Oral Sex and Naming Ceremonies: Some of the activities on Nigerian Railway
From Ijora, the train takes off, it’s a full house; the spillovers are shocking – people hanging from the side of the train, reminiscent of Tom Cruise’s action movies. It makes you think life is worth very little. There are weed smokers, herbal bitters sellers, love-makers, pocket thieves, and wild owambe parties. Naming ceremonies and get-togethers are held on and in the train. If you look like a “stranger” you may be treated like one, with disdain. If you bring out your phone… oh don’t you dare, you just might get lynched. They hold stones with them, these passengers of the trains. They are ready to “burst your brain” and watch it spill all over the floor. Don’t you dare share their story to the world.
The train moves from Ijora to Sango. Before the last stop, there are terminal stops at Yaba, Mushin, Oshodi, Sogunle, Ikeja, Agege, and Agbara. Hanging on the train is, of course, illegal. The Railway Command is expected to prosecute offenders of the law, but this isn’t happening. The Law looks on as chaos breeds crime and misdemeanor. It’s always so hard to know who to blame in the Nigerian structure of lawlessness. Yes, the enforcers of law should do their jobs… but what sense does it really make that Nigerians hang on trains like chimpanzees escaping from the zoo? Where’s the sense of order?
When the hangers get to their designated terminals, they jump off the train, out of sight before the enforcers of the law are able to belch and move.
“People climb the trains to have oral sex. They like the feel of the rush of breeze and what it does when they climax,” one train passenger said.
“If they know you are not one of them, they become hostile. If you don’t blend in, you might get into trouble.”
With roads as Nigeria’s major means of transportation, affected by potholes and gullies, it will be wise to make railroads not only popular but safe for all.
Was it Mercy Johnson who shared a picture taking the train a while back? How about re-branding the railway and endorsing some respectable brands to revive it? This disgraceful trend of train activities is worrying.
Photography by Bamigbala Adekola