I, the Lagos Driver…

Image So you think you can drive? LOL! Have you driven a car in Lagos and escaped unscathed? The popular saying goes that in Lagos, people drive for two. In other words, you are not just trying to avoid hitting someone, you are also trying to avoid getting hit. Driving on some Lagos roads is indeed the survival of the fittest. LOL

I remember one day, in 2006 to be precise. I had gone to work on a Saturday and I was driving back home in the evening. I felt like a correct Lagos driver and I wove in and out of lanes, getting in front of other vehicles and feeling rather cool that I could achieve that feat.

This went on for a while and as I approached the second roundabout at Lekki, I did the unthinkable. I saw an approaching truck and instead of stopping for the huge truck to drive past, I got in front of it and guess what? The car went off at that point! Dear Lord Jesus!

Now, trucks in Lagos are quite known not to have functional brakes, that meant that the oncoming vehicle that I was watching from the rearview mirror of my sister’s beloved Red Golf which I had borrowed for that day may not have working brakes. At the thought of that alone, I started perspiring heavily as I frantically tried to turn on the ignition of the vehicle. The truck driver blared his horns non-stop as the truck got closer to me and when I couldn’t contain it any longer, I started praying in other tongues. At that point, the car came alive and I drove away as fast as I could! Phew!

Well, I learnt my lesson that day. And I quickly jettisoned my ‘Lagos Driver Mode’. Or did I?

 

Do you have driving tales? Horrible? A miraculous intervention? I would love to hear them all!

My Encounter with an Armed Robber!

I remember that night like it was last night. I was walking towards my hostel, Manuwa hall when it happened. I had noticed that someone was trailing me all the way from the front of Mariere Hall but I had thought it was one of them ‘chykers‘ so I didn’t even bother to look back.

The front of Manuwa Hall was pretty much the same every night. Boys and girls mingled outside, with a few cars parked. Some walked into the hostel in pairs while some other female students just went about their normal business. I was on my way back from the first segment of our prayer meeting when the ‘armed’ robber attacked me.

I was a leader in the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students, University of Nigeria Enugu Chapter and every Tuesday we had prayer meetings. That particular month, the leaders had decided to meet and pray for about 30 minutes before the general house would come. Anyway, after our thirty minutes segment, I decided to get to the hostel. The prayer meetings usually held at the field and I didn’t really want to hang around in the open air.

‘Hello excuse me’ he said

I ignored him and kept walking towards the door of the hall. He walked up to me and blocked my path, forcing me to look at him.

‘How may I help you?’ I asked, looking him the face.

He asked if I knew him and I replied in the negative. He said that he knew me and that I really had to be careful that I was always moving around with Cult boys. I was shocked. He asked that we step aside and talk and I followed him to under a tree a little distance from the entrance of the hostel.

‘You don’t even have an idea of who you are talking to’. I answered ‘Me ke? Cult guys?’

I then went ahead and gave him a very brief summary of my ‘religious status’ LOL. Anyways, the guy kept ranting and I decided that I had had enough and started to walk away but he stopped me again and told me to handover my handset. I stared at him, how did he know I had a phone? My phone was that small silver Motorola Talkabout T191 that one could hide in their palms. Then it dawned on me, I had made a very brief call while walking past Mariere hall, that must have made me a target. Hmn! I definitely was not about to give away my precious Motorola handset just like that, what would I tell my Dad? This was year 2003 and GSM phones were scarce and quite expensive.

Well, I refused to give him the phone and made to walk away but he told me that he had a gun and pulled something black out of his pocket. Then he grabbed my hand and tried to take the phone from my hand. At this time, the headlights of a car driving towards the hostel shone in our direction and I saw his gun clearly, however, I wasn’t about to let go so easily or rather, I didn’t think I should.

‘Thief!!! Leave my phone!!!!’ I heard myself screaming while holding on to my phone at the same time. I half expected him to shoot me!

‘Ole! Ole! Thief!’ Several male voices screamed from Mariere Hall and from around Manuwa Hall and next thing I knew, the dude was running. Wow! Was I shaken?! I really didn’t believe I got away that easy.

Well, I was really grateful to God that I didn’t loose my phone just like that. The boldness to stand my ground must have come from the HolyGhost. The people around me asked what happened and I narrated the story to them, they were all happy for me.

I finally made it to my room in one piece and handed over the phone to my friend and roommate and then went back for the concluding part of the prayer meeting.