I particularly enjoyed walking around from onwards for at that time, vehicular traffic would be at a minimum, if not non-existent, and I would have the freedom of the roads. Why, would a young man spend his time walking around instead of reading his books, you wonder. Well, I had to keep the old Legediz Benz tuned up, and thanks to the walking, my odometer has crawled around to zero several times.
At Camp, not a few people thought I would keel over during the Endurance Trek. As a result, the vast numbers of slack-jawed persons watching me not only trek, but jog in some instances, was truly priceless. As a friend put it, they were witnessing the “eight wonder of the world.” At the end, I got several pats on the back from people who said they couldn’t handle the trek and they thought they were in shape.
When I moved into town, and discovered the wonders of okada, I put my Legediz Benz away, and began using it like any luxury vehicle for short trips only. It was truly delightful to travel long distances on a bike for as little as 60 bucks in some cases. I actually enjoyed taking bikes because I no send anibodi. But, as they say, good things never last. Like Al Pacino, just when I thought I was out, they've pulled me back in. For Nasiru "the Giant" El Rufai in his infinite wisdom, has banned okada in
That in itself wouldn’t have been a bad thing, if there was a credible alternative. Nasiru promised us buses to rival those in
But these are hardly the only problems. Bikemen knew every single street, crescent, close and road in
I’ll grant that some of them could be real menaces, but is a ban the only way to solve the problem? What ever happened to re-education programmes, safety training, and so on? They could have created a Motorcycle Bureau, taxed each okada 50 naira a day for operating in town, and used that money to monitor and inspect them. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of bikes in town. This could have raised, hypothetically, 100 grand a day, and that’s thinking small. It could have been made mandatory for okada riders to wear safety helmets, reflective vests and so on. But, we have a lazy government, one that would rather bury its head in the sand than solve the problems of the people. Besides, who elected el Rufai anyway. Yep, the man never had to stand before people and ask for votes, and the National Assembly members who’re supposed to be watching him are all in his pocket.
The other day, a radio presenter said the ban was a good thing because it would make us all fit, and raise life expectancy in
If anything, the stress has increased, and the frustration on the faces of the people has deepened. Traffic jams have become a daily sight on
Public transportation is not a service governments provide with a view to making a profit. Rather it is considered part and parcel of the social contract between the government and the people, as a social amenity.
And, since Nasiru is hell bent on copying everything from