Actions without consequences encourage more of the same

May Debo’s soul rest in peace.

I have never been to heaven so can’t really say that someone whose life’s aspirations dashed right before their eyes without a moment warning and from a completely preventable cause would have a restful soul.

May the family of Debo Ladoja be granted with strengths to deal with their loss.  Auto accidents in Nigeria is a plague that would never go away unless we collectively find ways of addressing the root of the problem – make reckless drivers face the full consequences of their actions. Well, that sounds like a good idea but we need to start with issuing driver’s licence to the people who can demonstrate driving competency on the roads in the first place.

Whenever there is a report of yet another fatality on our roads – which is everyday and everywhere we show empathy and offer our condolences, most of the road fatalities go unreported, I guess we are tired of reporting ‘bad news’ so we talked about it briefly and moved on.

My cousin was involved in a terrible car accident a few years back, her left knee was crushed so spent months at Lagos, LUTH. According to her, it was not her driver’s fault, the other driver appeared to be under influence of drugs. I pitied her as now she has a mark to remember the accident for as long as she lives – one leg shorter than the other. She is very lucky to have survived. Her driver was fine, one passenger died. So I asked “Does Tunde have a driver’s license?” “He is a final year medical student at OAU” Wumi said with no slight thought to what she said.

I deliberately didn’t ask if Tunde was a ‘good driver’ I know some kids who grew up with family cars started driving very young and many responsible parents would insist their children do practical test so as to get their licence, this usually included driving on Highway so a bit of familiarity there to prepare one for future emergencies. In Tunde’s case, no licence and does not drive often but knew what the peddles do and have experience of driving in his local town but the accident happened on Ibadan – Lagos Highway where his driving competency was faced with real life challenge – he failed. It was a case closed and the family of the lady who died was made to thank God as that was how God wanted it.

We love giving testimonies during Sunday services, a fantastic idea as it allows us to count our blessings and appreciate being alive to witness all the wonders around us. However, maybe we should be paying a bit more attention to the stories and learn from them especially things that no one should ever be thankful for!

Baba Tope was a truck driver for a big business man in my local town. He was trusted with picking up orders and delivery of goods. Travels a lot throughout the country. Whenever he was around, always had a near death driving testimony to give. Among his many testimonies, was him seeing herd of cows on the road and was left with no option but to drive through them – this was all in Baba Tope’s head. In reality, he drove through screaming market women in a local Ondo street market. The women spotted his recklessness quick enough so they ran for their lives – leaving their goods behind. He eventually stopped when he hit a tree. He was arrested, boss, the big man got involved – the verdict? No one dies, what’s the wahala?

Baba Tope was a drunk, everyone around my church knows this but unofficially agree that, that is very common with truck drivers. The day of that particular accident, Baba Tope was not supposed to be close to any road giving the level of his intoxication let alone be behind a steering wheel.

I remember Baba Tope’s story because it did not end well. By now you can guess how it all end – He left a young wife and three children behind. He was a good guy and very funny, well, drunk – driving aside.

He would be alive today if our so many laws that were meant to protect us were duly implemented.

I was impatient at the lights once, went through amber turning red – was caught, got fined (enough to pay for a nice handbag, ouch!) got 3 points that lasted 4 whole years on my UK licence and best part of a day to sort it all out and four years to regret one second offence – lesson learned.

 



Categories: Africa, Education, Nigeria

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. What I struggle with is the knowledge that Nigerians are among the most-travelled in West Africa, possibly the whole Africa even! We see how things work in other countries, we admire how things work in other countries and yet we don’t believe it can work in ours.
    When we live abroad, we obey all the rules and yet we don’t bother to implement them in our country. It’s almost as if we want Nigeria to remain lawless and ‘rule-less’ as this gives us an opportunity to avoid responsibility. I really, really struggle to understand this…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right on. Like you, I used to smuggle with this and thought we are beyond repair. However, I strongly believe in a better Nigeria and know it will be extremely hard but we certainly can do it.

      We need leaders who is a borderline crazy – no joke. You have to be able to listen to all, and do exact opposite at the same time be very clear of your goals and MUST be to the benefit of citizens.
      A little change that I see in Lagos and my state Osun strengthening this hope in me.

      As it stands today, most people do know know what they wanted or what is good for them. I will put a big cotton bud in my ears until I finished cleaning up education system even if I had to fire all of the teachers – can’t get any worse. I’d trap all the religious goons paying ‘courtesy visits’ to politicians toes even if ALL Nigeria hated my guts – then when I am finished, they’d see the lights.

      None of these will be easy, will be tough, even war – Oh well we are not new to any.

      A changed Nigeria require people who without a doubt believed in US with no corner, corner bulls.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally agree with you! Like when we had War Against Indiscipline, people obeyed the law, stood in queues, waited their turn, came out on Saturday for sanitation day. It can be done!
        You are so right, we need a crazy leader…someone like Jerry Rawlings, who came in, cleaned up Ghana and now everyone wants to school and live in Ghana!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Funny you mention WAI – I had thought about that a lot in the last 24hrs but I know that’s not enough to convince me of the old man Buhari 🙂

          Remember we were made to sing a WAI song at assemblies along with National anthem: “There is a monster, called indiscipline, living in Nigeria, posing as a king. He rules in our school, and churches and mosques, control our offices, market and behaviour. We must kill indiscipline …” goes the song. Today, more than 20yrs later indiscipline is 20x worse!

          And yea, J Rawlings idea, could work in Nigeria – I told a friend and he agreed but with a twist that all religious fanatics MUST go with their politicians buddies – then he hated me because he is a pastor! 🙂

          Like

  2. yep, what can I say, happens here in California as well, you take a course and 6 months later, you’re back on the road, hopefully your victim has insurance, pity really,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are you kidding me? Drivers’ insurance? My ribs hurts! In Lagos, Abuja and a hanful of major cities, yes, you will see plenty of drivers with insurance. If you are going to police drivers’ insurance holders – the road will be empty!
      Let’s just say The lord is my shepherd…

      Liked by 1 person

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