How to Drive in Lagos by Segun Dada
The battle of driving in Lagos is not for the soft or kind hearted. Prepare yourself to be as stone-hearted as you can ever be. No be play play. Every Lagos driver is a mental case. The progression of mental disorder increases varies depending on the kind of vehicle you are driving. From Okada to Danfo driver to BRT bus Driver to corolla sport to range rover sport, there is a stint of madness in everyone.
Whenever you are in doubt about anything that ranges from armed robbery to being apprehended by any of the traffic enforcement agencies, just accelerate!, don’t ask questions, don’t look around just accelerate first and ask questions later. While accelerating, be prepared to hit into anything stopping you that is wearing uniform in Lagos (police, traffic warden, FRSC, Kai brigade, fire brigade, VIO, LASTMA, Man O War or even Boy Scout )
In event that you ever get caught by any chance, do not allow them to enter your car for any reason. Look as important as you can and ask them questions like “Do You Know Who I Am?” If they prove stubborn, don’t worry, just pick out your phone and pretend that you are calling your uncle who is in the army or a politician. Use words like “hello honorable” or “hello chief” or “hello Alhaji (believe me it always works) if all that fails, never ever ever follow them to any sort of office except you are ready to pay hundred times more than what was demanded.
Danfo drivers believe they have a pact with death. Never yield to the temptation to drive as roughly as they do. Also, this is very very very very important.
All Okada riders are suicidal in nature, avoid them like STD. They are kegs of gunpowder waiting to explode.
Those BRT buses are evil, avoid them as much as you can, don’t be deceived by their bodywork, they don’t have brake!!
As much as possible, endeavor never to have an argument with those taxi-cab drivers in Lagos, they always claim to have been driving long before you were born. Whenever they insult you, just ignore else you will hear the history of your life.
Never, ever, stop for a pedestrian. They hate you anyways and always have it at the back of your mind that you don’t need to stop, they will run. It is their problem if they on the other hand think they don’t need to run, you will stop.
The first parking space you see will be the last parking space you see. Fight for it like your entire living depends on it.
It is traditional in Lagos to honk your horn at cars that don’t move the instant their bumpers are not touching the next car. I don’t know why but I guess it is also enshrined in the constitution.
Driving to a place you have been before means you have to ask for directions. I beg you in the name of the God you serve, don’t rely on the directions of one or two people. These people hate you and I can’t explain why even when they claim they know everywhere in the whole of Lagos, don’t rely on them. Call an okada rider to lead you and pay him for his efforts it will save you time, stress, fuel and embarrassment.
Never ever try to contest the traffic lane with a car that needs extensive bodywork, except you want to spend your whole Saturday at the panel beater’s place who by the way will be very happy to see you.
Never use those directional signals, no other driver in Lagos uses them, you using them means you are trying to confuse other drivers. And also never use your hand to wave down other drivers when trafficating. They will simply misunderstand you. Simple and weird as that.
This is also important. The rules of engagement when someone hits you from behind or worse still you hit someone from behind is simple. The first man to come down and the first one to throw the first blow is the innocent one. Don’t ask me to explain why. I didn’t write the constitution!
Speed limits signs are just mere landmarks. No need to beat yourself with a guilty conscience, no one keeps to them. And also at any given time, do not stand on the zebra crossing expecting traffic to yield to you, contrary to popular belief, Lagos is not London. Nobody will stop for you.
Finally, when you run into a police checkpoint, just say this word.” Wey Yellow” and they will let you go. Wey Yellow is a free pass to all police checkpoints applicable nationwide (explanation; There’s always a cop with that nickname in 9 out of 10 patrol units… If you ask, they assume you are pals with him & go easy on you)
This piece is dedicated to the #SaveMusibaudeen Project. The 2 years old boy has a hole in the heart and needs your urgent assistance to survive. He has only been able to raise a little above N800,000 out of the N3Million required to correct the defect. Please donate to the cause by paying to the account. Name: MUSIBAUDEEN SHITTU Account Number: 2058239672. Bank: UBA. Thanks.
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