It is time the government began to probe transport lines over accidents involving their vehicles.
Back in 2007, my mother and I were in Lagos for my registration as a student at the University of Lagos and after all the hassles, we were almost grateful to be heading back home.
The day slated for our trip back to Delta state came soon enough, and although we had woken up early in other to catch the first bus, we still weren’t at the park until 7am.
Luckily, Peace Mass Transit at Jibowu, had a bus ready to leave and had just two sits to go. I was limp with relief as I rushed to pay for a ticket. Before I was done, I noticed a young lady was sitting on one of the two seats left and in a matter of seconds, we were embroiled in a bitter battle of words.
In what seemed unfortunate for me and my mother at the time, the bus driver said who ever sat on the seat first, had it. I was dumbfounded but my mum, the peaceful creature that she is, insisted we walk away and that God knew best. Even that phrase pissed me off but there was really nothing I could do.
Fast forward four hours later, we were in a different bus heading towards Ore, Ondo state when we were forced to slow down.
We quickly discovered that the cause of the traffic was caused by a ghastly accident that had occurred barely 20 minutes before we arrived at the spot.
It was the bus we should have been in and amongst the bodies on the floor, was the lady I had argued bitterly over the seats by the door, which were now smashed in and unrecognisable.
What I did not realise that day was that it was the beginning of my awareness of the number of accidents Peace Mass Transit has been involved in and for some reason, almost one decade later, and this same transport service is still functioning, and I dare say, growing.
This begs the questions, are there no regulatory bodies for road transport lines in the country, especially as they are one of the most patronised?
Are there no disciplinary actions for transport services that cause families the lives of loved ones through carelessness?
If there are, why is Peace Mass Transit still in function? Are the disciplinary actions not strict enough to make them remorseful and even more cautious?
In this year alone, there has been four reported accidents involving Peace Mass Transit and no one is doing anything about it. Even worse is the fact that Nigerians are so set in their ways and used to what “they know” that they are still willing to travel in this death trap.
It is time we began to think and act in accordance for our own wellbeing while the government plays its part in setting up a regulatory body that actually works, free of any form of corruption. It is time for the Nigerian life to begin to matter.