This is important. It must not go unmentioned even if not reported. No matter how minute, it is still a feat in its own little class. It gives a glimpse of faint hope all the same.
It’s good to shut down for a moment from the ugly politics and politicking playing out. Ant this “live show” couldn’t have come at a better time. It perfectly fills in the huge gap. A timely relief. It’s not a comic one.
This “movie” was live on Friday morning. And it lasted close to two hours. I am eager to play it all over again. In fact, I have been playing it in my mind since that fateful Friday.
It is for real. It’s not a fiction or a fairy tale from the famed Alice in the Wonderland. Still it is a wonder!
The kick-off was exactly 6.30am at Ojota Motor Park, Lagos. A Sienna bus car zoomed out heading for Ibadan, Oyo State.
The vehicle, a “new” tokunbo, was neat enough, a “high grade,” whatever that means. As it connected the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a passenger made a valid observation. But as usual with drivers, it was vaguely dismissed.
The driver even brought out vehicle papers. He strived hard to convince the passengers. He dismissed the “minor” defect noticed as nothing to worry about. He promised to fix it in Ibadan.
He continued to hit the ground running. He was not reckless in his driving. But what he called a minor defect expanded in scope, becoming more pronounced. He noticed the fear expressed and became even more careful.
It was smooth all the way until he accessed the long bridge. Almost at the middle of the structure, the unexpected happened. The bubble burst!
There was a bang, loud and clear. The back tyre by the driver’s side broke away from the shock absorber. The tyre was running alone in a speed of light. It overtook every vehicle on the road. It was practically flying.
Meanwhile, the lives of the passengers were in great danger. The driver held firmly to the steering. He refused to let go as he struggled strenuously to bring it to a halt.
Passengers were wise enough to maintain their balance even when it was not easy to do so. They displayed bravery. Even the only woman passenger sustained her cool. There was no shouting no crying. They kept on advising the experienced driver not to apply the brake. He took to it.
You could see the determination on his face. No panic. There were utterances of “the blood of Jesus” in prayers. It was orderly as if in a congregation.
And the Lord heard the prayers. The driver was able to balance the vehicle. Moment later, it was successfully brought to a halt.
The time then was 6.40am or thereabout. There was dead silence. They still hardly could see clearly. The weather was foggy and misty. It dawned on them that they were in great danger. All the same they were overwhelmed by the miracle of being unhurt.
Safety first, and they were grateful for that. That gone the real fear of being attacked took the better part of them. It was, however, short-lived.
Another miracle came to play. As they were alighting from the vehicle, two policemen showed up. They were on a bike and stopped beside the vehicle. That heightened the fear.
The thought of being attack ran through the minds of the passengers. On a closer look, they were genuine policemen from Ogun State Police Command. They were fully armed.
The policemen smiled and offered soothing words. That erased the visible fears the passengers were harbouring. They became relaxed. The corps said they were trailing the vehicle right from the moment it ran into troubled waters. They wanted to make sure they would not be attacked when it eventually stopped.
It was a great job. They rolled tales of several motorists being killed in such circumstance. They attributed many of the attacks to Fulani herdsmen. They would attack with axes and cutlasses. They would cut their victims into pieces dispose them of their belongings and varnish into the thin air. Then, a police patrol pick-up van surfaced. The occupants were briefed. They were happy no danger had come upon the passengers.
True to prediction, some strange faces were showing up around. They strategically maintained reasonable distance. When they saw the security operatives, they beat a wise but reluctant retreat.
There was an exchange of hot words between a three-man gang and the police. When the police displayed the hard stuff they are made off, they disappeared.
More of these underworld men were parading. They were desperately looking for preys to feast on. You could see it and feel it. The policemen assured the passengers there would be adequate security for them.
The driver got back to his colleagues at Ojota. Another Sienna bus car was dispatched. While waiting, the passengers begged the police not leave them to their fearful fate.
In the midst of this, two members of a Joint Task Force came on board, using a bike. Apparently, the police sent for them. They were also well armed. Police said they would stay with passengers until they were off the hook.
That brought a more relaxed atmosphere. Notwithstanding, intermittently, these hoodlums kept on appearing. They never relented. But as they came, they met their match in the two joint task force operatives stationed at the scene. They never gave them breathing space.
The operatives at a point had a near clash with the herdsmen. They came with their cattle, six of them. Then they made a sudden stop and shifted attention on the passengers.
Promptly, the operatives ordered them to move on, or be wasted. Angry, the herdsmen shouted back at them. When they saw how fully they were armed, the herdsmen caved in.
Then the moment of relief came. The expected vehicle came. This brought the distressing situation to a pleasant close. The passengers rushed in. And off they went.
This “little” incident should not be brushed aside. It came so soon after the #EndSARS protest. The incident as intangible as it may appear is worth its worth.
Take it or leave it, the message of that protest is not totally lost. The police are picking useful lessons from it. What a welcome development. That is why the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu must hear this. Equally, Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun and his men deserve all the kudos.
Let’s give it to them in abundance. They need all the encouragement we can garner for them.
Sorry. I have just bored you with a personal experience. Thanks for patiently tolerating me. I do appreciate it.