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Uduak Ubak’s Blog: The Naija Survivor Series – The Apapa Expressway Madness

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pix credit :

Hello Naija,

For some reason, the name ” Naija”, has just come to replace ‘ Nigeria’.

I’m not exactly sure who coined it or where it came from, but it has become an acceptable name in the nation. At the beginning I met people who kicked against it, thinking perhaps it’s the reason why the country seems not to be doing well again. There might probably be some truth in it if only we knew the meaning. Like most things in the country, it has come to stay and like it or not, it’s generally accepted by most.

Nigeria is a country blessed by God and populated by men. It’s been once called ” the Giant of Africa”. I’m not sure what the criteria was for the name, but you’ve got to admire the people living in it. Very dynamic people; survivors no matter the condition.

Recently I took a drive towards the Oshodi-Apapa Express Way, the road that leads to the Apapa sea port where goods coming into the country by sea are shipped. I was shocked to see the number of trucks parked on the road and it was obvious they had been there for a while. It was such a frightening sight; I couldn’t imagine what the road would be like at rush hour.

I met one of the truck drivers and we got talking. He told me he had been packed on that road for about a week, not by choice but because he had no access to his destination as the road was blocked by too many trucks.

He was on his way to pick up some goods from the port. What baffled me most was his calmness.

He didn’t feel ruffled, sad or angry. To him, it was just the hassle that comes with his kind of work; he believed he’ll reach his destination someday. This wasn’t a “park on the road and sleep in a hotel” kind of situation; instead, it was “park on the road and live in your car” situation!

I just had to admire his courage; but I’d rather there was a solution to the problem. Other ports should be open or reopen as the case maybe to decongest the Lagos Port and reduce the number of trucks on that route. But the story of the truck driver is basically the story of an average Nigerian. Survivors!

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