Time To Discipline The Okada Monsters


In 2012, I saw what looked to me like another wonder of the world in Apapa, Lagos. It was a motor accident involving a commercial motorcycle (okada) and an articulated truck, the type of vehicle we call trailers here.

The accident happened at the junction on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway on the arm of the road leading to Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison. A road, Vanguard Avenue, separated a filling station and a bank branch.

By the junction of the road were, and still are electricity poles, the type that carries three cables laterally. By the way, a mini electricity sub-station is about 50 from the junction, also on the way to Kirikiri.

There was a bang, followed by shouts, after which a crowd quickly gathered. Looking round, the legs of a man said to be the okada passenger were picked from separate spots. The torso and head, sans an arm, from another spot.

If that was not horrifying enough, astonishingly, the okada had been cut into two in the accident and the part with the front wheel and handles was seen hanging on the electric pole referred to above.

The other part of the okada was a few meters on the road away from the electric pole. It remained a wonder till today how the accident happened, the okada got cut into two and one part landed atop an electric pole. It hung there for about two more days before it was brought down.

That was 2012, when by standards of prevailing sanity, things were “still okay”, unlike now, when everything had gone haywire. Even the monstrous “Apapa gridlock” was still ahead then.


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