Monday, May 9, 2016 6:57 am
I planned to attend the Holy Ghost Night last Friday. I had prepared myself and had thought I would go there from work. But I was so engrossed in what I was doing in the office. By the time I raised my head to check the time; it was 6.40pm. I thought to myself, I could still make it.
A colleague who had shelved the idea of going to the camp took me in his car since I left mine at home for fear of possible traffic jam. He planned to drop me at the Ogba bus stop. By the time we drove out of Dideolu Court in Ogba and approached the dual carriage road that leads to Ogba Bus stop; we were confronted with a nauseating traffic.
A snaky chain of vehicles had formed on the long stretch of road from Agege end of the road to Ogba. We could not link the road from Dideolu since the vehicles on the other end had formed a headache-inducing traffic.
My friend simply took the right lane to Agege. He asked me patiently if I still wanted to proceed to Camp; I said yes. But I could not come down from his vehicle. It was pointless because news reaching us indicated that the entire Ogba/ Ojodu was already in a traffic mess.
I followed him to Agege thinking I would get a bus from there to Camp. By the time we got to Agege Pen Cinema; we were confronted with a horde of people. No commercial vehicle in sight. The people were patiently waiting by the road side. Time was already 7.30pm. My friend dropped me and went home straight. He told me his wife would represent him in Camp.
Here was I still battling with the thought of going or not going. I said to myself if I get a bus I would go since I was not the one driving. The trouble will be with the driver. I was so confident that I could still make it. But soon it was 8pm and there was no hope. I simply changed my mind and headed home. But the vast majority of people were still waiting; hoping against hope they would still get vehicles that would take them.
But the truth is that if even if they get buses that would take them to Camp; they would probably end up having their vigil in the vehicles since everywhere was already in a gridlock.
This is just a typical scene every first Friday of the month. Many prospective worshipers at the Redemption Camp literally go through hell to get to camp especially those who close late from work before going. Those who escape the melee are those who leave before 4pm.
Now, I keep asking myself; what will it profit a man if he leaves his house for Camp and end up on the road side? Is it not better to go back home when it is apparently difficult to go to Camp? Thank God; we serve a God that is everywhere. We serve a God who Himself says in John 4v21
“21“Believe Me, woman,” Jesus replied, “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.
This is not in any way rubbishing the Holy Ghost Night. Thank God for Pastor Adeboye. Thank God for the anointing upon His life. Thank God for the man whose record of holiness and humility is outstanding.
But there is a need to find a lasting solution to the traffic situation during Holy Ghost Nights. The church should find a way of discouraging individuals who go later than 4pm from going to the place with their cars. That will to a large extend reduce the volume of cars on the road.
The areas under the RCCG could then make arrangement for buses that will convey people to the place. Some already do this. But it is important that prospective worshipers get some proper education so as to reduce the monthly congestion experienced on the road. There is no doubt that this recurrent traffic situation causes untold hardship on Lagosians.
Olugbenga Osinaike is the publisher of Church Times