By Olayinka Latona
THE bus ride from Oshodi to Mile Two, a journey of about 25 minutes, was a smooth one until one Rapid Response Squad vehicle swerved and forced the commercial bus to an abrupt stop just before the Iyana Isolo Bus Stop. With military precision, a uniformed anti-riot police man jumped out of the van with his AK47 rifle and pronto dragged the conductor out of the commercial bus. The action threw all the passengers into confusion as it dawned on them that their journey may have come to an abrupt end.
All pleadings by the bus passengers on behalf of the conductor fell on deaf ears as the mobile police man whisked him away and pushed him into an already packed van in front of the bus. He, however, assured the passengers of their safe ride to their various destinations with or without the conductor, who for the moment will serve some prison ‘term’ in the van.
But the danfo driver was unmoved by the entire episode which he initially watched like an interesting scene in a Nollywood movie. In fact, his was the responsibility of calming the passengers, urging them to allow the uniformed man to do his ‘worst’. According to the driver, the policemen won’t do anything beyond collecting of their normal ‘particulars’.
Angrily, the lanky dark complexioned uniformed man, who overheard the driver, pushed the bus conductor into the waiting Police vehicle and they immediately drove off with their latest captive.
The highly agitated passengers, who were worried about the development, wondered what the driver’s offence was. One of them was heard saying that if any traffic offence had been committed the driver, and not the innocent ‘conductor’ should be the one to pay.
As the debate raged, the bus driver replied thus: “How will the RSS men collect their ‘particulars’ if they take me and leave the conductor who is the one holding the money?
“It seems you people don’t know what is happening in Lagos. These uniformed people will never arrest the driver, they will rather go for the conductor who they know will be the eventual pay master. They are thorns in our flesh. What is my offence now? I will not blame them; since we have started celebrating corruption in this country anything can happen now. Afterall, our leaders are celebrating corruption”.
One of the passengers on the back seat interjected, saying: “My brother I wonder what this country is turning to O! Imagine the type of accolades he received from his colleagues in the van. I wonder what the coming generation of Nigerians will inherit. Corruption has become a major issue in this country and it will continue to be with us until something serious is done to arrest it.”
Joachim, an Ibo trader who had been quiet all the while, surmoned up courage to say: “If I am the judge that convicted Chief Bode George, I will make sure that he is not released because these politicians are only dragging this nation backward”.
Another trader who was wondering how he would get his ‘change’ from the now captured conductor, offered: “I will not blame the man(Chief Bode George). What of all those thousands of women and men, who decided to use tax payers’ money to sew uniform, jubilating, dancing to welcome someone who helped to put their children’s future in jeopardy.”
“Hmmm!” was all Adetunji, an Ijesha-bound passenger could offer. “I am ashamed and I was really surprised that that wild celebration of corruption was taking place in this country when there is so much talk of eradicating corruption from our polity.
will not collect anything less because some passengers dey abuse them. They even say you provoke them when they arrested me.”
Right or wrong, the driver had to accept the story as it was told to him.
Meanwhile, “Ijesha, First Rainbow, Second Rainbow, Mile Two Oke” and a big bang on the body of the weather_beaten danfo and the beginning of yet another day in Lagos.