Characters on the highway

I have no better way to describe the way in which we drive these days. From rich dudes and babies to Keke to Okada. It has been long coming where mindless Nigerians drive like thugs on the highway. No recourse to traffic lights, no empathy for the pedestrian, simply no respect for each other.

Main-road tales are replete with tales of unkindness and brutality. How do people get crushed to death by a reckless driver? How are we able to sleep at night when people drive like bulls in a China shop, and young people are joy riding all over the place? If your parents have enough money then you own a car that drives you – packed with power, expensive and drunk inducing. If you are in such a car, you are above everyone else. You literally fly through the streets uncaring about anyone else.

My uncle is a pilot. When they are 20,000 feet above sea level, the rest of us on the ground look like mini-ants. The feeling is heady. These younglings driving cars too powerful for their brains feel the same way. Android, they knock down poor people’s children and begin to utter some nonsense about paying for a life or settling hospital bills. These children have never worked in their lives, and don’t know how much the cars cost.


The sirens are intense, the horning incredible, the self-entitled quarrels. This is why when they leave the office, they do not cope. There are no sirens in their new retirement positions so they then struggle to make a comeback

Crash it, kill someone and then pick another luxury car from your father or mother’s collection and pay the family of the deceased. Going forward, this boy/girl can no longer work for themselves and human life means nothing. With this mentality, drugs and cultural mentality are no big deal. After all, when he/she killed a hapless pedestrian a year ago his father/mother paid to get him/her off the hook.

There was no reason for the pedestrian to die. It was just an accident. He was looking at his babe’s endless thighs in full display as she sat beside him. So, he lost concentration. And if it is a daughter who had the accident, she was answering her boo on the phone and did not look where she was going. But their parents fixed it. But now in school, this guy has offended him, he took his girl and he will be killed for a reason. As for the girls, they are fiercer than ever. She took my man so she must pay for it or simply because the person who must die disrespected her and did not address her properly.

In all of this, Nollywood is also my witness. The scripts are telling.

Now, let’s return to the highway where every state understands that there must be highway governance other than the Federal Road Service Corps. So, they go by all manners of names in the state and oftentimes they mete out unbelievable punishment to defaulters. They are also often high handed and fail to judge every case by its merit. So, they end up trying to show authority by bringing so many persons to grievous bodily harm or even death. I just cannot manage my countrymen and women. Small authority and they want to show their power. It is totally insane.

But let’s pause awhile and check out the big man or woman’s driver whose plan is to have you and your car evaporate from the highway because they are coming. The sirens are intense, the horning incredible, the self-entitled quarrels. This is why when they leave the office, they do not cope. There are no sirens in their new retirement positions so they then struggle to make a comeback. This power enh… Nigerians know how to hug it, use it and abuse it. It is truly sad.

Read also: CHARACTER: Without it you cannot lead

What do we now say about the keke riders? Mostly unregulated, and some of the riders are substance abusers. Before you can say Jack they have set someone ablaze. If one of them is knocked by a car then it’s death for the car driver. If one of them is interrogated, then they can set a market ablaze as in the case of Dei Dei Market in Abuja.

It is difficult terrain driving on Nigerian roads. Impatient drivers, drivers with no sense, people with mental health issues, people with no driver’s licences, thugs, witches, wizards, madmen and specialists, and many people with blind spots, sight challenged people and the hearing impaired.

This is clearly a crazy highway where everyone is driving everyone else crazy. The roads in Nigeria are not good for our mental health.

But the long and short of it all is that we only have characters on the highway. A quarrelsome woman will quarrel on the highway. An impatient man will be impatient on the highway and a foul-mouthed couple will be the same on the highway.

All the young people dancing on the highway while driving are putting all of us at risk. Half the nation is doing the same by breaking traffic lights. In the end, the traffic warden has only a stick for enforcement. Enforcement is a problem and the highway is a mess with lunatics on the highway. God help us… Amen

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