Remember how one of the first things they tell you in driving school is to treat every other driver on the road like they’re insane?
You probably laughed it off that day, and proceeded to try your hands at the evils of parallel parking, but you see those driving instructors — they might have been on to something.
Every day, and that’s every single day; some type of madness is unleashed on Nigerian roads, regardless of the time of day.
It could be in the morning where; energised from a quick snack, the Nigerian road rage monster that lives in us all, is just up and roaring to go.
At this time, it isn’t uncommon to find a well dressed Nigerian man, patiently beckoning to another in morning traffic to roll down his windows, only to pass the universal “it’s like you’re mad and have no one to tell you sign’ across.
Or even a Nigerian mother, patiently chiding her child to remain in the car, while she continues the business of wrapping her hands around another man’s neck for recklessly scratching her car in morning traffic.
What is this Road Rage Monster you might ask? Well, it’s that thing that makes myriad Nigerians keep a horsewhip on their dashboards, in the event that another human being might require an animal’s thrashing.
It’s the thing that makes Nigerians keep less than a centimetre of space between the car in front of them, so no other opportunist vehicle can rightfully make their way into a lane.
And of course, it’s the same monster that makes it perfectly okay for grown men, in broad daylight to engage in maniacal road-races, after being cut off while driving.
As mentioned earlier; this road rage is no respecter of hours.
Afternoons are its choicest period. The road-rage monster is hot and starved, he just wants to get his lunch, but unruly Nigerian drivers won’t let him be.
This is why Nigeria has witnessed one too many scenes of grown men sitting on the bonnets of their cars, playing a vehicular variation of Uncle — looking to see who would move for whom first at an intersection.
Or why scenes like these aren’t too uncommon if the monster is having a particularly bad afternoon.
Night time produces another kind of Road-Rage Monster, the ‘tired, and angry with your boss kind”.
He just wants to get home in time to watch the news and surrender to bed. What that means is, he’s going to toot his horn aggressively for every microsecond a driver wastes at a freshly green traffic light. He’ll make a melody out of it if necessary.
The monster is also going to do his best to make sure no car cuts in front of him, regardless of how rightful it is. That’s going to add another 10 hours to his commute, like most Nigerians reason, so we can’t have that.
And if the monster is no respecter of time of day, you should know the day of the week is equally as irrelevant.
Nigerian drivers will cuss you out on Monday and give you the finger for driving too slowly on Friday.
Decked in geles and agbadas, the many weekend road rage monsters are more than ready to dash you waka for doing normal things like observing a red light or waiting for a pedestrian to make their way through a zebra crossing. There’s an owambe with rapidly finishing small chops to get to, they won’t let you be unfortunate for them.
But if it’s any comfort, Nigerians aren’t the only ones suffering through the road rage plague.
Other countries actually have to deal with serious cases of murder over road rage.