Friday, March 10, 2023 3:42 pm
By Bola Adewara
Must you become a soldier to get our people to do the right thing?
I had gone to Ogbomosho from Benin to show up at the burial rites of an alumni’s mother. At about 2:30pm, I left the party. With no direct transport to Benin or Lagos, I settled for a car to Ojoo, Ibadan. The driver was paid N2000 by transfer, and he got an extra N300 as POS charges.
At Ibadan, the driver taking us to Lagos would not take a transfer; your cash or nothing. One of the agbero offered to assist me and took me to an area with POS merchants. All of them were asking for N500 for every 1k. Here in Ibadan! Even in Lagos, it’s 300.
With no option, I settled for it. I needed 5k. I gave him my ATM card to draw 7,500. Then the POS merchant said he had no cash. Everywhere there was no cash. We returned to the Bus Terminal. The car left without me. Then I began to move around the vicinity if I could get any help. From about 4:30pm, I was there till 6: p.m., looking for cash.
Then a kind of help came. One of the agbero said he would give me 1k for an extra 400. I was ready. I transferred from Gtbank. No network. After three, or four futile attempts, I remembered I now had Opay. Immediately, Opay paid, and I got the cash and jumped into the next car to Lagos.
WE TOOK A FAULTY CAR
Then, another kind of wahala started. We noticed the drive of the gear has issues, but the driver said when the car is hot, the gear will pick up. We have no problem in God’s name. I quickly objected. Why must you hang your stupidity on God? You know the gear is faulty. You said when it is hot, it will pick up, in God’s name. What stupid logic is that?
I told the driver to drop me off immediately, but the passengers began to apologise on his behalf. The vehicle will move in Jesus’ name. God will take us to Lagos safely. The more furious I got, the more the driver and the passengers begged. I kept quiet when I became the only person without faith in God’s ability to take a faulty car to Lagos. The journey started.
The car couldn’t climb up a slope. It could only move somewhat fast down a slope. On some hills, the car almost came to a halt. At Olorunshogo bus stop, I told him to refund my fare; he was still begging, asking for a while so the vehicle would get hot and the injector would pick up. He was not ready to make any refund. It took us almost an hour from Ojoo to Toll Gate, and he was ready to continue the journey to Lagos that way.
Close to the old Toll Gate, everyone in the car now knew God will not take a faulty car from Ibadan to Lagos. They began to shout, asking for their refunds. Still, he was adamant. He was ready to continue to Lagos, at his millipede speed, delivering homilies on the power of God to make the car work and take us to Lagos.
I BECAME AN ARMY OFFICER
That was when an idea struck me. I became an army officer and began to issue orders on the phone to Lieutenant Bako and Capt Shehu, to get out of where they were and bring me four soldiers with four AK47s to Ibadan Tollgate and deal with this stupid Ibadan driver. This is Colonel Bola Ade, commander of election special operations speaking. I spoke stentoriously like a soldier.
That was when a hush fell into the car. A soldier is here. Kill and Go. Immediately, the Ibadan driver began to cooperate. Oga, e ma binu sir. Ma park. I will park. Mi o fe wahala soja o. E joor sir. Ma park. Ma park. Immediately, he parked at a filling station. Time was almost 8pm.
Immediately, he parked, I came out of the vehicle, calmly bellowing orders to Lt. Bako, asking where the soldiers were. The driver, in earshot, ran to me, prostrating, apologising. Oga, shion sir! Twalley oga. He began to explain his inability to make any refund. He would call his driver mates at Ojoo Terminal to bring another vehicle to take us to Lagos.
We were there till 9:45pm when another dirty car came, with goats and rams in his booth. And the journey began, as the passengers began to thank Oga Colonel for saving them from this Ibadan driver.
What an experience! Must you become a soldier before people would do the right thing?
*Dr Bola Adewara, publisher of E-Life magazine, is a public affairs analyst
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