Posted by: segebee | April 20, 2009

A Man, a Goat and a Pedestrian Bridge

Culled from
Written by Zahra Mohammed

The other day, there was one of those ‘u don hit my car’ moments on Ikorodu Road. As we sat in traffic waiting for the people involved to sort themselves out, I spotted a man waiting to cross the road.

He was holding onto a fairly large goat by a rope tied round its neck and was watching the oncoming traffic keenly, waiting for the right moment to dash across.

Unfortunately for the man, his goat was not enthusiastic about crossing Ikorodu Road and made it quite clear by the way it positioned itself.

It planted its feet firmly on the ground – braced to resist if the man tried to pull it onto the road – and kept turning away from the expressway. Every so often the man would have to pause from his traffic watch and struggle to get the goat into the correct road-crossing position.

The incredible thing was that this man was standing right under a pedestrian bridge, one that was in full use. There was a steady stream of people walking across the pedestrian bridge and even a number of safety-conscious okada riders had used it.

I watched the guy to see how he was going to dash across a busy highway with a large, hairy, uncooperative animal by his side.

I didn’t know that Benjamin had noticed them as well, until he commented on the spectacle. “See as that goat set im leg,” Benj said, “Dat goat no go cross dat road today, lai lai.”

We watched in silence for a few minutes as the man and his goat struggled again. “E be like say de goat wan use de pedestrian bridge” Benjamin observed. “E no wan die for Ikorodu Road.”

“Maybe the goat knows that the man is taking it to a place where it will be killed, that’s why it doesn’t want to go,” I replied, refusing to believe that a goat would have more sense about road safety than a grown man with hair on his chest.

I thought it was incredible that a goat, with nothing much to look forward to by way of a future, would value its life more than a man valued his.

The poor thing took one look at the way the cars, trucks and petrol tankers whizzed past, sensed danger and said to itself: “I may end up in a pot by the end of today but this ain’t the way to go.”

The man and his goat struggled again. The goat was too large and probably too heavy to carry otherwise the man looked like he was ready to tuck it under his arm and make a dash for it.

The man tugged at the rope unsuccessfully then bent over, put his arms around the goat’s mid section and jerked it into position so that it faced the expressway. He had barely straightened up when the goat turned away again and faced the pedestrian bridge.

Benjamin and I had a good laugh. “So this is why they say ‘as stubborn as a goat,'” I said to myself.
Other daredevil highway crossers like the man – people who refused to use the pedestrian bridge provided for their safety – gave him odd looks as they walked past him and his stubborn goat.

They all leaned into the road, did the quick calculation (2 speeding cars plus 1 Formula One okada rider divided by 1 truck piled high with yams equals NOW!) then they sprinted across the highway, tucking in their buttocks as they leaped to safety on the other side, so that the truck whizzing past with a load of yams wouldn’t shave an inch off their backsides.

As crazy as they all were to make that crossing, from the looks they gave the man with the goat, they obviously thought that he was even crazier.

“All dis time wey dis man don waste here, if to say in use de pedestrian bridge e for don cross longest time,” Benjamin said. At this point our lane began to move as the drivers in front of us inched their way past the point where one car had hit another.

I turned to look at the man, still waiting to cross the road after nearly ten minutes, and wondered: Between a goat that wouldn’t obey its owner and a man who refused to use a pedestrian bridge, who really was the stubborn goat?



  1. The world on information on Ikorodu, from its history to its giant strides of present day. Ikorodu town has all it takes to become on of the best locality in Lagos. … Check the info out at…

  2. GOD DAMN! i couldnt stop laughing. Gba!

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