MURDER IN THE BUS

Ankulapo Macmillan

The Grief in this direful bus was somewhat like the grief in T.S Eliot’s prosaic drama: murder in the Cathedral. That particular drama is known as his best play, and his only completed work of historical drama. Although, our drama here, is sanguinary because it appears as a drama of threnody.

The drama of Oluwabamise Ayanwole was grievous. It was melancholy and why such a killing would continue in our society. Now, is it that a citizen can’t board a bus around 7 pm anymore? Her death was an accumulation of wearisome news. When I heard the news of her death, I began to ask myself, why such a thing would happen in a city that claims to never sleep. Was it that she was murdered outside Lagos and they later dropped her corpse on Cater Bridge? Were people not in that vicinity when they cut her body?

Meanwhile, her drama of death was that she wanted to spend the weekend with her sister in Ota, Ogun State. But in TS Eliot’s play, the drama is a story of a man coming home, foreseeing that he will be killed, before being killed. It was the story of Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, who was in exile in France, before returning to England to witness his death. And our dear Oluwabamise, met her death when she boarded Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicle, around 7 pm on February 26, 2022.

The murder of this fashion designer lady was heinous. Unfortunately, Lagos state vehicle became the circumstance of her death. Is this not a bad identity for the state? If the state fails to bring the culprit to law, it means that Babajide Sanwo-Olu has disgraced his administration.

Why would a citizen get killed in a state vehicle? This shows the embarrassment in the state transport. For a state to be developed, one of the first things to be done is to provide a system with readiness. A state like Lagos, shouldn’t be in this kind of repugnance. I think the government should have created a workable alert-bell or mobile app for passengers to use whenever they suspect anything strange within their vicinity. If this is in place, maybe Bamise wouldn’t have passed to this gruesome marauder.

Her death is that of Lagos state. BOS of Lagos needs to pay a condolence visit to her parent and give her a befitting burial; because she didn’t die by her fate. She was murdered at the hands of unknown people. If only her corpse could speak, it would have been easy to identify the perpetrators. Meanwhile, the rate of innocent souls that are being killed in this country is outrageous. A day won't pass without hearing the news of a victim in horrible circumstances. Some of these people die without proper justice. It is like what the South African poet, Dennis Brutus wrote in one of his perspicacious poems‘’ Bury the great duke with a noise of lamentation’’; these souls were lamenting because the sentinel of their own country failed them.

It is only in Nigeria that we don’t pay attention to things. However, I would say, she didn’t pay attention to things because if she had done; she wouldn’t board the BRT bus, because BRT doesn’t have a terminal in Chevron. The only terminal around that axis is in Ajah. Or maybe she felt the bus would be safe for her to reach Oshodi because it was owned by the state. But she didn’t know it was harmful. Sometimes, death comes differently. For her, death made a disparaging remark on her.

Unknowingly, she met her death inside the bus. The bus became treachery to her. And death twitched her in the eyes gently and took her promising career as a seamstress away from her. That is disheartening. Though we live in an unsafe society. A society where people’s lives do not matter anymore. People kill themselves for ritual all in the name of affluence and opulence. Forgetting that wealth acquired with gloom would perish while nurturing futility.

And It is here in Nigeria that we forget that hard work pays. If one should continue to question the cause of her death; one would resolve to the conclusion that she was killed because the culprits wanted to use her for ritual. That means rituality is now confiding in Nigeria and the government doesn’t find a way to tackle this menace. For instance, if a country wants to grow, societal values and morals need to be the verve for growth. But here in Nigeria, we fail woefully because we find solace in killing innocent souls to earn flamboyant things.

Lagos state government shouldn’t leave the police to handle this crime alone. I will suggest that the government should also set up a panel to look into crime like this if Lagos wants to be a smart city. A city that doesn’t have good security is debris of misfortune. But her story shouldn’t end on paper or media only. It is the duty of the state commissioner of police, Mr. Abiodun Alabi, to prove his worth, by finding those who killed Oluwabamise Ayanwole. And if the bus driver is guilty, I will say, let his story end like a traitor, who betrayed his people.

OUR KINGDOM OF HUBRIS

Nigeria is not owned by anybody. It is a sovereign state that both the rich, destitute, technocrat, and proletarian can all claim to own together, without saying it is owned by one ethnicity. It is not a country of sordid comedians who believe their region is the architect of Nigeria.

I disgorge when some people want to turn the country into their property. Well, the case of Emir of Kano and Air Peace, is something that annoys me seriously. If you ask me why I would say what happened was just an act of hubris. Nobody is the commentator of modern Nigeria.

Even though we obey tradition in Nigeria, that doesn’t mean the spokesperson of the monarch would act that way. That is wrong. For a country that wants to develop, nobody is above the law. Nobody has the power to oppress anybody because of a title. Did anyone come to this world with a title?

Meanwhile, amid this superficial opulence, the Emir’s spokesperson, Mr. Isa Bayero believed that the chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Onyema should have ordered the airplane to stop when he called him. Is this not pride? An airplane that is readying to take off, should wait for the monarch, what does that mean? Are people inside the airplane, not human beings?

For us to leave in a peaceful nation, we should believe that people are equal irrespective of their social class. If the Emir wants to fly with hubris, nothing stops him to acquire his private jet and fly. Air Peace is a commercial airline and the passengers on board are also important.

Thus, when I saw this drama, I began to question myself. What is the matter here? What is the spokesperson trying to achieve? Does it mean that the management of Air Peace disrespects the monarch? No! What happened is hubris in the guise of mankind.

Hear what the CCO of Air Peace, Mrs. Toyin Olajide said in Vanguard newspaper of 28/02/2020

Is this act not an act of hubris? Because I believe this matter can be settled amicably. And why would Mr. Isa Bayero also say that the management of Air Peace should tender an apology in two national daily newspapers and also come to the palace to apologize in person? Is this not what a poet called the pride of highest regard?

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Batunde Alaran

Batunde Alaran

This is a page of a troubled mind. I write essays. I write stories. And I write anything worthy of reading