By Mike Ebonugwo
THE Lagos commercial bus took off from the Ikotun Bus-
stop heading for Cele along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
But just before it got to Iyana Ejigbo, it ran into a traffic jam. And as the driver was trying to negotiate his way out of the gridlock after conferring with his conductor on possible short-cut options, the beeping of a GSM phone was heard and an elderly man sitting close to the door was soon heard shouting, hello! hello!!.
Of course there was nothing unusual about this. But the other passengers were taken aback when they heard the man telling his caller: â€œEh Gbenga, Iâ€™m coming; Iâ€™ll be with you soon.
In fact, Iâ€™m right now at Jakande Gate. So, just exercise patience and wait for me; Iâ€™m comingâ€.
This GSM lie apparently did not go down well with one of the passengers as he muttered thus: â€œHow this old man will be telling this kind of babanla lie for afternoonÂ like this. Ah-ah, some people donâ€™t even have shame when they start lying in publicâ€.
He had barely finished saying this when the manâ€™s phone rang again and after watching it ring for some time reluctantly answered the call.
â€œAh Gbenga, I say Iâ€™m coming…Yes, weâ€™ve just passed Jakande Gate and very soon now we will get to Pako, and give and take, it will not take me up to 10 minutes to meet you at Okota Roundabout,â€ he told his caller, frantically mopping his face which was sweating profusely.
Unable to bear this anymore, a female passenger reacted by remonstrating with the fellow thus: â€œOga, instead of you to be sitting here blowing all that big, big lie why donâ€™t you tell the person the truth instead of raising his or her hope by lying. Better still, if the appointment is all that important why donâ€™t you come down from this bus and take Okada to go and meet the personâ€.
Although appearing shame-faced on hearing this, the fellow merely shrugged in response, as he continued staring out of the window.
But his action was enough to trigger off instant discussion inside the bus. According to a passenger who gave his name as Kenneth Aduwo: â€œSince GSM came to Nigeria it has turned many of us into serial liars.
Almost every time somebody picks up a GSM phone to make or answer a call, what you will hear is one big lie before the person finishes speaking.
That is how one man was lying the other day that he was inside a church, that because of that the person calling him should call back later. Meanwhile, me and the man were standing at a bus-stop waiting for busâ€.
Another passenger, Martins Ike picked it up from there. â€œThat one is small now.
One day a lady answered a call at Mile Two here in Lagos and told the person calling her that she had travelled to Port Harcourt. She told the person that she could not honour his invitation to attend a programme because she was out of Lagos.
The thing that surprised me about it is that she said this at Mile Two where many conductors were shouting: Oshodi O! Orile! Wharf-Wharf!…And I asked myself, wonâ€™t the person hear this and know that she was lying,â€ he informed with disapproval.
Responding to this, a passenger who identified himself as Mojeed said: â€œThe truth is that itâ€™s ladies that usually lie more with their GSM (phones) than men. Anyway, Iâ€™m not surprised sha, itâ€™s the nature of women, especially Nigerian women, to lie.
And itâ€™s worse now that they have GSM to play with, they tell lies almost everytime you hear them talking because they know the person theyâ€™re speaking with will not see themâ€.
But a female passenger, Ms. Agatha Igunbor vehemently disagreed, saying: â€œIf youâ€™re talking about people who tell lies the more, then give it to men.
A typical example is that man that just told somebody that he was at Jakande Gate when he is actually at Iyana Ejigbo. Men believe, for instance, that telling lies to women is a way of life.
Even many married men tell lies to their wives that they are in the office working or caught in a go-slow when they are actually somewhere enjoying with their girl-friends. Majority of the people I have seen using GSM to lie are men and they will be enjoying itâ€.
To this Martins said: â€œMadam, the truth is that men are not as crazy about GSM as women are. That is why they are always displaying expensive handsets anywhere you see them. Even female students that are still dependent on their parents go about with expensive handsets.
How do they manage to afford such expensive phones? Of course, itâ€™s by keeping boy friends and sugar daddies.
The more boy friends they have, the more money they will collect.
And how can you do this successfully if you are not an expert in lying. And that is where GSM has been helping themâ€.
His fellow male passengers loudly applauded his contribution, but the female passengers laughingly dismissed it as far-fetched.