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Mu’azu Magaji: The Nightmare Of My Movement To Kano From Abuja On Sallah Day

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I had quiet an experience today after missing a highly overbooked flight from Abuja to Kano yesterday.

In the early morning of today, I was so determined to be in Kano for Sallah, I set out to catch the first train from Abuja to Kaduna..and then to Kano by Road.(May God punish who ever truncated this train construction from reaching Kano).

To cut long story short, I slept with multiple thoughts of security concern, bad road and long tiring trip. All because there is no functional and safe mass transit services for ordinary people across the whole country.

My train ride was surprisingly seamless as the Sallah rush was over and I decided to book my ticket only to eliminate the agents that excavate price some time doubling its face value at station for desperate travellers. I also met a Lebanese gentleman who gave me an overview of what Kano used to be in the glorious past.

Needless to say I experienced almost all…Even though the road maintenance/rebuilding work has now picked pace…there are still very dangerous spots that are death traps…an example of that is the link from Likoro to Tashar Yari…where we kept dodging deep potholes often unsuccessfully….finally we hit a big one and our tyre ruptured….

The inevitable happened and we had to stop in a spot considered dangerous to change to the spare tyres…with its attendants risk and exposure. Many drivers then became scared of a lone car parked on a highway…even with a triangle placed to indicate our presence, you can see cars swapping away with increased speed…to be safe I guess.

After a while some good samaritans actually tried and stopped at a distance before reaching our position, suspecting something may be fishy I guess…I just feel sad for us and for everyone in Nigeria….that we are in a state of siege mentality, psychologically and physically, in our own nation.

But one driver summoned courage and slowly approached us after assessing us from a far and seeing us struggle with a spare tyre from the boot. He then came out with a colleague of his and came over and assisted us with the tyre change. In my mind I imagined the many risk he may have though through before deciding to stop and help us…Good nature of man is always there despite all the challenges. We are greatful to this green cab guys and his friend.

Finally we removed the damaged tyre and fix the spare and began the journey to Kano cautiously, but not done with more risk..an Okada rider at Kwanar Dangora basically lost control and yanked away our right mirror…we stopped, made sure he was alright and just drove off..knowing fully well its a waste of time to lay any claim on damages.

We finally made it home, thanks to Ahmad Umar Ndagi who arranged his brother Suleiman to pick me up at Rigasa and to Kano, I made it to Kano on Sallah day with my heart in my mouth.

To think that its exactly what people go through every day is disturbing and distressing. I pray that leaders saddled with responsibility of safeguarding our lives will wake up and live to their responsibility, because the accountability is not just to man but also to God Almighty.

Engr MM

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