It is always bewildering to see people who seem intelligent, respectable and wealthy end up being directed in traffic by people who obviously have some mental challenges, are not reckoned with in the society due to their very low financial capacity.
At some spots that always have traffic bottlenecks especially in Lagos, these people, mostly young men come out to direct traffic because the ‘intelligent’ ones fail to use their intelligence and sense to drive with decorum and patiently without causing traffic buildups.
One major spot that this occurs is the Doyin Busstop, Orile Iganmu. There is this young man that comes out every evening to direct traffic and believe it, he does a great job even risking his life by blocking impatient drivers with his body.
Another spot is along Ijesha Road, somehow in the middle if approaching the U-Turn near Mobil Filling Station. There is another youngman that also come out to direct traffic though I can’t say how consistent he is with this.
There are two others I remember; one man without teeth and another without an arm and a leg on Lagos Island, inbound Victoria Island. These two if I remember correctly were sometime in the past officially recognized by the Lagos State government for their hard work and consistency in helping direct traffic.
The flip side of this is that it calls for concern that most road users especially motorists are too selfish, inconsiderate and never yield to the Right Of Way of other motorists, thereby ending up creating avoidable and unnecessary traffic bottlenecks so we now depend in these category of people who look unschooled to direct us and make us do the right thing under the elements without adequat, if any compensation.
I use this opportunity to celebrate these men of valour.
As soon as possible I will try and track them down, interview them and see how we can contribute to better their lives. Meanwhile, you too can do what is possible in your capacity.
I implore all motorists to always be patient while driving, obey all traffic rules and regulations, yield to Right Of Way and drive safely with decorum. Doing this doesn’t make you less of a driver, nor does it make you reach your destination later than others. Rather you gain more this way as you save your car from unnecessary stress, dents and scratches, avoid roadrage, and make our society a saner place for all of us.
One funny truth is that during all the ‘gra-gra’ and struggling in traffic we create enemies that might even be our friends or business acquaintances moreover just check and see that most times all the cars get to the next traffic stop about the same time…..then why the stress?