Sunday, 7 May 2017

Roads, Merchants of Death and the Dillema

Roads, Merchants of Death and the Dillema
Roads, Merchants of Death and the Dillema



I was thinking this morning.... about the dilemmas we face on our roads. Last Sunday in Lagos as I was driving home along the Lekki-Epe expressway after a wonderful service, I observed an open-back commercial van used commonly in Lagos for carrying blocks, waiting to make a u-turn. Anticipating that he will make the turn not minding on-coming vehicles, I slowed down as I watched him justify the notorious reputation they are known for. He immediately turned into the road shoulder and with relief, I took my foot off the brakes and stepped on the accelerator. My mistake! 'Bang' followed by 'kpakishhhhkereeerraccchtluck.. ting..ting..ting" was the next event and sound I heard. The driver had immediately left the road shoulder, entered my lane and crashed into my car causing serious damage to asset. Thankfully, my young wife and I were unhurt. My question; 'what are these merchants of death doing on our roads?' It's a dilemma!


The incident brought back memories of how a former boss of mine lost his life when his saloon car ran under the famous 'agbegin lodo' truck, when the driver decided to make that satanically inspired u-turn. Again, I asked myself, what are these merchants of death doing on our roads? 


In my reflection, I found out, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, that there are 11.5 million vehicles in Nigeria with about 6 million of them being commercial vehicles. Wow!!! Six million vehicles and drivers with no regard at all for road safety. What are these merchants of death doing on our roads? it's a dilemma!


The USA has a total of 253 million vehicles with about 11.5m scrapped in 2014 alone. Trust me, more than half of that scrapped number ended up in Nigeria. Consider this, when we came out of our vehicles after the accident, there was no visible damage to the truck, but as for my car, the impact can be akin to the bashing an 'aje-butter' boy gets from a fight with a street child (or aje-kpako as they're referred to in Warri). Hmm!!! What are these merchants of death doing on our roads? It's a dilemma!


Shockingly, when the driver stepped out, he was cocooned in the smell of alcohol and hemp with a bottle of 'skian,' 'kparaga,' gin or whatever it was, in his pocket. Immediately, everyone around that witnessed the incident gathered and started pleading that I forgive the 'murderer' and not invite the police. I was thinking and did tell the crowd, if we always let these guys get away with their reckless behaviours, how will things change? But the biggest question to me was, 'what are these merchants of death doing on our roads?' It's a dilemma!


As I departed the scene that day, I recalled the words of 2nd Corinthians 1 vs 10 that says, 'Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.' As you go out today, watch out for these merchants of death and be circumspect. Collectively, we must chase them out of our roads and eliminate the dilemmas.


Happy Sunday.





......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

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