The rise and rise of road rage in Nigeria

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When a dear friend told me many years ago that he felt he might die in an accident in Nigeria, I was horrified, and he was not even Nigerian. He was British with a Nigerian wife.

Dr Arnot, head of an international organisation, who at that time had lived in Nigeria for 10 years. We were having lunch and as we savoured the delicious displays, we wondered into my writings, particularly this column when he dropped the bomb. I was as petrified as I was curious and requested that he opened a window to his mind.

He lived in highbrow Maitama in Abuja and his office was a mere 5-10 minutes away in the same area but he always had nightmares as he drove to work. “It will seem,” he said to me “that every day as I drive to and from work someone is determined to end my life on the road.” Profound. Have we all not felt that way as we make our way in traffic in most parts of Nigeria and I dare say particularly in Abuja where the roads are smooth as baby’s bottom and driving should be an absolute pleasure. But that pleasure has been turned to terror when you see a car coming straight at you from the corner of your eyes at high speed and the driver just broke the light. Holding on to the fact that you have right of way is no longer tenable in this road rage that has taken over Nigerians and is about to destroy any decent driving culture that we may have had. It is wiser to make for the ditch and hope that you land safely.

Driving on Nigerian roads has become something of a study for how a nation morphed into … Read More...