As is typical of most big, densely populated cities, there is a lot of hustle and bustle in Lagos. In fact, this is what Lagos is known for – the hustle and bustle.If you’re new to Lagos, it might take a lot of adjusting to get used to the fast-paced life of Lagos.
People are constantly in a rush. Passengers can hardly wait their turn at the bus stops, they make a mad dash for buses and do not care if the next person is hurt in the process. Motorists almost always seem to be in a hurry for some place. They hoot impatiently and jump traffic lights, having little or no consideration for other road users, while pedestrians jostle one another as they make their way through throngs of sweaty bodies. Even the children are not left out of this mad race.
The popular yellow buses, too, are often filled with so many people and goods that they are almost spilling out. Some people, in their desperation, hang on to the sides or back of these buses. These young boys in the photos, for instance, hang on precariously to the back of a yellow bus in Oshodi.
Could it be that there are no available seats in the bus and these boys cannot wait to arrive at their destination? Or could it perhaps be that they cannot afford to pay the often ridiculously high bus fare. Whatever the reason, the boys do not seem to mind this at all. They are talking and smiling like they are just walking along the road. It is probably something they have done repeatedly and no longer find it strange.
Other people are also going about their businesses like this is a normal, daily occurrence. Yet, the risks of hanging on to a moving bus, or any vehicle for that matter, cannot be overstated. The boys are in danger of getting seriously injured if a vehicle hits them from behind or if the bus driver suddenly steps on his brakes, as bus drivers in Lagos are wont to do.
Isn’t there a traffic law prohibiting this kind of dangerous act? Isn’t this similar to buses and trucks that are overloaded with goods, except that these are human lives. Can the Lagos State Government do something about this, perhaps take stringent measures against buses and other vehicles being overloaded and risking the lives of others?
Photo Credit: Temitope Aina