There are several associated risks with this mode of transportation. Many lives have been lost. Many have been robbed and flung out of vehicles leaving them with permanent disabilities if not a broken skull.
“Soole” is a Yoruba word and of course widely known for cheap mode of transportation where you have to pay far lesser than the amount obtainable in a formal transportation park to get to the same destination.
The price diminution could be to the tune of 50% in some cases. It is a mode of transportation where passengers travel without manifest. It is very easy to board Soole most especially by the road side when you cannot afford the park price for some economic reasons.
Soole no doubt enjoy a great patronage from the travelers who are either stranded due to financial miscalculations or disappointments from appointments. However one of the major reasons why people enjoy this mode of transportation is due to poverty. Some other reasons include unemployment, underemployment, and other harsh economic conditions.
There has never been any part of the country I have been to without seeing people by the road side usually along the expressway waving endlessly to stop on-going vehicles to take them to their desired destination. In some cases, the drivers are seen flashing their headlamp to call passengers’ attention for patronage. The drivers both commercial and private are now aware of the lucrative nature of the business as a means of earning additional income that it has now become a thing of competition amongst them.
Interestingly, most of them use signs to inquire from the passengers of their destination while still on the motion. They do this by pointing either straight or slant their fingers sideways to the right or left. By doing this, the passenger understands the direction and responds also in the same non-verbal way to the direction he wishes to go. It’s really interesting sitting by the road side watching these things as they play out.
The impact of this mode of transportation is eating deep on the economic sustenance of those operating at the park. I have seen them complain bitterly that Soole doesn’t make them to get patronage again. As a result of this they have had to set up surveillance committee who are always on the road very close to the garage to ensure that they don’t allow these sharp drivers to snatch their passengers from them but the more they do this the wiser the Soole driver becomes as they keep moving forward beyond the garage vicinity where they can be obstructed to a place where they can have their way.
Also, the passengers having taken cognizance that the surveillance group might obstruct them from boarding Soole would also move a bit far from them. They could move as far as 500 meters or 1km away from the garage out of desperation.
However, there are several associated risks with this mode of transportation. Many lives have been lost. Many have been robbed and flung out of vehicles leaving them with permanent disabilities if not a broken skull. Ritualists have taken advantage of that to use people for one sacrifice or the other while the families are left in unending pains. There have been cases of missing persons on the media and this seems unending. Many have been left in agony due to this act of patronage.
My sincere warning to the general public is that they should desist from patronizing this mode of transportation, if possible, as many risks are associated with it.
Wale Ope is a graduate of Computer Science from University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State. He is a seasoned I.T. professional, a world class finance associate at the Institute of Professional Managers of London (IPFM). He is a prolific writer. He is a consultant to many local magazine outfits.
30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.
Follow @ynaija on Twitter