All over the world where businesses are carried out, customer services acumen and efficient welfare towards clients are held in high priorities. What has been portrayed as one of the highly preferred transport and logistics services by GOD IS GOOD TRANSPORT (GIGM) is indeed all a ruse and a deceit upon the intelligence of Nigerian commutters.
As a veteran journalist and a media practitioner of international repute, with sojourn in the media spanning over 35 years, I was more than shocked and embarrassed beyond imagination with what the dangerous and inhuman treatment through GIGM’s rude approach to business last Thursday. As a celebrity journalist, I couldn’t imagine I could be made to suffer unduly by the so-called Good Is Good services in Lokoja, Kogi State. Indeed, it all goes to say to me that Nothing, absolutely nothing is good with the “God is good Logistics.
Soon as the driver parked the bus at Lokoja park, he left all the passengers in the risky hands of daring touts. I was left open in the hands of volatile miscreants, dangerous and unkempt environment where the GIGM bus I had boarded from Iyana Ipaja, Lagos supposedly broke down without any form of sympathy or reprieve to get us an alternative bus to complete our journey to Abuja.
On wonders why such a transport company would, in the first instance would decide to put such an unhealthy and mal-functioning bus on the road, when indeed the manager at Iyana Ipaja knew it wasn’t too fit to complete the journey to Abuja, FCT. I was amazed when the driver told me to my face that he had warned the manager that the bus was not too fit to be driven to Abuja, “yet he went ahead to allocate the bus for the trip”.
The highly embarrassing ad unfair treatment the GIGM meted out to a professional of my caliber, my colleague- a veteran from his days in Vanguard newspapers and other 12 passengers in the bus started out when, firstly on arriving at Iyana Ipaja to board the bus enroute Abuja, we were made to wait endlessly to be issued our ticket having booked and paid online for the trip the previous day.
The initial incompetence and lackadaisical attitude of the workers I first noticed was that our bus, as it’s been scheduled to leave the terminal at 5.45am did not leave the park until 6.50am. Before this, I had booked my ticket and that of my Managing Editor online and we were meant to retrieve our printed ticket at the Customer service desk. For a bus that has been booked to depart at about 5.45am, no official was available at the desk to get us printed ticket, neither was a bus allocated to the trip until about 6.30am. One panting official later showed up at the desk to attend to a score of passengers who were visibly scary of missing their buses. I later got wind of an information that it has always been the style of GIGM to deliberately delay getting passengers’ tickets issued out so they could be made to pay a surcharge of N1,000 for arriving late at the park.
Subsequently, we left the Iyana Ipaja terminal at exactly 6.50 and headed on to Abuja. The first hitch we were made to face with was somewhere before Ore, Ondo State when the bus’ hydraulic brake began to malfunction. The driver was compelled to park at a roadside mechanic and got it “fixed”.
From that moment, it became obvious to many of us in the bus, especially myself that it was not too healthy to be on the road, especially for a journey that is expected to last about 12 hours.
As we progressed on the journey, even a layman in the bus would know that the rate at which the driver was moving, we may not make the journey to Abuja successfully. This actually came to pass when at about 6.25pm, the mean driver drove into Lokoja park and told all passengers that the bus could no longer move an inch because the engine was faulty. Everyone was taken aback and became instantly disgusted. Danger was indeed lurking ahead of us. Here, we all knew nothing was indeed good about them.
For me, who out of my exposure internationally having just got into the country from United Kingdom where I publish my magazine, I became more terrified and embarrassed at the driver’s disposition, knowing fully well how customers are rated high and respected in the Western world. The driver added more to our disappointment with his mean and unfriendly attitude. Instead of addressing us about the situation and assuring us of our safety, he got off the wheels and made straight to the highly sub-standard and unhealthy restaurant where, in a jiffy he was served food and bottled water. I watched in amazement as he collected his tray of food and went into a reserved room where he settled down to wallop his concocted free food. I learnt they usually secure a deal with restaurants on the route, drive there with the passengers, who ostensibly may patronize them and what the drivers get in return as compensation is free food. What a business!
Before the driver abandoned all the passengers and went into the restaurant, I learnt he had given one of the passengers the phone number of his manager in Lagos. He wanted the passenger to ring his manager to inform him of the broken down vehicle in Lokoja, Kogi State. What a shameful and disgusting act, highly irresponsible and unfriendly customer oriented!
I made to where he was eating to ask him what was going to be our fate, how will he get us out of the volatile area of the Lokoja terminal. Time then was precisely 6.35pm. All the vendors and commodities sellers at the park were already parking to close for the day. The only thing the driver volunteered to tell me was that he had given one of us the phone number of his manager to call. When I probed further if he knew the implication of being left helpless in the park when it gets dark and the dangers we will all be exposed to, I got the shock of my life when he said to me, “Please can you just allow me finish my food, I will come and speak to you people when I finish”. At that point, I knew I was in for a shocker that I had never experienced in my life. This is because; the environment we were faced with was that of heinous attack where miscreants and mean touts would do anything once it gets dark.
When I had seen that no help could come our way, I made for my luggages and left the scene highly disappointed with my colleague. We trekked to the ABC Transport park where we were lucky to speak to a cab who volunteered to drive us to Abuja for a fee of N12,000. I had no option because it was already 7.18pm
Much as regrettable as it was to have chosen GIGM to take us to Abuja, I seriously think the services of this logistics company is so reckless, inhuman and dangerous. I can imagine lives that may have been exposed to such situations which would have cost people money, materials and even lives in the process.
The pains we had to go through to eventually get to Abuja was so terrifying, our situation became more torturing when indeed, at that late hour, we were faced with the task of locating our destination within the federal capital. In the midst of all these, the rainfall that greeted the whole of Abuja waded all the cabs off the streets. Imagine me still hanging on the desolated street in Jabi, Abuja at about 11.25am, all because of the inhumanity in the services of God is Good Motors.
Before I go any further, I will expect the management of the transport company to refund my ticket fare for both myself and that of my colleague, the taxi fare of N12,000 that eventually took us to Abuja and of course, the inconveniences we were made to face. Not only that, I expect a public apology from the management of GIGM for exposing us to danger and attack, a situation that would have been very devastating. I await.
My contacts- 08022241779. Email; firstname.lastname@example.org