My brother sent me a Facebook post someone had shared from one @Harrydaniyan about a social experiment he conducted in Utako Abuja. The writer said he was walking on the sidewalk when pedestrians began to give way to vehicles who, because there was traffic on the roads, decided to drive on the sidewalk to beat traffic and it just takes one driver to start the “drive of shame” and others would join.
The writer said he decided not to move off the sidewalk when a vehicle approached. When he was ordered off the sidewalk, the writer maintained that sidewalks were for pedestrians and cars should go back to the roads, traffic or not.
It became a standoff; the driver of the vehicle got angry with him, passengers in the vehicle called him names, even passersby cursed him, spat on him and one even slapped him, telling him he was being a stubborn old man. They threatened to do worse but for the fact that the writer was an ‘old’ man.
No one saw the fact that driving on the sidewalk was wrong; no one stood up to challenge the erring drivers and speak the truth; no one saw anything wrong with vehicles cutting corners by driving on the sidewalk, instead, the man who chose not to leave the sidewalk meant for pedestrians was beaten up.
The post was very painful to read because reading it I was reminded over and over again that indeed, our leaders are just a fragment of what is wrong with us as a nation; we the citizens are corrupt, uncouth, undisciplined, and have lost our moral values so much so that “even the good lord is wondering, ‘how do I help you?’
While Mr. Harry Daniyan may have been performing an experiment and one can argue that his was just a one off case, I know this is routine especially in traffic situations and I have too many stories to tell as I’m sure many do, too.
Let us do better and learn to stand up for the truth or at least for what is right no matter the circumstance.