A bus-stop shelter is one of the important transport infrastructure designed for both passengers and commercial vehicles to “set down” and ‘pick up’ passenger. It is usually build on a public road with roof and inbuilt seats for passengers. It is an important infrastructure purposely made for passenger’s safety.
It is interesting to note that some of these bus- stop shelters are gradually becoming luxury, apartment for lunatics in Nigeria, thereby, making it so difficult and unpleasant to be used by public.
Often times, I wonder at my observation when I see a mad man making use of transport infrastructures on our public roads without being checked. A time you see them using road side as their inevitable apartment and a times you may see them using round about facilities as their dwelling place. So, one may wonder if all these public transport infrastructures are alternative means for lunatics to live
However, since many of these mentally ill people sharing the same road with pedestrians, hence, little will it baffle you when you see some of them making use of bus-stop shelter, road-side and round about infrastructure as their dwelling place? In all honesty, this is an eye sore on our public roads. I think, it is unacceptable to every Nigerian. It is not pleasant to the ears, to the eye and to the sense of reason. Hence, the saying two wrong things can never make a right.
Furthermore, in a society where many insane people are allowed to move anyhow on our public road, this often has a negative effect on our environment.
For instance on August 17, 2016, the writer of this article was listening to daily newspaper review on one of the radio stations in Nigeria, when he heard the story of a mad man who hit a pedestrian very hard on the head with iron, it was reported that the victim was bleeding from the head when he was quickly rushed to the hospital for treatment.
More so, in 2013, precisely on Christmas day, a woman, her 4 children and 5 other people were killed when a container fell on a stationary commuter bus at Alaba Suru in Lagos. It was revealed that the truck driver was trying to avoid killing a mad man who slept on the road when the container it carried fell from the truck.
In addition, some years back the writer was a witness on how a mad man was beaten mercilessly by motorist and passengers in Ibadan tollgate along Lagos/Ibadan expressway. Why? It was said that the mad man suddenly threw a big stone at oncoming vehicle from Lagos, this explains why the windshield was damaged and a passenger in the front seat sustained serious injury on the head. The simple truth is that a mad man on public road is a dangerous man.
The rise in number of insane people on public roads is due to lack of adequate special institution that can house the insane people in our society, thereby, causing social problem on our roads and reducing the bus-stop shelter as luxury their apartment.
However, provision of specialist institution by the government for mentally ill people in our society can never be over emphasized in this regards.
In Nigeria today in most cases madness is mostly the problem of the families concern and if such families are unable to care and control the insane or house them they let them alone, moving around the street and on the public roads. Consequently, we have many mad people around us that are violently and highly disturbing.
Social welfare board or the authority concern at all level of the government in the country have obligations and duties to prevent or make our public roads to be free from environmental harm and nuisance that are likely to cause by mentally deficient people.
The authority concern in Nigeria is expected to provide adequate public mental asylum where all these insane people can be housed for better compassionate care and moral treatment that will enhance rehabilitation of the insane rather than allowing them to move around the public road aimlessly, thereby causing social problem on our roads.
To this end, the authorities concern from all level of government in Nigeria must play a key role, through legal and financial means to implement and enforce decision that will make our public roads and transport infrastructures and all road users free from environmental harm and nuisance that are likely to cause by mentally deficient people.
Nevertheless, as I observed the increase of mentally deficient people on our public roads so also, is the concern about their harmful effects to human health and the environment at large become, highly worrisome. Therefore, the social welfare board or the authority concern and transport authorities at all level in Nigeria are humbly but firmly called through this platform to formulate road transport environmental safety policy that will contribute to the sustainable economic development, health and safety of all road users by maintaining and improving the quality of our public roads and transport infrastructures.