In the last couple of years, there has been a major increase in the use of ride-hailing apps, which are necessary for a mega city like Lagos where traffic is a major hassle. Naturally, with anything controlled by human beings, the process of using these apps can be fraught with problems from dodgy riders to drivers’ complete unwillingness to use their navigation tools.
For the latest volume of Nigerian Lives, we asked 6 Nigerians about their worst ride-hailing experiences:
This one day, I booked a ride home from the office. I greeted the Bolt guy and got on a call. While I was on the call, I noticed he was using his phone and wasn’t wearing his seat belt so I asked him to stop using his phone and put on his seatbelt but he refused. I complained repeatedly and threatened to report him to Bolt. He started driving very fast and then next thing you know, we were in some bushy area. He threatened to beat and rape me if I continued complaining. I begged him and promised to stop complaining. As soon as we were in an area I knew, I jumped out of the car and asked him to end the trip. I ran away before he could say anything.
He picked me up from Tarzan Jetty in Ikorodu. I requested that he open his trunk so I could put my bag in. He said he couldn’t and that I should put it in the back seat which I did because I really hate confrontation. We started the trip and he rolled down his window. My friend asked why and he said the road was terrible. I then responded that I was very familiar with the route and we were not yet at the bad portion of the road. I asked that he turn on the AC. His response? “Why are you shouting at me because of the 1,500 that you’re going to pay?” “If you want AC so much, why you no go buy your car?” I asked if this is how he’s usually rude to customers and he asked me “Na you like this be the customer?”
He stopped the car suddenly and said he was going to end the trip so we should disembark. We refused, telling him we were not getting off till we got to our destination. He still ended the trip so we exchanged words, then he hit me saying, “I will teach you a lesson”. People had to remove him off me.
I almost lost my life one night I took a Bolt on my way home from my ex’s. Bastard dropped me off in the middle of nowhere and started screaming that I wanted to kidnap him when I refused to get down. Long story short, my history in Warri saved me that night because boys were ready to lynch me until I told them I was from a part of Warri and some people could attest to it.
I booked a cab to run to the store so I could come back on time. As I got into the car, I overheard him telling the person he was on the phone with that he was tired so I apologized and explained that I wouldn’t take time. I got into the store and came out almost immediately. As soon as I got back into the car, he started asking why I wasn’t wearing a bra and if he could touch me. I screamed and called him a perv. His response was to bring out his penis and start touching it. I asked him to stop the car and end the trip. He insisted he would drop me at my house. I cursed him out because I felt so threatened. Immediately I saw the road leading to my estate, I got down and ran for my dear life.
I ordered a ride home from my friend’s house. I got home and I casually made a mental note of the car colour and went in. The next day, the same rider accepted my request when I was ready to go out but I didn’t think much of it. I greeted him and made a joke about how coincidental it was. He immediately started asking me personal questions. I found it very weird and plainly told him I wasn’t going to be having that conversation with him. He started saying he knew more about me than I thought. Then, he asked about my siblings and at that moment I knew he was probably stalking me which was the only way he could have known what he knew. When I got to my friend’s house I told the driver to wait as I had texted my friend and told her the situation. They came out and threatened him. They also took a picture of his car and license plate number. That was the last time I saw him.
This night, my car was at the mechanic’s and I needed to get home so my girlfriend booked a Bolt for me. The road gate was shut so I walked from the house to meet the guy. I got in the car- a Hyundai and he asked me where I was going. I told him. He said he could not take me there. He started shouting at me to get out of his car to which I asked that I be allowed to book another cab. He refused and started driving off with me in the vehicle. Obviously, I was scared ‘cos I didn’t have a clue where he was going so I begged him to stop at the Rainoil station on Admiralty as that was a busy and visible enough place for me to wait for my cab. I was carrying my laptop and bag with me.
As I came down, I told him that I was going to report him for what I felt was bad customer service and he responded by threatening to beat me as he was “a military man”. He then got down with what was an NYSC uniform style belt and hit me with it. An eyewitness intervened, telling him to leave. I was on the phone with my brother while all this happened.
I later got a different cab and headed home. I reported the driver to Bolt and he initially claimed he had not picked me up at all. When I sent them a picture of the scar he left on me and a screenshot of the call log, his tune changed. He admitted he picked me up but denied the altercation. Bolt refused to sanction him but encouraged me to pursue legal redress. How that made sense to them continues to mystify me.
Would you like to share your story with Culture Custodian? Kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org