two Cities

I hate this country sometimes, genuinely. Too many things are actually wrong but our constant adaptation might be making us oblivious to the facts. You know how most of my posts are about Lagos? Now, I’m going to add a new city in the picture, Sango-Ota in Ogun State. This might be one of my worst days in public transport history. I might refer to Sango-Ota as Ota in the story so don’t get confused.

On Wednesday last week, I had to be at Ota, as I had an appointment there. This wouldn’t be my first time there as I had gone two or three times in the past but on those occasions, I was driven by someone so, I didn’t have to bother about jumping buses, asking directions, getting lost or even the endless terrible roads. That morning, the driver called and said he had other important errands to run and so, would pick me up later. I was running late so, I told him I would go myself but he had to come pick me and take me home.

I first left for Oshodi and when I got there, I saw a conductor shouting “Sango”. I met him and asked him if he was going to “tollgate” which was my bus stop and he said yes. I got in and waited for passengers to fill up the bus. Then, things started to get weird. First, the driver said the fare was 1,600 naira and I was wondering how a place not far from Lagos would be that expensive but I shrugged it off thinking it was because he said he was going to carry half the number of passengers he normally did because of COVID-19.

Second thing that happened was when they gave us the passenger manifest to fill. This was when I started to feel something was wrong because why would they share a manifest for a short distance journey??? I knew it was another state but, it couldn’t be that serious. That was when I started asking the passengers questions about the journey and this was when I found out that the bus was going to IBADAN!!! As in OYO STATE!!! Apparently, there is a Sango in Ibadan. There is also a tollgate there. Crazyyy.

That is how I would have entered a whole bus to a whole different state and seeing as I didn’t know the way, I would have thought they were following a different route, not knowing I was going to a whole nother state😭😭😭. I just calmly got off the bus and went to the other side of the road and saw another conductor shouting “Ota”. This time, I asked him, “SANGO-OTA TOLLGATE, OGUN STATE?” and he said yes while looking at me weird. Also, the fare was 400 naira and there was no passenger manifest this time lool.

I spent the entire bus ride thinking of what I would have done if I found myself in Ibadan. I started checking my phone if I had contacts there because i would have been stranded honestly or perhaps I would immediately enter a return bus to Lagos and take my L in silence. Most likely cancel all appointments too.

Now, the bad roads. Lagos-Abeokuta expressway must be one of the worst roads major roads ever. This is a road where cars are supposed to be speeding on but, it’s almost as if you’re on a road filled with valleys. Trucks and containers fall there every other day and the government could care less. On my way, I saw a tanker trying to pull out a truck filled with sand that fell into the hole it was trying to fill 😩. Still saw other fallen trucks along the way.

My driver must have felt he was too familiar with the route and was trying to speed up on that road and jumped into a very deep hole, destroying his shock absorber. The back tyre couldn’t move anymore and he told us that we had to get down and find another bus. The conductor put us in a BRT and we continued on our way.

Finally got to tollgate and took a bike to estate bus stop. Now, imagine entering a bike on that road. Constant bouncing on the seat, possibly landing on my privates by accident or occasionally hitting the back of the rider with my mouth (thank God he wore a helmet). I eventually got to my destination in one piece.

While I was there, the driver called me around 4pm that he was stuck in traffic at Oshodi and wouldn’t be able to make it to Ota that day. So, my fate was sealed that I would have to make the journey back home myself. Some complications arose too and I ended up leaving by 8pm. This is where it gets interesting (I’m sure it’s been interesting so far).

The company I went to was located somewhere deep, kinda like village surroundings so, the path out of there was bordered by bushes on both sides and I had to walk through there by past 8pm. I just turned my phone torch on and started running, even managed to stick my foot in mud, but I kept running till I got to the bus stop. There, I entered a bike to Oju-Ore where I entered a bus to Ikotun. The passengers were arguing with the conductor that the fare should be 400 instead of 500 naira. At that point, I didn’t even care. I just wanted to go home. I was just sitting there like…

For those who do not know, I’m an arsenal fan and that day, they were playing Manchester City in the EPL and the bus radio was playing the commentary. Manchester City scored first and this just compounded my grief. I was even going to beg the driver to turn the radio off. The worst part is, Lagos drivers are normally rough, but the day that I needed a speedster, I got a driver that was comfortable with moving at cruising speed. Only good thing was that there was no traffic.

Dropped at Ikotun by 9:45pm. Remember, there is a curfew by 10pm. My dad had told me some days back how one of his friends slept in police cell overnight because he was found outside after the curfew and I was already calculating how to arrange my body in the cell. I was even wondering if my cell president would be nice.

There were no buses so, I had to enter multiple kekes. I entered keke from Ikotun to Gate, Gate to Cele, Cele to Ago, Ago to Ago Bridge. Keke, do you love me? Are you riding?(don’t leave me😩). There, the keke going to Apple Junction was taking too much time to get full and I just paid for the empty seats so we could move. At Apple Junction, I saw Police setting roadblocks, ready to apprehend whoever.

Only bikes were there and none of them were going to Festac. They were even telling me I had to go back to Ago bridge before I’d see one. Luckily, one of them decided to carry me and said he’d collect 400naira. Checked my pocket and saw only 350😭😭😭. I had to beg before he agreed to carry me. I eventually got home by 10:30pm. On arriving, I found out that ARSENAL WON!!! That was just my light in the darkness.

I still went to Ota the following day, and another madness ensued. But that is a story for another day. Comment below if you want me to post the part 2😁.

P.S. everything in this story actually happened. Like legit. This is a testimony now that I think about itπŸ€”


Nwanz View All →

Drinker with a writing problem.

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