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Comedy of Errors: What I Learned Driving on Nigerian Roads


Johnson Agbejo

Driving on Nigerian roads is not just a journey from point A to point B; it’s a crash course in survival, a comedy of errors, and a test of patience all rolled into one.

As I navigated the chaotic streets and unruly traffic, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the valuable life lessons I learned along the way.

Lesson 1: Indicators are Optional

Forget what you learned in driving school about using indicators to signal your intentions. On Nigerian roads, indicating your turn is seen as a sign of weakness.

Instead, embrace the element of surprise and keep your fellow drivers on their toes by making sudden, unexpected manoeuvres. Who needs indicators when you have telepathic driving skills, right?

Lesson 2: Potholes are Potholesome

Potholes are not just obstacles to avoid; they’re an integral part of the driving experience in Nigeria. From the small craters that pepper the roads to the giant chasms that could swallow a car whole, potholes come in all shapes and sizes. But fear not!

Navigating these treacherous terrain features is all part of the fun. Just remember to hold on tight and pray that your suspension survives the ordeal.

Lesson 3: Honk if You Love Traffic

In Nigeria, honking is not just a means of communication; it’s a way of life. Whether you’re stuck in gridlock or cruising down an empty road, there’s always someone eager to express their enthusiasm for driving with a hearty honk of the horn.

So embrace the cacophony of car horns and join in the symphony of traffic noise. After all, what’s a Nigerian road trip without a little musical accompaniment?

An FRSC officer standing beside a vehicle detained for overloading. Source: FRSC

Lesson 4: Lane Discipline is Overrated

Who needs lanes when you have the entire road to yourself? In Nigeria, lane markings are more like suggestions than rules.

Drivers weave in and out of traffic with reckless abandon, creating a mesmerizing dance of chaos and confusion. So forget about staying in your lane and embrace the freedom of the open road—or at least, what’s left of it.

Lesson 5: Mirrors are for Vanity

Mirrors are a handy tool for checking your hair or adjusting your makeup, but who needs them for actually seeing what’s behind you?

In Nigeria, mirrors are purely decorative, serving as shiny ornaments to adorn your car rather than functional tools for safe driving. So go ahead, ignore those pesky mirrors and trust your instincts—you’ll be just fine.

So, driving on Nigerian roads is not for the faint of heart, but it sure does make for an unforgettable adventure. From dodging potholes to honking your way through traffic, every moment behind the wheel is a lesson in patience, resilience, and absurdity.

So buckle up, hold on tight, and get ready for the ride of your life. And remember, no matter how chaotic it may seem, there’s always a punchline waiting just around the corner.

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