who am i?

"I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." - CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On Okadas & Traffic Wardens


I closed early from work one day, and as I was driving out of Adeyemo Alakija, towards the Ozumba Mbadiwe junction, a traffic warden (the unofficial ones that we all seem to find ourselves respecting) stood directing traffic at the junction that leads to Falomo bridge. He motioned for me to move and I followed his instruction… Now I usually double check when I’m asked to move, especially by the unofficial wardens, but I didn’t this time. It was going to be a good evening, I was going out to dinner, yay food!!!! 
CRASSSSH!!!
Just as I moved, a bike/okada came from nowhere, and I ran into him. I don’t know how it happened, but I know it wasn’t my fault, he didn’t stop when he was asked to stop(what okada riders are famous for.) 
Thus I had my first okada drama.

I was frustrated and angry especially when he started acting up like it was my fault… It was embarrassing, people gathered, people told their side of the story that vindicated me. (the traffic warden just went on with his 'work') I just stood there, quite and mad… people told me to drive off, the okada man wouldn’t let me, even after his passenger acknowledged he was at fault. I continued staring at the hoard of solidarity crowd of okada riders speaking grammars of going to their association office and paying for the bike repairs.(they just gather not caring that it is the stupidity of their colleagues that is at fault)

Just like an angel, a hilux van filled with mobile police men drove past, saw the crowd… or me to be precise, reversed and saved the day.
The okada rider supporters club quickly dispersed when they saw the mopols (proof that they knew they were in the wrong). The okada man still wouldn’t move after the Mopols heard the story that found him guilty, he lay in front of my tyre insisting i pay for a broken part of his okada. The mopols were enraged, and they took my burden on their head when they saw how stubborn the guy was proving to be, they pushed him away from my car and i drove off. I don’t know how they ended up. 

I wasted about an hour on the road when i could have been home preparing for a great night out. All because i didn't look twice when i was asked to move.

Lagos is no stranger to the unofficial traffic wardens. They spring up at every hangout spot and wear their invisible unofficial badge. I remember how outside Number ten, auto lounge or one of those places, there’d be a dozen of them trying to direct you when you're leaving... turn your hand, oya come, wait, come small small, come come come, stop…. Oya straight your hand and bla blab la… You obey at your own drunken peril. 


What’s my point? The fact that there’s a traffic warden doesn’t mean you don’t look for yourself when he tells you to move, there are crazy people out there who don’t follow instructions and you will crash into them if you don’t look for yourself before moving.
It’s like with traffic lights, fact that it's green doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch out before moving, there are crazy people who jump lights, I should know, I’ve done it before(pardon me) and I have been in a convoy that sped through a red light. It’s your right of way, but tell it to the other guys.

Fact that someone somewhere says Fred is a liar and a thief doesn't mean you should let your mind believe that when you don't have any reason to think that. Don't move based on gossip and hear say.
Fact that your best friend brings a juicy deal to you doesn't mean you should hop on board just because... You never know what you're been roped into, do your own research.
Fact that you have a pastor or christian blogs and self-help books telling you what to do does not mean you shouldn’t be cautious, have a look for yourself on the topics they touch on. Don't agree with everything you read or hear just because you feel they must know what they speak about... study the bible and know for yourself.
Don't conform to every trend just because someone editing some magazine tells you it's in. Look for yourself to see if the garment fits, if not let it go. 
You should be able to look for yourself before moving, because when you crash, who would you blame?

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1


These days, we can't be too careful, because not every traffic warden on the road is trained for the job, people just stand at a spot when they feel like and attempt directing traffic, telling you to move when you should be waiting… there are faux pastors springing up and giving instructions that’ll lead to your crash because you refuse to look before moving. Remember, “The lord told me is no substitute for the bible says” Voddie Baucham 
If a word for you(from God) through your pastor doesn't correspond with God's word in the bible, then you obey at your own risk.

6 comments :

  1. Beautifully written. thank you, it's a word in season :)

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  2. True, true, true. All the 'prophets' have done more harm than good in Nigeria, especially in the issue of marriages.

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  3. hmmmm. thanks for sharing

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  4. What amazes me is how fast the solidarity crowd gathers....I was relieved to get to the bit where you drove off. Never knew the day would come when I would say this but thank God for Mopol.

    Yes, no one is infallible, no one. We owe it to ourselves to double check all we hear.....before we accept as our truth and/or apply to our lives.

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  5. God is good oooo. I am so glad he didn't die and you get into trouble for that.
    The connection between wardens and those who offer advise in our life so true, very very true.

    I sometimes think of it as eating food that has been pre-chewed.

    Stay beautiful and blessed.

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  6. Nice job... look before you leap then keep looking while leaping(mid-air).

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