A few Saturdays ago, I drove to lagos for a meeting. Riding with me was Yemi,a childhood friend. Somewhere about two hundred metres before the MFM camp on the Lagos-Ibadan express road, we ran into the now ‘normal’ saturday morning traffic. It is interesting how in Nigeria, the obscene is common and the abnormal considered the norm.
Three hours into drama, the jam clears
slightly and there is a small opening ahead. Spontaneously, a majority of the drivers
throttle the gas pedal of their cars. We make a mad dash for it. Horns blaring, nerves stretched raw , tempers blazing hot, swear words flowing freely as though it is the benediction blessing. It is utter chaos. Ironically a majority of these cars mine inclusive spot bumper stickers bearing religious messages;
”Repent and be born again” ,
“ISLAM the way of peace” , “XYZ CHURCH, family of love ” etc… apparently our moral messages are for another time and place.
“What is that pervasive stench?”
It is a powerful enveloping foulness,so strong it provokes an involuntary retch, it has the putrid signature of death and decay. Traffic freezes again and we are stuck, only this time, at the epicenter of this odour eruption.
It is then we finally see what we should not have seen. A sight for sore eyes.
Partially buried in mud on the highway shoulder is a decaying headless human body, It is a mass of flesh, maggots and bones, its entrails and juices spewed on the highway
“when will FERMA*,clear this thing from the road?” is Yemi’s rhetorical question,we both know the answer: The day president Yaradua
bounces back to health and to office.**
An upset driver squeezes his bus past our car and runs over it,generously splashing us with mud,maggots and intestinal juice. The body or what is left of it is so squashed,it is almost indistinguishable from the muck and mud. Our atmosphere polluted by the stench,the foul smelling soil nourished by the carcass. The ground couldn’t careless. Mercifully, traffic is clearing howbeit at snail speed. I ease the car into motion and we prepare to leave this harrowing experience behind. Mr Mud and muck to be forgotten as conveniently as June 12.
This is the Nigeria i know….
*FERMA: FEDERAL ROAD MAINTAINANCE AGENCY
** LATE PRESIDENT YAR DUA WAS STILL ALIVE AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITE UP.