NEW YORK (The T.A. Report) ― In a never-before-seen move, foreign-used vehicles in Nigeria, locally known as Tokunbo, have written to the United Nations to complain against what they call “gross abuse and untold cruelty” in the West African country.
“It is the transatlantic slave trade all over again, but this time around the slave masters are in Nigeria,” said the petition, signed by Mr Nissan Micra, president of the Network of Aggrieved Tokunbo Cars (NATC).
NATC is a trade union registered under Nigeria’s National Labour Congress (NLC).
Part of the network’s demands include a well-publicised apology from the Nigerian government, the abolition of cruel practices by car owners, reparations for “freed slaves” and the relatives of the deceased, as well as a temporary ban preventing Nigeria from further importing cars used in developed countries.
The NATC president, in an interview with our reporter, said the petition is a long time coming.
“We are not used to this sort of brutality,” Mr Micra said, in a hoarse but passionate voice. “Compared to our previous owners in USA, Belgium, Germany and so on, car owners in Nigeria have no sympathy at all for their vehicles.
“Not only are the roads in horrible, horrible conditions, inflicting avoidable injuries on us, there is often no insurance for our members in case of accidents.
“The petrol they feed us here is sub-standard and full of lead even though it is allegedly an oil-producing country,” he continued, honking at intervals to show his displeasure.
“There are hardly any qualified automobile doctors here; only charlatans and fraudsters, who profit from our sicknesses. They steal our body organs when no one is looking and give us placebos so that we keep coming to their workshops.”
Mr Volkswagen Jetta, the network’s public relations officer, lamented that it is only in Nigeria you find seven people sitting in a place clearly meant for two.
“One large buttock or two will now be dragging our gearshifts with the driver,” he said. “And, for our minibus-members, those ones called conductors even have one leg in the vehicle and one outside because of lack of space. Let us not even go into how one car is forced to carry loads meant for a lorry.
“You will agree with us that Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world with no retirement policy for cars. We are used and abused till our souls leave our bodies. Even after that, our lifeless contraptions are still enslaved. Without mincing words, we prefer to be euthanised and recycled than to be brought to suffer in this shit-hole country.”
Reacting to the petition, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, has however said it is unlikely the international organisation will give any consideration to it, “because, for now, cars have not obtained the status of a legal person”. He added that he’s hopeful the world will have its first car-citizen by 2030, taking into account latest advances in Artificial Intelligence.
Recent studies have shown that used cars in Nigeria have less than a third of the average life expectancy rates their age-mates in other countries boast of. Many of them have been found to suffer from depression, lung cancer, and various skin diseases, afflictions that are unknown to their western counterparts.
Caveat: Note that this piece is a fictional satire aimed purely at humour. The words above are nothing but products of a drunk writer’s imagination. We hereby refuse to accept responsibility for the results of anyone’s credulity or mischief. Do not take us serious. We repeat; do not take us serious! … On second thought though, maybe you should do just that.