The Ocholi’s family accident and my Incredulity @FRSC report

So even toddlers have heard about the unfortunate fatal road accident. I have tried very hard not to make any comment , having listened to some people’s accounts of the accident, the  cause and the goodness and niceness of the dead minister himself. But listening to a radio broadcast on radio nigeria today was the final straw and i just have to talk.

Now the first time i heard about the accident, like all normal Nigerians i thought: they must have been speeding as usual….. These siren blowing government officials. But as i read the news further, it was revealed that they had a burst tyre. That in itself is a tragedy but the question is: even with a speeding car, is a burst tyre enough to kill the occupants of a Lexusaà570 SUV. Lets not forget that this car has a high safety index. So i decided to wait for FRSC and the police to investigate, expecting some basic questions to be answered. You know there’s a difference between cause of crash, cause of death and mechanism of death. Example: were their seatbelts on? Its sounds quite simple but it can be the difference between life and death.

I know we are all Nigerians so everyone is going to think first of all the jealous relatives and associates who have gone to do jazz for the man. But that aside, i was waiting for the report only to hear on the radio today that FRSC had finished investigations and that the Ocholi’s driver is going to be prosecuted for over-speeding and not having a valid driver’s license.
Just the driver alone????

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Like are u guys for real???

Of couse, we all knew they were speeding but i was waiting for detailed report that would state clearly: 1) Probable speed they were travelling at?? Was it over 200km/hr or more or less?  2)Why would a  Lexus570 SUV suddenly have a burst tyre? Is it that the tyres have not been changed for a while or do we need to call Toyota for compensation or is it that the car was not brand new??  3)Were the Ocholi’s not without seatbealts? (I know we Nigerians have this notion that the sealtbelts are for only those who are seated at the front seats, probably because they are the only ones FRSC disturb but Newsflash Nigerians: everyone in a moving vehicle needs to have his seatbelt on, thats why they were put in the car. 4) Was there foul play in the tyre burst? Which basically begs the question: is this now homicide?? And certainly not heaping the blame on the driver alone.

Anyway, back to the reason for this post: this morning the newscaster said the driver was being held responsible for overspeeding. And my question is: Why would an employer not be aware that his driver is not licensed to drive?Will any driver overspeed without the express permission of his employer??  Do not forget that said employer was in the car so it is only reasonable to assume that the employer asked the driver to overspeed. So he was only doing his job. It amazes me the speed of these so called government officials sometimes as i’m aware most drivers in this country did not receive any training apart from the streets, the driving test of the FRSC is a joke in itself, the roads are in a deplorable state but you will still see someone doing a 190km/hr , feeling like a Formula 1 driver because his car blares sirens.

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Mr Ocholi is gone but this should serve as a wakeup call for all. We need sanity in the Nigerian system (or is there a system sef?). And I don’t get why the driver is being made into a scapegoat while late Ocholi is being painted as an angel. After all, if he had his seat belt on, he would probably be fighting for his life at the hospital right now instead of being ejected from the car during the somersault. If they weren’t speeding, they would all probably be alive today.

P.S: One of these our so called politicians asked for Ocholi to be immortalised and I asked “For what exactly? Or maybe it’s for being the first Siren blowing Speeding Nigerian to die in a car crash?”  Sometimes I wonder if one of the requirements for becoming a politician is having some part of reasoning brain matter(cerebrum) removed.

Anyway, drive safely everyone. Overspeeding kills. You not only endanger yourself but the lives of other innocent road users. Use your seatbelts everyone even if you are seated at the back. Always do regular and daily checkups on your car. And lastly, educate everyone on safe Road Use Policies

Everyone should read the Nigerian Highway code at least once. Its available at all FRSC offices nationwide

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Indignation……

So I was in church, actually got there about 20minutes before the next mass. We found a seat directly under a fan and at the edge of the pew. Next thing, the person I came with remembered he forgot something, so he dropped his wallet on the seat and left. I was still trying to recollect my thoughts when the first person walked up to me and asked if the seat was taken, I said ‘yes’, he moved on and this scenario was repeated severally till a middle aged man came, I told him that the seat was taken but his next questiom took me unawares. He asked ‘Is it a man?’ I replied ‘Yes’ before I even processed the question. At that, he grunted and moved on.

He sat two seats ahead of me and throughout the duration of the mass, I was itching to ask him, “Do you want to tell me that if it was a woman, you would have taken the seat? What does gender have to do with who occupied the seat first?” I guess I missed the gender seat arrangement memo (as usual).
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The other day, I walked into the office to write my name in the attendance book; I was on the phone with someone when I stepped into the office and the guy in the office was in a heated discussion with another person, so I continued my phonecall. When I ended the call, I asked him for the attendance book in a conversational way, smiling (as they were done with their argument) completely forgetting that I never greeted anyone. He chastised me saying “You should greet people when you enter their offices”. I apologised and greeted him. That was when he made the next statement, “How could you not greet? You are a lady, you should know better”(then he shook his head).

I wanted to ask “Is the issue that I didn’t greet you” or “Is it that a lady didn’t greet you?” “So if I were a guy, I would have been let off the greeting hook? I’m being held to the hook because I’m female??”

I thought greeting is a polite manner for everyone; boys and girls; men and women.
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Note to self: Always greet everyone because you are a lady, a lady should always greet.
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I get to the bus stop and wait for a bus. Luckily the front seats are empty. I take a seat close to the door leaving the seat between me and the driver vacant. We get to the next stop, and a young man flags down the bus, the driver stops and the man opens the front door. I ask him to hold on as I get down, making room for him to take the vacant seat; he looks at me like I just dropped from Mars. I returned his gaze steadily, he asked “You expect me to sit inside??” I raised my eyebrows haughtily and replied “Of course, I entered the bus before you”. The bus driver hissed “Women of these days!! Uwa mmebi!!”

I didn’t even move, I waited patiently till he got in and I took my seat. The guys in the bus started a discussion on the disrespectfulness of the girls of these days.
I continued using my phone till my neighbour tapped me asking “So you feel quite comfortable sitting at the edge with me in the middle?”
I replied “Very. We are in a bus where i’m paying my own fare, why should I take an uncomfortable position just because of my gender? Maybe if you are paying my fare, you can instruct me on where to sit. Till then, enjoy the ride”.

The bus got to my stop and I alighted. I still cannot comprehend the relationship between gender and seating positions, and believe me, I have found myself in many of these situations.

Someone who understands, biko kindly explain to this lost soul…..

P.S: For all those waiting to hear my thoughts on Ese and the unfolding drama, kindly head over to Adaeze’s blog; she just wrote my mind.(Yes, I wrote that)