The snoozing driver shakes his head, suddenly mutters something in Yoruba and the conductor responds with a heavy ‘hmmm’.
Driver parks by the side of the road and jumps down.
The conductor goes around and enters the driver’s seat; his new throne. Driver runs forward to avoid falling prey into the waiting arms of LASTMA officials who have assumed prime positions about 120 meters ahead.
At the end of the last millennium, the Lagos State Traffic Management was institutionalized by the Asiwaju Tinubu-led government to ensure free-flow of traffic in the chaotic Lagos metropolis and help reduce road accidents. However, the agency has found ways to contribute to the existing problems rather than alleviate them.
Rather than help ease traffic, LASTMA officials will rather hide, wait and find ways to extort unsuspecting motorists. They want you to run into trouble so they can get part of the cake. Some even jump into your moving vehicle, hold on to your steering and try to seize your car key.
In his widely acclaimed book – Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe wrote: “Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.”
The driver turned conductor had sighted their ugly uniforms from a distance, jumped down from his hanging position, ran towards the LASTMA officials and past them. At the next bus stop, he stopped and waited for his conductor who was now running things behind the wheels.
It wasn’t hard to notice that the passengers preferred their new driver. He was more composed and obeyed simple traffic instructions. Similarly, the new conductor was holding a good shift. It was clear for all to see that the driver was a better conductor and the conductor was a better driver.
The former driver was screaming out bus stops so eloquently, you will think he swallowed a JBL Bluetooth speaker. The new conductor was shining his 32 and it was obvious he preferred hanging than driving.
Sometimes, all you need to do is change one thing and every other thing falls into order. Sometimes all you need is to swap the Vice and the President but the powers that be won’t let you. Other times, all you need is the humility to come down from your high-horse to serve and let the next party take charge.
The game is almost up and you need a goal badly, find your own baby-faced assassin, find your own Ole Gunnar Solskjær.