Thursday, April 14, 2016

Somar v The system

The name Somar Ain Al Shaibeh from his face book page, popularly known as Somar from the news we got (Riders Forum).  Now remember he is a friend, brother, son etc. and all we can attribute to him but most of all “A BIKER”.  Looking at it from a “biking code” point of view, he is a brother although I have not met him.

A normal day ride begins from gearing up for safety sake especially to stay alive from an unplanned crash. Slotting his key into the ignition switch; anxiety glooms his face with a smile. It’s another day to ride, meet friends, talk about the week and the Nigerian economic situation. Most of all have a good time.

 No matter how safe you ride there must be a cager (driver) making a call, texting or listening to loud music and talking with friends in the car not minding other road users. We call them “biker killers” so we watch out for them but one can never be too careful, you might just be traveling at a wrong or unsafe speed. And at that moment, no time to make that emergency brake or maneuver to safety But God knows best.

Somar was unlucky …. Circumstance introduced him to the wrong cager (driver) . That kind of situation when you try to hold a life saving brake or look for an escape route. She (cager) took the wrong lane in speed (based on the story). Somar owning the ride and the space rightfully.... but what could have skipped his mind? Was he too fast?  Was he thinking of his destination? Was the corner too sharp?  Well we can only imagine what could have saved the day from being a sad one.

Apparently she (cager) was pushed to use that lane because it was a Friday and there is a mosque on that same road and it was time for prayers so the road is always blocked. Is the system so bad that there was no traffic warden to control safe movement at that time? Well it’s a normal practice in the north where a lane is closed on the side were there is a mosque (the system just needs to be managed or changed).

Somar had a head-on collision; not looking good now, cager  (driver) is looking for a way out knowing that the biker’s chance of getting out alive is lean. Words quickly move out (bikers are 60% united), prayers going out, financial assistance coming through but Somar is gone (A biker is gone).The woman who we later discovered is a lawyer was nowhere to be found. Now a life has been lost, Somar was deprived of his destination, his ride and his life.

So what’s wrong with the system?  What was the role of the police in this situation? The police, who are paid with our tax funds to maintain law, order and protect lives,  allowed the woman abscond. Was she running for her life? Are bikers’ killers or thugs?  Now the story will change because we have to make it change to fix the system and make other road users know that we all have right to be safe while riding.

A week of biker’s unity has landed the woman in the Nassarawa state prison (Northern   Nigeria)  till she is granted bail or convicted for whatever charges leveled against her.  Hey don’t be too happy because the fight is not yet over the system still has to be corrected with educating bikers and other road users to be of good behavior while we share the road. We can’t continue the fight individually by the little meaningless road rage which we demonstrate every day.

Note:  Bikers are good people



  1. "My brother, my everything just like u always sing to me, what more can I say? Ur memories dwell in my heart. I pledge my loyalty to u and wld forever be greatful for the time we shared together as Brothers from different background! Salute Aire!!!

  2. This time we acted, this time we demanded justice. So many of us are gone because of the same senario ... Never again will we allow this to go unanswered.... Never again. In fact we have to be proactive and stump out the biker killers before they kill another biker . Their drivers license must be revoked or something to clean the streets of the menace of drivers driving against normal flow of traffic. There are a thousand excuses and never a good enough reason . Now a fellow human being is dead, the traffic she was avoiding is that enough excuse to endanger the life of other road users . Please enlighten me.

  3. Very sad a life has been lost, very very sad. If I was a few seconds faster, it would have been me. Well, because I was driving immediately after the woman that hit the deceased. So, here is what happened - Two cars were in front of me, the first went by and the road was blocked after him. The car in front of me waited and a few seconds later, the diverted her to pass the opposite lane, while she went "slow", because I was behind her, I was able to look forward and I saw a bike coming (he wasn't over-speeding either)....... the rest is known already. A life was lost - sad. The woman in jail? She'll get justice easily, let anyone go to that same spot on Friday, and you would understand the entire scenario. She is not at fault.