We had spent just 2 to 3 hours to go from Festac to Marina and thought that it was just one of those problems you face, then I change my route, and spent another 3 hours, and then thought, maybe it was just another bad traffic day. Little did I know that all I was seeing were signs of an impending time.
Then June 30th, we woke up as usual, got on the road at normal time expecting to fly across the estate and be on the high way to Marina. The road also look true to prediction until I got to the last100meters to the high way, and the traffic slowed, then time began to count - 10mins, 30mins, 1hr, 1hr45mins, and then we moved to about 50meters from the express, then check - 2hrs. We decided ok, maybe it will soon clear, but meanwhile, let’s buy Cashew nut and a bottle of drink to calm our fraying nerves while we enjoyed the radio, after all how bad could it still be, then time check - 2hrs 30mins, then 3hrs. At this time we had inched to the edge of the high way and were battling other desperate drivers who were etching their way into the service lane while we were pushing to get to the main road. By the time the event was over, time count was 3hours 30 mins, to cross a 100meter long street. After much ado, I drove an additional 1 hours through various pockets of traffic to get to work in like Four and half hours, about 11.00am.
July 1st, we decided, okay let's leave slightly earlier and maybe we would beat the traffic, so we got on the road. Not before long, we were back at our 100 meter point to the High Way and the traffic slowed down. We thought, ok, maybe it would be fairer today. Then the time count started, and somehow I did not take notice, I was busy fondling my tablet crawling through the internet to call up my website - www.ficcnigeria.org. I had just embedded Trinity Broadcasting Networks International TV software code on the media page of the site, so anyone could watch TBN on the Media page of the site at any time, 24/7. I was really excited. After a couple of minutes with my radio blaring, the embedded TV began to play on my tablet and for a while I was in my own world, on the road - AC pumping, tablet playing, Radio on standby, I did not realize I had spent one hour, then it began to drizzle. I did not mention that there had been a light shower in the morning and that was what prompted me to leave a bit earlier, and I also thought; maybe I would see a little traffic and then move on. Anyway, not to say too much, I changed to my radio, and realized that Ruffy and Bella had started the newspaper review, it was already past 9m and I had spent 2 and half hours already, little did I know I was going to spent another 2 hours on that stretch of road, taking me to 4 and a half hours. When by 11.30 I finally crossed the road, I was angry but very grateful, I also hoped that someone would resolve the road issues and it wouldn't happen again. I got to the office at 12.30pm.
July 2nd, all hell broke loose. I tried to get on my 100 stretch to the high way, but was stopped short at 150meters, and then the crawl began. Inch by inch we moved, then we decided to maximize the time and do breakfast on wheels - cashew nuts, Gala and a bottle of drink. Gradually as the humbling power of traffic began to catch on, the windows came down, guys and ladies that were in their cars all wound up, dressed in their white shirts and shinny ties and the ladies with their heavy makeup begans to loosen up and make small talks with other drivers who like me were bewildered at the goings-on on the road. Little did we know that we were just beginning. Time kept its track and we kept ours. Before we could say jack, we had spent 3 hours. We moved a little bit, blocked off people who were trying to get in the way, then realized that our struggle was not necessary. The time count progressed. Before long it was 12noon, and now deeply frustrated, everyone had gone quiet and were now workig their phones. Finally, at 12.45 we eventually finished the 150meters "drive", having spent almost 6 hours. By the time I got to the office at 1.30pm, I knew I had had it. What! 7 hours on the road to work. The average travel time on that road varies though - Sunday morning or at nights, after 10pm, you would spend approximately 30 mins from Festac to Marina or vise versa at an average speed of 70-80km/h. On a weekday morning you would normally spend about 1hr 30mins, give or take, depending on how tight the traffic was, but within these 3 days, I had spent an average of 5hrs per day to work. The sad part was that by the time we got on the high way, we did not see the cause of the traffic.
So I made a decision. I said to myself and eventually to my friends on Facebook - Extreme problems require extreme solutions. I was not going to spend another 5 hours in traffic to work again as long as the condition persists. I decided I was going to beat the traffic, no matter what it required. I have worked 13 years in Lagos and I have never spent 7 hours in traffic going to work, I was not going to spend that amount of time again.
3rd of July was the day to test my resolve, I decided, 4am I must be up and by 4.15am latest I must be on my way. I had had enough of the traffic; I just could not take it anymore. So I proceeded to execute my extreme solution. 4.30am I had reached an alternate route which used to be dual ways but was converted to one way a couple of years ago. The road led to a newly constructed bridge that emptied itself into another side of the road. Given that there was little or no traffic on the road at that time of the morning, I approached the road headlong not minding the "swimming pools" that confronted me. I was determined to solve my problems. Within a few short breath, I was on the bridge, then on the next street, the road was as free as can be, I pushed my accelerator and sat back to soak in the morning worship music playing on Inspiration FM. By 4.45am, I was at the office car park trying to get my work grooves on. I later heard the tale of the day; people had spent several hours at day break before they could complete the 100 meter stretch.
The moral of the story - extreme problems require extreme solutions. There is a solution to every problem you are currently facing. The question is how badly you would like to solve the problem. One of the reasons problems persist is because we somehow are not motivated to solve them, maybe because we still enjoy some respite from the impact of the problem or maybe the pain isn't strong enough to extract a solution from us. When we truly get motivated enough, we will create solutions that would end our problems. We would pay the requisite price, climb the needed mountain, fight that lion if need be, we will ensure we surmount at all cost. Don't give up on your problems, don't abandon them and give in, you are bigger than any mountain you will ever face, you are stronger than that giant confronting you, make up your mind to do all that the situation requires and you will see the possibilities of your life come through.