“SOMEWHERE on a highway (a single carriageway) on the approach to a state capital in South-West Nigeria, I ran into a 1km-long stretch of crawling traffic that for minutes at times was at complete standstill. Within minutes, several meters more built up behind me steadily. Nobody attempted to overtake me as I was impulsively tempted to overtake the vehicles in front of me because incoming traffic was very light indeed. I curiously came down from the car to find out what was responsible for this unusual situation.
“In the middle of the road ahead, lining-up at about 20 meters apart for as far as the eyes could see, were smartly dressed, armed police officers, monitoring development. The most stubborn and unruly drivers, soon as they made to overtake and form a new lane facing upcoming traffic, quickly calm down and begged the adjacent vehicle in order to return to the single lane formation once they sighted the stern looking officers ahead, who hardly ever had to say anything or gesticulate. Their look and disposition alone inside the hot sun was enough to convince any driver to reconsider his/her stupid intention.
“We spent about one hour to cover a distance of just two kilometers to see a stretch of as much traffic on the opposite lane before moving freely; officers equally lined up on that side, facing the other direction, ensuring total compliance. I realized that we could have slept there in a possible traffic malady, except for the intervention of the calm, cool, collected officers, who simply resolutely stood as armed guards in the sun, obtaining sense and discipline from everyone. The sad discovery was that there was a sprawling market that had half taken over the road at critical places on the approach to the city.”
The above narrative was made to Striker by a compatriot. The story, rather than being strange, is one that most readers are not only familiar with but may have personally experienced at some time; the unique aspect only being the intervention of the law enforcers and the delightful outcome despite the arduous experience.
Instances and experiences like the above re-humanise us and bring home the realization that, clearly, Nigeria can work, and Nigerians are most reasonable and compliant with good rules and regulations, so long as there is fairness and visible justice in the enforcement of rules; should those gallant officers do anything in controlling the traffic other than best conduct that they gave, everything would simply turn sour, ugly and nasty as Nigeria in the hands of its rulers today has.
Patriotic Nigerians, across all tribes and religion, are striving hard to drag Nigeria back from ‘the road to Afghanistan.’ Who are the ones that had drugged Nigeria and Nigerians and harried them to that road? That is open secret: the highest level of rulership and majority of the critical state-drivers in Nigeria’s recent history.
There are several redemptive situations and personages that give hope of a turnaround to glory for Nigeria and Nigerians. Nigerians should focus more on these, while preparing in every way they can (within all their social organizations: political, community, cultural, intellectual, professional, etc, without regards to religion or ethnicity that is manipulated by many of their rulers to divide them), to rally and unite for victorious struggle against retrogressive forces of darkness, division, exploitation and oppression.
An average Nigerian, anywhere, has no problem with any other average Nigerian from anywhere. Given just leadership, Nigerians are hardworking, enterprising, creative, fun-loving and will be law-abiding, when the laws are fairly and equitably enforced. The country has a huge potential, human and material, to be the world leader; and Nigerians must put that fact at the back of their mind, as one that is not a palatable observation to any of today’s “international community” to whom most of our despotic rulers are slaves. So, help us God in these direly challenging times, as we collectively abandon frivolities and selfishness, and collectively work and pray hard with focuson our deliverance and prosperity.