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A question of ‘staff’ passengers


If she enter this bus, I no go move from here, I swear!” declared the driver of the Ogba-bound commuter bus this Thursday evening as a policewoman tried to get on the bus. He was shouting so much that passengers had top wade in. At this point, the policewoman could not utter a word; she stood by and watched the unfolding drama between those for her and the very few against her.

 A Lagos commercial bus popularly called DANFO
A Lagos commercial bus popularly called

Trouble started when the policewoman came into the park and went to where some bus drivers and conductors were standing, greeted them and asked for permission to board the bus already loading.

One of them asked her to go ahead, while the driver of the vehicle protested vehemently; asking her to wait for the next bus. Other drivers asked him to oblige her but he refused, threatening not to leave the park if she boarded his vehicle. At this juncture, a commuter in the bus by named Uzo said: “What is your problem sef? Is it because she came to take permission from you? If she had simply boarded without telling you, there is nothing you could have done about it.”

Replied the driver: “Then I will not drive out of this park. No be my motor?”

The altercations continued and the woman decided to wait for the next bus. As the driver drove out of the park, Joe, a passenger in the bus said: “But driver, you are very wicked. You are lucky the policewoman is not the wicked type, otherwise your work would have ended for today as she would have made sure you left empty and then her comrades would have dealt with you on the way.”

No mind am, yeye man. If he enter bus now e go claim staff. They no dey pay transport fare,” noted Lamidi.

Abeg make una shut up,”  said another passenger, Biodun in defence of the driver. “The driver is already carrying three staff thereby losing N600 and you want him to add one more to make it N800? That is wickedness! Did you buy the vehicle for him?  Abeg make we dey reason like human beings.”

Staff indeed! Staff of Lagos State Government or Federal Government?” sneered Sam.

Motor park touts (agberos), bus drivers and conductors, area boys, miscreants – are all staff in Lagos State so they don’t pay transport fare, but ensure it is always inflated to punish genuine passengers,” said Lamidi.

Can’t you see he is a staff? That is why he is crying more than the bereaved,” said Uzo.

So you are part of the loss because you did not pay. You should have paid so the man will not run at a loss,” stated Sam.

Do you know how the bus came?” asked Biodun.

We don’t want to know. Even if you bought the bus for him, should that make you not to pay the fare? You will kill the business before you know it,” said Uzo.   

The policewoman is very gentle. If she had not gone to seek permission to board the bus, would the driver have had the guts to insult her?” asked Joe.”

E no fit! They no born am well to try that!” declared Lamidi.

I think it’s because the officer is female. He wouldn’t try that with a male officer. It’s just that the police have lost their respect in the eyes of the people,” said Uzo.

Forget oo, some of the female officers are meaner than men. She is just naturally nice,” said Joe.

Nice? Nigeria Police officers? You make me laugh. You never enter their hands before. Many of them are really mean. If they want to deal with you, they will weave a heavy lie and hang on your neck just to crucify you.”

Narrated Sam: “That’ s true. I remember the police stopping a friend of mine some time ago. The guy stopped and they asked for his particulars, he showed them and everything was in order. One of them peeped into the car and said the seats were old and worn and they were going to charge him for driving a tattered vehicle!”

This caused laughter.

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