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Pic via http://www.onestop-africa.com

After my first Danfo ride a few days after arriving in Lagos, I have almost swore that I won’t do it again. However, I take another one with my host and sister Abi right after leaving Balogun Market on a Saturday. Anyone who knows Balogun area will tell you that no bus or Uber can even dare come close, especially on a Saturday. It’s the most congested market and area I’ve been to all my life. Human beings traffic there is worse than any traffic caused by vehicles.

After spending hours at Balogun, we are extremely fatigued and will take anything that will take us to the mainland soonest. The Danfo we grab to Oshodi, close to home – Ikeja – seems pretty cool. I thank God that its seats are leather padded, my bum won’t have to hurt too much.

Before departing the conductor says that he has no change and everyone must give him small bills. We have our money ready 500 Nairas for two – I am sure that there will be no drama in this Danfo. In fact, Abi and I both lay our heads to nap as the journey to the mainland commences.

In my sleep, I feel the Danfo’s abnormal front to back rocking motion while we are on the road. At first, I think it’s the small bumps on roads but soon the Danfo stalls abruptly. There are sounds of passengers yelling at the conductor and driver—our rude awakening. Unlike Kenya where passengers can wait for you to explain the matter, here everybody jumps out demanding for the fare refund. There is a cloud of smoke coming off the Danfo’s bonnet. The conductor won’t give us back our fare, even if only to appease us after this inconvenience – at least to avoid traffic build up as we have stalled on the road. Thank God we are not on The Third Mainland Bridge, so we are encountering less traffic.

Everyone, including Abi has yelled at the top of their voices for the conductor to return our fare but he won’t. He accosts a different Danfo to pick us. Only problem is this one isn’t going to Oshodi but Ojuelegba. Ok. So this is my chance to see the famous Ojuelegba – Wiz Kid’s first hood plus Abi says it’s okay we can grab another Danfo to Oshodi from there.

How the Danfo leaves disgruntles passengers should be a movie titled The Great Escape. A number of people won’t go to Ojuelegba even though it will be hard for them to get a Danfo to Oshadi with space from this location. The conductor still won’t give them back their money. At some point, the Ojuelegba Danfo starts to take off with Oshodi’s jilted passengers’ stuff and luggage still inside. I have to almost throw out a lady’s hawking basket as she is outside crying for the driver not to depart as she tries to pull it out the window. Inside the Danfo, some passengers sitting next to Abi are fighting over their sitting spot.

On arrival at Ojuelegba, it’s just good to have passed through Wiz Kid’s hood. I’ve seen the most Danfos at Ojuelegba’s stage. Above it is a big infamous bridge known for deadly accidents as trucks sometimes fall off the rails, killing people walking and hawking on the streets, Abi tells me.

Part II of How I Ended up in Ojuelegba: Lagos Danfo Drama

 

 

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