​I grew up in a mega city where – and when – “Molue” was the cheapest means of transportation people board to get to their various places of work, schools, programs, and even weddings or any ceremony. Almost 80% of the people living in Lagos state then preferred reaching their destinations via this lorry-like van we call “Molue.”

Before our time, there was another means from within the States to another, Oko Jagi, maybe it was Nigerian made or the planks used in building it were made in Nigeria – I really can’t tell – but Molue, I think then, was only found in Lagos. Hearing “Molue! Molue! Molue” every morning was however, amazingly amusing.

In a colour chosen by Lagos state govt, I think, they were all Yellow, different from BRT which is (Babatunde raji transport). There were a number of seats in it, not too different from what we have today as the public transport in many countries, but not as spacious, or spacious but not as beautiful, which makes it negatively funny while on it. Only those who once boarded it can tell what i mean. They were yellow in color just like taxis. If you asked me, I would say ‘Lagos is yellow.’

In the world of design, yellow could mean amusement or gentleness. Lagos might be amusing, believe me. Sincerely, you’ll be amused visiting Lagos, asides ileya festival when people travel to their hometowns, still Lagos will amuse you. But for gentility?.. No.

But then, that roughness and the drama it entails is another amusement itself. You want it or not, you ll be amused everyday in Lagos. 

In a city, where you are not allowed to cross to the other side of the road where there is a pedestrian bridge, yet people disobey or disregard the law out of gentle hastiness, then cross-over without using the bridge; in order to enforce the law, the police in charge will also cross over like the crosser to arrest him. Criminal tailing criminal! 

A police once caught a man one day and asked him why he had crossed. The man replied, “You nko? You cross, I cross.” Lol. I love the lawlessness in Lagos. However, Don’t try that now, Ambode is working.

I really don’t think arresting people will do it, not every law should attract money, if at least police arrests such person, they don’t need to charge him, if they can at least throw him in a black Maria, just for three hours, waste his time a bit, no pain no gain, in fact no charges. He wouldn’t dare cross again. If he can’t get to where he is rushing to, he won’t dare crossing next time. But the police, I do not trust them. I know what you are thinking too.

Back to the talk about Molue. Have you ever seen a pack of fish in a can, like geisha, that’s the same way people get patched up in Molue – no arrangement, no order, we are all one. Men and women, students and pregnants, old and lame, teachers and beggers even traders; packed together in the same bus, bodies touching another, no crime, after all… Body no dey run for body. Ara okin sa fun ara.

We all pay the same amount; very cheap ones like I said, coz all could afford it even though you’ll get late to your destination, coupled with the discomforting experience you might have in it. At times, quarrels with your fellow passenger, it could even go as far as fighting yourselves, abuse each other and do all sort of crazy things. Disrespect of your fellow citizens, (it goes worse when the quarrel is between the opposite sex) you can’t fight a lady in cairo, they are gods and are always rights, they have the status of customers, you know, customers are always right: the worst is when a youngster mesmerizes an old one: which can never happen in Nigeria, but even as it happens here, I still love Cairo. It won’t lead to fight, they only blow harangue trumpet and serenity comes after a while.

The bone of contention is that the price is high and everyone is angry. Poverty is crazy and could make you become crazy too, poverty intoxicates some times that you don’t see clearly what you do, either good or bad, you just do it. Yet, we need something for the poor. You can beg not to pay in Mega Molue, O merciful Molue; not in BRT, Danfo nko, Oni fe Ku naa… Who ll rescue the poor?

But with the situation in the country now, I ask myself, although I strongly believe in this government – we ll get out of this trouble – but I think Molue needs to come back. They are not as common as before, or they are no longer in existence again. 

Lagos needs to drop its arrogant shoulder of this mega mantra, and bring back cheap buses and rent out shops in cheap prices. Sorry, I don’t wanna jump around, my dear reader. Na diz Mega Change tin coz am.

I donno what’s going on but not sure if the price of BRT has not risen up too, even though BRT is not getting everywhere, I don’t know if there is BRT from orile to Oshodi or to Okoko, from Alaba to Ijora, from Aguda to Oju Elegba…. Transport money is kind of high, I doubt if Okada still collect #50. Count how many people living in those areas and their likes.

The first time I travelled to Egypt, the automobile buses in the city was very nice, although they were running on that system even before Gov. Fashola introduced his own project to the public. But very different in manner from what I experienced since I was child, and very cheap. But now that there’s a drastic rise in dollar and that it’s affecting every developing country, which Egypt is one, many of them are now on a long unorganized que for automobile buses for that’s what they can now afford no matter how far or difficult – all they do is reset their time. Worse compared to the ‘Molue’ of then in terms of jam-packed arrangement.

Molue won’t make Lagos look *im-mega*, I don’t know if that word exists, Okada won’t stain the image of Lagos, in fact there are places in Lagos where only Okada can get to, I think the government should always take the ‘bellies of the masses’ into consideration whenever they are deliberating on making the city look modern.

What’s the good of a shinning body when the intestine is in a state of crinckle-cranky. I mean to say, if we are planting our rice, mining our oil, we need to invent our cars too, afterall, Fayawo is no more working. Is Keke Napep (tricycle) better than Molue? Keke Napep is Indian made and they still use it, i still saw something close to Molue in Ghajini, an india film by Amir Khan, the year of the film is not too far away. 

Abeg, let’s resurrect Molue and let the labour of our heroes past not be in vein. Abi kini iwuri elewon ton fi ago sowo. I am not at home oooo, but if Molue still exists, let’s bring out more. We can resuscitate it in Naija in nice shapes.

Forget about the noise Molue makes, all those will be redefined, forget about the discomfort people will get, we are used to it and we feel comfortable even if not at the highest order, forget about their drivers’ non challant attitude towards “Mr My Car,” we shall address that, don’t worry about them breeding hold up, we will regulate that; just bring back Molue and see how much people will save in their salaries, see how other states might benefit too, think about the lesser noise Nigerians will make just for your Molue’s noisy allowance.

I pray things get better soon in Nigeria and the other parts of the world. Oh God, destruct the wills of those who don’t want us to prosper and make us rise again.

©Ibraheem {Broken Pen}

Advertisements