This is Port Harcourt – everyone drives anyhow

Talking about the police! Have you seen those policewomen traffic wardens at mile 3 and mile 1? If you have not seen them, when next you are in Port Harcourt, go and see them.

In this midst of the chaos that is bus drivers at mile 3 and mile 1, these policewomen are at the centre. Their uniforms do not scare the drivers anymore. They are seen same as those ‘agboro’ community boys who collect loading fees from drivers and conductors.
Just like the community Boys tax collectors, the Policewomen wield sticks which they slam on the bodies of vehicles like professional tennis players with bats striking tennis balls.
They deflate tyres, seize keys. The latest is seizing of fuel tank covers. That is for the drivers who refuse to pay their dues sha.
You see those policewomen, they are not always smiling. Even the job don tire them. They do much at bus stops but traffic decongestion is not one of them. Their survival depends on how chaotic the bus stops are. “Anything for the boys, no, girls?’. Say no and have your tyres deflated and that will be the end of the day’s job for you.
This is Port Harcourt, where taxi drivers loading Okoro to Choba always shout ” two chance remaining” when there is no passenger inside the vehicle. Enter the taxi and wonder if the other spaces were occupied by the driver’s ancestors which only he can see.

And they are always in a rush, driving at top speed hustling for passengers. If they see you trying to cross the road, they increase their speed and force you to run into a ditch.
They don’t always have change. Those taxi drivers are terrible. Their good morning is “I hope you have change”. Their good afternoon is “Oga, do you have change?”. Their good evening is Madam, hold change before you enter” it is what it is.
I wonder where their change travels to on each trip. They will literally tear you up if you enter their vehicle and midway, you inform them that you don’t have change. Their mouths bad gan. The bad words coming out of their mouths smell like a fermented rotten eggs mix with potassium.
Those bus drivers that ply Aba road to Oyigbo are terrible. They are the definition of anyhowness. They can drive on top of graves to beat traffic. Wise men from the east, no time.

They always look frustrated and are quick to anger. They will literally throw you out of a moving bus if you counter them. “Oga, shift” is their code word. They do everything to make sure that you are not comfortable. If you complain, then it is time to buy your own car. Na them go dy point car dealer stands at Aba road to you. Since you want to live a comfortable life, not inside their buses. If insulting passengers is a game, my brother, forget it. They will win it back to back to back and back again. Don’t test them. Don’t say that I didn’t tell you.
The drivers that load from Rukpoku to Lagos bus stop. These ones are always in a hurry but don’t want to hurry. Don’t follow the wailing of the conductor when he says “We dy commot now”. Lie Lie. Half of the persons inside the boys are ‘agboro’ boys. Once passengers start to trickle inside the bus, they begin to fly off the bus like ants suckling nectars disturbed by the wind.
They are the original science students. Tramadol is their food. You will see them sharing bottles of coke with their conductors who are always their padi, listening to Cynthia Morgan, Terry G or Wizkid.
They are experts at dodging policemen. ‘Ọ boy, dem die here’ tells the conductor all he needs to know. If you are not properly seated as they zoom off, you will be having a waist pain later.

This is Port Harcourt where community Boys make more money collecting money from drivers that government makes collecting taxes. They are always with sticks, slamming bodies or cars with all their energy. The ruthless ones deflate tyres. Their trousers are always sagged. You dare not refuse to pay. The cartel will destroy your vehicle. They are always high, oozing of dying odours of cigarettes, rum, gin and juice. Marijuana is also included.
You see them in groups, with faces scarred from hundreds of fights lost or won. Unless you want to die, they don’t like to be challenged in any way. Peace is guaranteed through the dropping of 50 or 100 Naira, depending on the distance one is going.
And there is always a chairman who owns the money. They are always retired thugs or dispossessed politicians who were settled for their roles in entrenching the government in power. They have lots of ‘conne’ if know what I mean.
Credit: theportcitynews

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