On my way to work this morning, I was stuck in traffic, I was thinking about my schedule for the day when suddenly there was a commotion just beside the Danfo I was in. The first thing i instinctively did was to hold my bag tightly and brace up in case I had to run, on further inspection, I realized that a man had fallen asleep in his own car. His doors were locked, engine running and he fell asleep right in the middle of the road.
It was interesting to note the different reactions to this case, there was the Danfo driver who concluded that the man must have been returning from a night club simply because he was a young guy driving a nice car, according to him, young guys who drove that kind of car are mostly fraudsters, so in his opinion, the man must be drunk. The lady besides me was more empathetic, wondering out loud and mentioning the possibility of the guy having a stroke or any medical condition that might have made him unconscious. Then there were the area guys, who for once in Lagos showed me that there is good in everybody, they gathered around him trying to seek for means to open the car windows and help him, even though majority of the people in the bus I was in said it was because they wanted to steal the valuables in the car. Call me naïve, but I chose to believe it was because they wanted to help. I, on the other hand, was more focused on trying to get help for the man by searching and dialing the number of police officers online.
Luckily the man in the car woke up, as if from a trance and sped away. People in the bus laughed and talked about it non stop till we got to the park. However, that little incident made me think.
On a normal day, Police officers and health workers should be the first people we should run to in cases like this, but while I was trying to get their phone numbers, the woman beside me tapped me not to stress myself, because apparently there were some officers 10 vehicles ahead of us but they were more focused on illegally harassing innocent drivers. If we had succeeded in opening the doors, there might have been the need to rush him to the hospital, but the roads were completely blocked. Also the probability of the man's car being safe once the locks were opened is zero to none.
Profiling is one of the greatest dangers we face as a country, you are judged based on your appearance, a fashionable girl is a slay queen, a fashionable boy is a yahoo boy, very fair and beautiful girl is most likely an ogbanje, a man with a tummy and in kaftan is probably a wealthy man while a slim man in normal cloths is a poor man. 75% of the time, they are wrong but it has become so ingrained in Nigerians that this habit is hard to stop, left to the danfo man, he doesn't care if anything happened cause of his certainty that it was a yahoo boy.
Going out everyday in Nigeria remind you that at the end of it all, you are all alone and no help is coming from anywhere. But as a people, we need to do better, cause at the end of the day, the man you refused to help today might be you tomorrow. Sometimes, some people willingly cause traffic for no reason, forgetting that someone somewhere might need to get to the hospital as soon as possible, and also area boys have their own usefulness when the need arises.