Yesterday, a friend narrated his story of oppression by rickety bus and tricycle drivers. A fortnight ago, he bought a brand new Lexus Jeep and was cruising the streets of Achara Layout, Enugu, after having gone to visit an aunt who was hounding him to come show her, his new car.
He was feeling good and blessed, when he met with a go slow along Agbani Road. While he was patiently waiting for the Traffic Warden to do his job and manage the traffic, one Keke Napep from nowhere swerved and nearly hit his sweet new car. Being a sharp guy he avoided being hit. Although the Keke might have come off the worse for wear, while his baby gets only a few scratches, he didn’t want to take the risk; his baby was too precious.
Soon after that, the traffic eased up and he was soon on his way to Coal Camp, there he jammed another go slow. Listening to Flavour’s Ukwu, while the traffic maintained a slow turtle pace, he was alarmed to see a rickety Peugeot J5 bus do a funny overtake from the other lane, heading towards him.
He was shell shocked; transfixed. He didn’t know where to move to, there was little or no road for maneuver. He had resigned his baby to fate and was waiting patiently for that scrunch and grind noise of his baby being hit by the demon of a bus. As God will have it, the bus driver knows his tricks and avoided by mere inches, hitting my friend’s Lexus jeep.
At that juncture, he was praying to God Almighty to deliver him and his baby out of that devil’s den of temptations and disaster-prone go slows. Not too far ahead, a young boy of about 9-10years old selling sachets of pure-water darted in front his moving vehicle, in a bid to sell pure-water to a woman calling to him from across the road. As a sharp guy, my friend slammed on the brakes and narrowly missed hitting the boy. The boy gave him an evil eye and walked away. No remorse, no gratitude, just anger. Thereupon, people started to abuse him, a man selling motor parts across the road was the head of the abuse committee: “Ndiara! o ka ha si anya motor. Na acho ndi ha ga eji gwo ogwu ego.” – “Mad people! That’s how they drive recklessly, looking for people to use for ritualistic money making”. My friend was short of words but then he remembered the story of his clansman who accidentally killed a beggar and was nearly lynched by the mob, he kept quiet. Luckily, the traffic unjammed and he drove safely home.
Narrating his ordeal, one could see that the “trauma” was still fresh in his mind. An educated well to do young man in his Lexus jeep was traumatized by the uneducated, fiercely proud commercial bus drivers and he was happy to have come off unscathed. Now, that’s a new take on class oppression.
With the increase in kidnappings (a rich man cannot walk freely in Nigeria for fear of being kidnapped, and their loved ones are not spared either.), it is apparent that the poor are tired of being oppressed and have in turn chosen to oppress the rich; and what an unjust job of it they are doing.