Danfo Palaver and “my change”

It’s proven overtime that Lagos is not for the faint hearted. This is because as an average Lagosians, life is mostly about survival of the fittest as there are too many people struggling for limited resources.

If you are rich then certainly, Lagos is a place to groove and have a great time. The beautiful scenery of the Island as it lights up at night, the clubs, lounges and good food are pleasures for the soul. But for the common man, Lagos can be a hell hole.

Also, If you have a car, or got some extra cash to patronise car-hailings like Uber and Taxify for your frequent movements then I might be pretty sure you can’t relate to “danfo palaver.”

First of all, the struggle to board the bus is a story for another day and not to mention the immediate increase in the fare by the conductors due to high demand from commuters.

So on this fateful day, on my way to work, I was at the bus-stop and after waiting for some minutes, I finally got into a bus. Most of these buses are always not in good shapes but in Lagos, almost anything goes. The conductor started his routine money collection and the fare rate from Sabo/Yaba to Ikeja, which was an average of N150 was doubled to N300. I gave the conductor N500 note and awaited to collect my change. We had gotten to a distance as I reminded the conductor for my change. I didnt want to forget my money because I was going to alight before the final bus-stop.

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As usual the conducted said “no change,” even though I knew he had, and had decided to give other passengers theirs and left few. I laid emphasis on the fact that I will be alighting soonest, “conductor abeg my change, I go soon come down”. He replied dismissively waving the stash of cash in his hand in the air as he spoke “I tell una say make una enter with change, I nor get change” and he continued.

Few minutes later I called out to the bus driver “driver abeg Leventis bus-stop owa o”. And the vehicle in no time came to a halt. I alighted but was on alert as the conductor wasn’t making move to attend to me. Immediately I heard him telling the driver to go on without giving me my chanhe.

I can’t tell where where the adrenaline or “agbero spirit” fell on me. I jumped backed into the bus as the driver was on the move and I jacked the conductor by the shirt and said “give me my change joor”. The conductor told the driver to take me to the last bus-stop that he didn’t have change. The “agbero spirit” came up more and I held on to him this time more aggressively as I threatened to push him down the bus if he didn’t stop and look for my change. The conductor was in shock at my action as I started pushing him. Then the driver stopped and asked him how much my change was. He gave the conductor N200 note. And then I alighted from the bus. All other passengers were in shock because they never expected it. They thought I was too composed as a lady and they could get away with their crazy attitude. But as a rule of survival in Lagos, always know when to switch it up.

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