Passengers kept yelling at the top of their voices as the luxurious bus driver speed away into the night till the break of dawn...
On the 13 September, 2014, I traveled down to Kaduna State, Nigeria for my friend Akumy, since he was passing out from the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. I decided to use the luxurious bus transport system for the first time in my life and I sure had a crazy experience as I journeyed through the night back to Lagos.
Take off time was set for 7:30pm but we left the park some few minutes past 9pm because the workers wanted to get extra passengers in the bus. Aside the 60 seated passengers, the workers wanted to fit in some other passengers who paid less than the fixed fare to sit on the aisle as “attachments”.
I boarded the popular “young shall grow” motors with the knowledge of how amazing their “luxurious” buses were, when my older siblings patronized them back in those days. About 20mins into the journey, the gears (shift) failed to engage, which made the driver request for a replacement bus that the passengers could board in to. After agreeing to transfer ourselves and our luggage's was when we realized the bus looked and sounded older than 20 years. The body was refurbished and repainted to make it look recent, but the interior? na...na...na...na it couldn't hide its age.
The engine sound was loud and smokey, the interior was so old, my seat could not be relaxed, the arm rest was broken and the seat was smelling. Yes! I almost forgot, we had 2 of somethings that looked like a televisions but it was a 13inch screen in a box. Unfortunately, it wasn't turned on, so I couldn't tell if it was black and white or colored.
The scariest part of the journey was when our driver attempted to over-take a fuel tanker but instead, the bus skied out of the road twice; first was to the shoulder and then at second attempt to over take, the driver had to apply the Automatic Breaking System (ABS) to break the top speed the bus was into and then, into the thick bush beside the road somewhere between Ibadan and Lagos. Which was because the tanker driver swapped into our lane in order to hinder the bus driver from overtaking. Instantly, there were screams of prayers and insults flying above the seats to God and d driver simultaneously from the passengers.
A few kilometers ahead , just after successfully halting the huge bus (which I appreciate the driver for), a small Opel car that looked like a taxi ran into the front tire of the bus. At impact, he damaged the headlamps and radiator instantly, while the bus was trying to make a U-turn in front of Nigerian Brewery factory, Ibadan, Oyo State. Our bus driver drove away after the hit, which, aroused anger from the ''agbero's'' who witnessed the incident. They came on a bike, halted our bus and made it reverse back to the its terminal. After waiting for about 30minutes for the case to be settled, we took off once again and at about 10:30am we finally arrived at the bus stop in Ojota, Lagos State, Nigeria.
Well, If everything happened as planned, we should have arrived at the early hours of the morning. Hence I resolved never to try that again.
I guess you might say my experience wasn't as bad as yours. Well, feel free to share with me on your own night journey experience.