My Experience with Calabar cab driver on 25 January 2017: an exercise in personal example


Efio-Ita Nyok|27 January 2017 I think two things: first, let individual Nigerians live a life of personal example. Secondly, this personal example will graduate to a phase of collective/mass action something resembling a movement/revolution. This is what I mean: Yesterday I boarded a taxi from Uwanse Street to Marian Road, Calabar South. I was with a friend Mr Abanda Uket a post graduate student at the Department of Philosophy, University of Calabar. We were four passengers behind and probably two in front. Uket would leave off at IBB Road. I would proceed or so I thought. When my friend was to alight at IBM Road (being four passengers behind), and I was sitting at the extreme left hand, it was my lot to open the door for my Uket who was to leave. I couldn't because I was stucked behind without a room for stretching. When he attempted to open the door, we discovered that the handle inside was bad, so we had to do that from outside —this is the irony that got me angry: why must a passenger sitting inside a cab open the door from outside the car? At this stage of my disappointment I reacted against the driver requesting to know why he did not fix his car door handle? Instead of giving an explanation he asked me why I should ask him such a question. At this remark, I flared! I retorted that he is getting money from his passengers for services rendered but is not ploughing back that money into making his clients comfortable thereby enjoying their money. At a point, we were speaking at the top of our voices. We were now three passengers since my one had left. One of the passengers, a male, told me that I should not react like that, because I was educated. I had to turn to the concerned co-passenger and told him that it was because I was 'educated' that was why I reacted that way. He did not see it in my perspective.
The long and short of this story is that I ended up getting off that cab because I and the driver quarreled so seriously so much so that proceeding was a challenge. I boarded another taxi to my original destination. The point I am here trying to make is that Nigerians, especially the poor masses are unduly docile —we ain't comfortable with the status quo but we are not ready to act against our glaringly obvious uncomfortable situation! Rather, like Karl Marx explained, we resort to a supernatural force namely God (who frowns against such degree of unacceptable irresponsibility) to come to our rescue.  If everyone in Calabar begins to engage commercial drivers who have sworn not to fix their door handles, they will change. If I and you refuse to open the door from outside when we reach our destination but call on the driver to come down from his seat and open his door, they will all change and fix the door handle. Cab drivers is one sector of society. If we replicate this trend in another sector of society, our kids would study the Nigerian Revolution in the nearest future instead of the French Revolution. Personal example is key I think Johnson Ibiang (Ibiang's question on my thread prompted this question). God won't solve our problems because we have everything in us to redress our disadvantaged condition. I dare say that the God that Third World societies worship is different from that of the so-called First World : the God of the third world is a God they created to solve their problems in our irresponsibility —a figment of their imagination; while the God of the first world is the God they didn't create but naturally acknowledge as part of a natural extension of affirming an inherent insufficiency that wealth or plenty cannot fill. St. Augustine made this point when he said his soul would know no rest until it found repose in Him. The difference is therefore responsibility and personal example. #LettheRevolutionbegin Efio-Ita Nyok
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