Tope Olofin: Lagos… mega city or traffic city? (Y! Superblogger)

“My supervisor handed me a query, asking me to explain why I have become a latecomer. Is she nuts or does she use voodoo to bypass the traffic?”


On the other end of the line comes a groggy voice.


Hmmmm, I refuse to be hurt, so I continue, hey buttercups, how are you? I get the walled and abrupt answer…

I am fine“.

That wasn’t very welcoming. I just wanted to wish you a good morning. And then comes the rush of emotions. The dude on the other end goes into ranting mode… phew! I thought I was the ranter. He says:

“What’s good about it? I have had it with this ‘okada’ ban. Hian! Fashola no try at all. I don’t even know where to begin.”

I had a sinking feeling that all my hard earned cash was going to be spent on this chap alone. Oh, well let’s continue listening.

“Tope, you know how meticulous I am and you know how I always try to be prompt anytime I have a function or meeting. Well, so far this week all that discipline has been put to shame. Let’s start with MONDAY. I woke up early to meet up with a client in Ikeja. You know I’m a marketer and money won’t come unless I’m on the move. I value my time and it is because of this I left home about 6:30 am then it hit me, No OKADA!! I had to walk about 15 minutes before I saw anything close to being called commercial transport. There was traffic alright, human bodies! I gave myself five rounds of slaps, then I realized this was no joke. Long-story short, I got to the office four hours later and before I knew it, it was 8pm and  time to head home. Oh, another journey!

I tried to offer some sympathy, but he cut me off and continued,

See, I really like Fashola and applaud his vision for Lagos with the whole Mega City pitch, I  gave it another shot on Tuesday.  My destination that day was Lekki. You know that part of town no be small waka. I set out at  5:30 am. Being a sharp guy, mentally,  I mapped out my plan to beat traffic and some notorious hotspots on the Island whose stock in trade is ‘GO-SLOW’. I was really feeling smart with myself. When I got to a spot called Mile 2, na so confusion come catch me.

Of course there was no OKADA, as if that is news, but I had it when I realized that there was NO buses going there either. Maybe the current fuel crisis can be blamed for that. I was running behind schedule and  getting ticked off. In anger, I began to walk towards my destination. A good Samaritan picked me up along the way, thank goodness he didn’t request for my head as payment. I was able to cool off, but sat in traffic for another three more hours. I didn’t try to think about what the journey back would be like. I did get home safe… at 12 midnight!


Let me give you the statistics I was out of the house for 19 and a half hours and I spent 12 of that in traffic. Needless to say the OKADA folks would have cut that by a fraction of at least 20% or more. There are so many pros and cons when it comes to OKADAs in Lagos, but is it a wonder that I’m lamenting about one of the pros right now. SPEED!

My phone is beeping, Alerting me that my airtime is running out. I tried to warn the dude. It’s time to stop yapping, but he screamed back.

“I’m not finished! On Wednesday, my supervisor handed me a query, asking me to explain why I have become a latecomer. Is she nuts or does she use voodoo to bypass the traffic?  On Thursday, it was my turn to drop my little niece off in school, guess what? She got in late. Her teacher threatened to flog her. I did all I could to stop myself from lashing out at the teacher. On Friday, I decided to stay put and set my butt down at home. I’m not moving an inch!  Abeg I cannot kill myself…”

Beeeeeep! The line cuts off!


Tope Ayo-Olofin loves to rant. She is a boisterous and hilarious English graduate from the University of Lagos. She believes life’s experiences are priceless and the best way to capture it is by writing. She blogs at and tweets @toperants

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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