This evening’s drama was straight out of a bad Nollywood movie. It started out as the normal story, dánfó driver on Lékkí-Èpé Expressway driving nonsense. He scratches someone’s Prado Jeep and tries to escape. Mr. Prado Jeep gives chase and of course he catches us after all of two minutes. Where exactly did Mr. Dánfó driver think he was running to, what with the usual traffic on Lékkí-Èpé Express way? So, Mr. Prado catches us and steps out of his car in full military uniform. Kpekélé kpekèlè, arúgbó je gbèsè! Of all the Jeeps in Lagos, this dánfó driver went to scratch a soldier’s own! I don’t know much about the Nigerian Army but the guy’s uniform looked so impressive, he must have been a top guy.
The passengers who had been raining abuses on the driver before then became subdued and kept shut. You know how when someone presses the mute button and the TV just shuts up kpam? That’s how we all just swallowed our voices as if on cue.
The Soldier simply went to the driver’s side, pulled his door open and dragged him out by his shirt.
“Oga abeg…” the driver started. The rest was silenced with a bone shattering slap.
Kai, I felt that slap from where I was sitting. The driver tried to fall to his knees (or maybe his knees just gave way beneath him) but Oga Soldier simply dragged him up by his shirt and delivered another slap. At this point, we all overcame or speechlessness and started to beg earnestly on behalf of the driver. The conductor went over to prostrate himself flat in front of the Soldier but mba, him no gree. Before we knew it, some minion Soldiers had arrived at the scene. Of course, a big boy Soldier like that one doesn’t walk alone. They just jejely took Mr. driver and carried him to their pick up truck and drove off with him.
“Ah, tiè ba lóòní!” someone exclaimed.
“The kain beat he will chop today ehn?”
“Na where dem dey carry am go?” a woman asked.
I was thinking the same thing but was afraid of what the answer would be.
“Ah, dem dey carry am go barracks be that!”
“When him see Soldier again, him go run!”
“Conductor, you no go go look for your driver?”
“Abi oh, you no go go bail am out?”
“Na where him wan go look for am?”
“If he follow them, them go just beat am join!”
“Abeg, who sabi drive for here?” That from the conductor.
We all stopped in our commiserations when it hit us that we were now sans a driver and had only just reached Ìkàté.
“Ah, it’s true oh, how person go reach Àjáh now?”
“Abeg give me my money oh make I join another bus.”
The pity party was over. People really weren’t smiling at all.
“Make una no worry, we go reach Àjáh.” The conductor said.
“How? We go fly?”
“Abeg no waste time jàre, make we quickly find another bus enter.”
“This man go sabi drive the bus.” The conductor said, pointing to a man on the second row.
All our collective necks swung to look at the man. The man sef swung his head to see our would-be savior only for him to find all eyes on him.
“Me ke?!” he exclaimed.
“How you take know say him sabi drive?” someone demanded.
“Abi you don become Octopus Paul?” someone else said.
“Na wetin be that?” some other guy asked.
“Na where you for dey when them dey play World Cup?”
“Which one consign me consign World Cup?”
“See you, them never born you that time.”
“Shey you even sabi who Obasanjo be?”
“How I no go sabi that one?!”
“If Octopus Paul still dey alive, he for tell us tey tey say PDP no go enter again!”
“Abeg stop that nonsense! Him for warn us say na like this dollar go cost!”
Were these people for real at all?! We were stranded here by the side of the high way and they’re arguing over Octopus Paul! Lagos really is a crazy place.
“Oga, abeg come drive the moto commot for here.” The conductor implored.
“How you take know say I sabi drive?” the would-be savior asked.
“I see as you dey control the driver.”
Say what? What does that even mean.
“True oh, im dey tell am to cut him hand that time when he jam that soh-ja!”
As in seriously! So that’s all that’s needed to qualify for the driver’s seat?
In a heartbeat, everyone on the bus was swearing by their mothers that they just knew that the man was the black reincarnation of double-oh-seven himself.
“I sabi drive the bus but na Igbó Efòn I dey go oh. After that one you dey on your own.” The man finally conceded.
“Oga, nothing do you, abeg help our situation.” The conductor begged.
“Na wetin you wan make I do? I no go go house?”
“Chairman no worry, I go settle you bus money reach Igbó Efòn, just hep me drive this bus reach Àjáh abeg.”
Long story short oh, the conductor psyched the man sotey he agreed to drive us all the way to Àjáh without jamming anyone’s car on the way! This is Lagos after all, what else is new under the sun?!