From the Archives: Road Blues

August 2016.

As we drove past Lagos-Ibadan expressway in a bus this morning, there was another dead body on the road. She was probably in her late teens or early tweens as she lay lifeless on the road. At a quick glimpse as we sped by, I noticed her hair was just gathering dust meaning she must have been there not too long or at most, the past night.

She looked, in my judgment, to have been hit and run. Though there were no visible signs of blood, there was neither a concerned crowd around her sharing some pity, sympathy, regret or reflection about a young life cut short.

There was of course, at a short distance, perhaps a dozen feet, a road side market cluster with shops and stalls, and dozens of market people and buyers, unperturbed and very much unconcerned about anything but their businesses. To them, a human life gone couldn’t matter more.

I pondered as the imagery fell behind, praying in my heart for her soul’s repose but some few minutes later, at the other side of the road, lay another dead body, a man’s. Another victim of a crazy driver.

Where’s the love? If the economy and government is bad, why must we kill each other? Lord have mercy!

Sometimes, I wonder. I wonder how we got here. How other people hurting made us look the other way. Samaria must be far away.

Don P.

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