The vulgar smell of the environment was not helping matters neither was the cruel intensity of the sun. I squinted my eyes and twitched my nose in disgust. It was Saturday and everyone says that its meant for owambe, but not in my own case. I am either at home , in the hostel or going to the market on Saturdays. Its so happenened that I was going to Eko market today to get beads and bead ornaments for the small business I operate. I stay at oshodi , yes I am used to the gra gra and area boys who stick around in every nook and cranny of that area causing trouble but today’s happening was very funny as well as surprising. I trekked from my home to Oshodi bus stop to enter a bus going to Eko market. The disturbing smell of the gases coming from the exhausts rickety BRT buses colored the air. I was standing and waiting like other numerous people. I can’t recall what made me turn back but as soon as I did, the sight in front of me was cumbersome and made me sick to my stomach. Laying there dead was the beggar that I have been seeing under the bridge for close to five years now. The overwhelming thing was that people were passing without making an attempt to call the Lagos state emergency service to save the day. OYO [on your own] has become a norm in this part of the country. With the drive within everyone to earn a living, the thought of another person didn’t matter.
Just in that moment the same rickety BRT bus that I dreaded riding stopped in front of me. A bald headed man with a round tummy putting on the popular “my money grows like grass like grass” polo jumped down from the bus and started shouting “yaba , Eko Idumota #150”.
As soon as I heard Eko Idumota I rushed into the bus making sure to seat by the window so that I could get breeze when the bus is filled up. The seats were filled up in no time and it remained only “STANDING” . Standing always makes the bus congested. It gets quite annoying when it’s clear that the bus if full and the greedy driver and conductor would still be squeezing people inside. I was glad that I got to sit by the window in case of traffic jam on the way causing heat and making people sweat. They would start oozing of different kinds of odors.
The conductor stared collecting money while shouting “no change o”. We were approaching the third main land bridge when the engine suddenly stopped and refused to start. The driver tried starting the bus again and again when a woman shouted from the back “oga watin happen, e no go?. The driver didn’t reply and continued trying to start the bus. Soon enough I heard the roaring engine of the bus and became at ease.
We were on the bridge when I heard a loud noise. It was scary. The BRT bus collided with the vehicle in front of us. As soon as the driver saw what happened he reversed a little and attempted to drive off. The driver in the vehicle that was hit was smart , he drove quickly and parked diagonally in front of the bus. The passengers were shouting and insulting the cruel driver. The driver alighted the bus and so did the owner of the vehicle. The least thing I expected happened. As soon as the driver dressed in a suit a suit got to the front of the BRT bus driver he threw a punch that shifted the driver’s jaw. Everyone was surprised at this because it was rare for a man dressed in a suit, of such a high caliber exchanging blows on the bridge with a common bus driver. Some passengers rushed down from the bus but I didn’t, I had a great view of the exciting combat from the window seat.
The conductor also joined in the fight and it became more exciting. This strange man in the suit beat both the driver and the conductor to a pulp. They were bleeding profusely. By this time, people had gathered and started recording the incident “as usual”. It was more exciting because we all were surprised that a well educated man, dressed in a suit, in an expensive car could beat a bus driver and a conductor that were used to life on the streets.
This made me come to a conclusion that in this country we are all mad. Everyone just has his or her beast tucked in waiting to be unleashed.