If you take the bus regularly in Lagos, you would know that the best place to sit is at the front- I mean the front seat, that is beside the driver. If you are lucky to get that seat, you feel like a boss. The only glitch is having to use seatbelts that most times are faulty. Asides that, you are good to go…
Now, you see the worst place to sit is the second row. That is, the line of seats directly behind the driver. If it is an ikeja bus for example, the bus which normally would sit four people, sits five on the second row. Therefore, if you are unfortunate enough to be seated on the second row, you have to enjoy the company of the conductor. What pains most passengers who fall victim of this row is that they also pay the same amount with those sitting four on a roll and they still get inconvenienced.
I witnessed a very funny incident. It was in a bus from Obalende to Berger. After paying the tfare, the conductor then instructed those on the second row to make space for him, as that row seated five people. Come and see gbege nau. Those seated on the row absolutely refused to create space for the conductor. They even surprising refused to join another bus. They said they were going to fight for their rights. And fight they sure did! I don’t know how the conductor finally managed to sit but I am sure they did not make space for him.
I will miss the days of jumping buses because I can assure you, the conductors at times can serve as pills to heal worries. When they start to shout in that guttural voice, you have to behave… and even sometimes laugh, while jutting in your own insult or two.
I am going into this new week with a major interest in bus conductors. They can be the life of a bus sha!