My Train story by Niyi Tabiti: Our train is finally here! It was a superb experience riding from Lagos-Ibadan on Wednesday 30 December. The take off was 4pm as scheduled. I got to Alagomeji-Yaba Nigeria Railway Corporation station about 15 minutes to take off.
I almost missed the trip because they couldn’t accept card payment. I later sorted it as one of the staff helped with N2500 cash for transfer.
I ran like Ben Johnson just to meet up from the ticket point. I was ushered into the train by beautiful hostesses with a smile and courtesy you can only find in airlines or hotels. Police and other security agents were also on board.
The Air conditioning was in perfect condition. Everyone looked bright and wonderful as they share jokes and story of Nigeria of their dreams.
The train moved from Yaba and only make a short stop at Abeokuta. Then straight to Moniya station in Ibadan. We stopped for some minutes at Ijoko when a boy was crushed by the train. It was a tragic scene. Most of the women selling right beside the rail track at ijoko had to quickly move their things.
I remembered how I, my brother and Seyi my childhood friend, who is now based in Canada went through a lot in the old train.
We usually ride from Iddo or Oyingbo to Ikeja almost everyday after school in the early 90s. In those days, if the train did not frustrate us by breaking down for hours, those hawking all kind of things including traditional medicine and snacks sellers will disturb us with their
noise pollution as they try to out wit each using various gimmicks or sales strategy. No matter the noise,Seyi will always enjoy his sleep on the train…if
you like let Iran be fighting Iraq inside train, baba will enjoy his sleep.
I followed the train story since government promised it was ready about two years ago. There was so much paparazzi to that effect as my regular visits to the train station showed they were still scratching the surface.
The train is finally here.This is the train millions of us dreamt about about 30 years ago. We hope that government and good people of Nigeria will put it to proper use and maintenance.
Credits: Thanks to Olasumbo Atagbo for her support durning the first fact finding mission to Abeokuta.
Sola Panama- I call him Mr again,again and again. We had fruitful discussion on the train story. Thanks to Seun Olowoniyi the cofounder Hailling Apartments in Ibadan.
Mr Niyi Tabiti,CEO of Gistmaster.com is a Nigerian reporter/Photographer with close to 20 years experience in the reportage of the entertainment,brand,tourism and high society. He has worked with various newspapers and maagiznes before starting Gistmaster.com and Niyitabiti.net an online news/photography platform in 2007.