Have you ever had to drive in the early hours of the morning through Lagos? Behind the facade of the skyscraper buildings in Lagos Island and the fancy restaurants in Lekki and Victoria Island, there are real people with real blood flowing through their veins that yawn and stretch at dawn then creep out of abandoned cars or even under bridges.
One of the unseen parts of this tale is that cities with more homeless people practise open defecation the most. This is why you can walk on the porch of the Lagos State University Campus, Ojo and stumble on faeces tied in cellophane nylon.
Today, I am disturbed as I spot a man pulling up his trousers and creeping out of a nearby bush. It was not the first time I will see such a sight. Perhaps, It was the number of people who have complained about diarrhoea and food poisoning recently that has made me apprehensive.
I plug in my earphones and allow the music filtering in diffuse into my soul. This is a ritual I am committed to daily.
The bus is moving at a fast pace. A woman on the second seat is yelling," If you want to die, driver. Go and die alone. No dey speed."
"Na wah for you o. Why you go wish person death this morning, madam?" The bus conductor comes to his driver's rescue in his hoarse voice.
Eyes are fixed to her. She looks a little remorseful. She keeps quiet. Quietness returns to the bus.
Just ahead, you could spot the sun gradually sticking out its fine yellow head to peep and send its light into the day. Brightness is sending its glow and you can see the faces beside you clearly.
"Coker wa o!" It was a young man in shorts and a Gucci polo that abnormally had triple C- Guccci. Blame the Gucci headquarters in Lagos. They are yet to master the art of sticking to details.
Soon the bus stops abruptly and the young man alighted while another passenger at the bus stop replaced him. Just as the bus conductor aimed to leap up the stairs of the bus. He tripped.
There was a hand on his shorts.
"You don buy ticket? E fun mi owo ticket (Give me money for ticket)" A dark rough-looking tout growled at him.
"Na him make you wan wound me?" The conductor asks as he rolls his shirt ready to throw a punch.
"Haaaa! If na me, I for turn beat this guy since" Another young man in the bus was fuelling.
"Leave me my trouser. You wan tear my cloth ni? The conductor seems to prefer dialogue than throwing punches.
The driver turns off the ignition and alights. He puts a hand on the touts grip forcing him to let go of his conductor.
"Kpraaaaaaaaa!" The trouser returned to a piece of cloth that was once sewn into a trouser. We could see the young man's boxers already. The infuriated conductor landed him a slap. Jabs and punches are renting the innocent air.
The driver kept shoving the tout off his conductor.
Uncle Agbero (tout) was not letting go any time soon. "You must give me money for ticket."
A hefty man who had been angry all the while about his time being wasted alighted to help settle the fight. No way! They were all right. No consensus was in sight.
The passengers in unison agreed that the tout should not be given a dime. If he wanted to get paid, he had the duty to go and get a job. It is not news that commercial bus drivers in Lagos give a major part of their income to touts and shamefully to the Nigerian Police by coercion.
"Ole! Thief! Them no go give you shishi. Goan find work, my fren," a plump and troublesome looking woman yelled from the window.
Uncle hefty man who had been the peacemaker was losing his cool. He suddenly picked a dirty plank on the road and ran towards the fighting men. In split seconds, the driver ran to his seat, the conductor to the bus stairs and Uncle Agbero flew with the speed of light. He kept running even when the man had stopped.
There was a roar of laughter on the bus. In Lagos, everyone is mad. It just depends on if they have ever had a reason to showcase it.
Uncle hefty makes a return sprint, mounts the bus and we zoom off.
Uncle Hefty 1 Vs Uncle Agbero 0