Tag Archives: Driving in Lagos

A Close Call

Today, a quick story.

I have been at occasions you would call a close call.

I mean those days you looked back and exclaimed “what luck”!

There must be something and Nigerians’ paranoid with death? Paradoxically, living in Nigeria is a spanning game with Hades.

While growing up, there were communal clashes everywhere; you could lose your life like a coin in a gambler’s pocket, being at a wrong place at a wrong time. The streets were haunted for several days after those clashes.

Soon after the 2002 Mile-12 Hausa-Yoruba clash in Lagos, I was in a vehicle at a motor park waiting for passengers to fill up. A young man ran desperately through the park and a chorus of “Hausa

are coming!” paused the commercial activities in the area.

That was the day I knew how easy it was to scale through a bus window. Stampede took over and we all chased after the young man running. The man intensified his pace when he saw us coming. Left with no breathe he stopped to asked for his offence but someone shouted “No bi you say Hausa dey come?”

Just before you go.

On our daily drive home from work, tired bodies are in the habit of snatching naps on the long grind of traffic home. Some eyes still find it dutiful to access the driver’s maneuverings. On a certain day, we drove to the merging point of trucks and cars and supposedly (because we were all asleep), a trailer was inching closer to our car than a certain woman sitting next to the door thought appropriate… You know the type of warning you sound to your selfish brother, who is riding his bicycle towards a ditch and you standby with detached concern?

A typical Vehicle-Trailer mix on a Nigerian road.
A typical Vehicle-Trailer mix on a Nigerian road.


…the woman shouted, Trailer! Trailer!!

A young man in the middle seat rived to life and groped for an escape via the window next to me. All efforts to hold him down fueled his desire the more. He succeeded.

When the car came to a halt and we made to help him up, his condition was worse than if the trailer had hit the car we were in. I can’t even imagine if it had been on a fast-moving road.

What about you? Share your close call experiences with me, please.


Happy New Year!

Nigerians have a saying: It is dawn when a man wakes up.

In a manner of speaking it is my new year when this blogpost comes alive.