I’m driving home from work on one of those evenings when you just wish you can activate wings on your car and turn it into an helicopter. The traffic on 3rd Mainland is a standstill and it does seem like it’s endless. I curiously turn on the radio to find out what may have been the cause of this traffic. The ever reliable Diplomatic OBJ of Wazobia FM is locked on my dial and listening attentively you could hear callers complaining bitterly about the horrendous traffic. Many attribute the traffic to various problems but the one that clearly stood out and was on most callers lips as the cause, were Witches and Wizards having meetings. Trivial, humorous and dismissible as it may sound, many of these callers thought of this as humanly plausible.
So I thought could Witches and Wizards really be causing traffic on 3rd Mainland and to a larger extent, our highways? What could really be their motive? Does it always happen when they want to have meetings as the callers allege? Too many questions and no answers. For me, I hardly believe in diabolical assertions to puzzles and mysteries. Facts stand out for me amidst all others. But then, could it be hypothetically true? Let us examine.
There are indeed crazy traffic situations in Lagos, like yesterday’s, that people find hard to explain. For example, the whole of 3rd Mainland was a standstill yesterday and so was Ikorodu Road. Two parallel roads, one right over water and one over land. If there is a heavy vehicular breakdown on the Toll Gate side of our expressway it can obviously spill to 3rd Mainland and right into Ikoyi if not handled properly. But can it affect Ikorodu Road? My good guess is yes! The Ikorodu road exits at various point through out it’s nearly 10km length. One notable exit is the Anthony Bridge detour. If the 3rd Mainland Traffic spills into the Gbagada expressway from Oworonshoki then there is every likelihood that it could go as far as Oshodi, affecting those striving to get on to the Gbagada Expressway from Illupeju axis. This spills all the way to Anthony leaving commuters stranded and frustrated.
Furthermore, the toll gate traffic can also affect those trying to get to Ojota and the Ketu area of Lagos from Ikorodu Road. This is very likely especially if the detour to toll gate from the Ojota axis is heavy and in a standstill. It means those trying to go to Ketu will be caught up due to the spill over from the Ojota detour. This traffic flows all the way to Ikeja, Maryland, Anthony, and even the Barracks end of Ikorodu Road. Thus causing a gridlock beyond ordinary human explanations.
This is where the witches and wizards in drivers begin emanate. Frustrations, anger and impatience easily sets in whenever you have a traffic thats at a standstill. Bus drivers jumping lanes just to get an inch forward, private motorist screaming their lungs out at fellow drivers who are perceived as too generous or too slow for their liking, rickety cars not suitable for driving in any condition breaking down amidst their over heated engines, trailers and heavy duty vehicles choosing just about the wrong time to come on the highway and breakdown etc. In addition, our traffic control apparatus, represented by the often criticized but quite effective Lastma are mostly overwhelmed by the poor road networks and the support services required for them to perform their responsibilities effectively.
The Lagos traffic in my opinion cant be simply explained by merely blaming witches and wizards. If there really are witches and wizards then it exist in the frustrations and impatience of motorist. Rather than attribute our traffic problems to diabolical reasons I believe it all lies with human behavior on the highway which more often than not increases the pain brought about by heavy vehicular traffic.
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