When Common Sense Is Not Common, By lmam Nojeem Jimoh

Have you ever landed at the local airport in Lagos – especially the exit used by Arik and Airpeace passengers? You would most likely have experienced about 20 taxi drivers calling you at the same time – with each charging forward to collect your bag or luggage as they strive to get you in their respective cars. These are all official airport taxi drivers.
Time and again, I would ask these drivers why is it that they do not have a simple numbering system such that the first driver to arrive the taxi park takes the first passenger – and so forth. Again and again, they confirmed to me that they do indeed have a numbering system, but they do not strictly go by it as each driver fears he may not get a passenger. What? This guarantees you equal chance of a fare. Can’t you think? If anyone has ever found a better definition of stupidity, let them share it with me.
If you are reading this and you live in Lagos, there’s a 9 in 10 chance that you have taken an Okada in the past year. Being a millionaire does not exempt you. Sometimes, it is the only means by which you will not miss your flight or that very important appointment. Sisters in hijab are no exception. Gosh. How the sight of this makes me cringe!
Approach an Okada station, and you would find 20 of them touting you at the same time. Ask them why and they would give you an answer along the line of needing to be smart to do this job. Smartness? Excuse me!
What about the food joints? I always watch with amazement as seven to 10 people talk to the food vendor at the same time. Construction sites are the best places to observe this. The one who shouts the most gets served first. The one (idiot) who is civil and wishes to take his turn never gets served. Why are we like this as a people?
Traffic Lights, Roundabouts, Check-in Counters – and the list is endless.
Common sense is certainly not part of our make up in this part of the world. Lagos, for sure. And I’m not even sure I can talk for myself anymore. What about you?
  • Imam Jimoh heads the Muslim Community of Lighthouse Estate, Lagos
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