The relationship between the truck driver and the motor boy (driver’s assistant) has always been a frosty one. It’s instructive to note that some haulage firms elected to keep it that way or deliberately ‘engineer’ it to probably maintain a check on what they call ‘the excesses of the truck driver’ (well, that is the logic some of them have come up with).
And so it was in this particular incident!
He came back from an Akure trip the night before and was rather surprised when the Fleet Manager invited him for a little chat on some issues that were directly related to the recently concluded trip. While he was able to offer some reasonable explanations for the observations raised by the manager, he kept wondering how such ‘eye-witness-kind-of’ detail could have gotten to the Fleet Manager. He concluded within himself that it could only have been the Motorboy that masterminded the leak. Without giving it a second thought, he made up his mind that he was going to ‘deal’ with the ‘chap’ at an auspicious time.
Then came the next day. He picked his rig and was lucky enough to receive clearance for immediate loading. The motorboy was on hand to assist with the loading activities. Four (4) hours later, they were already on the bypass leading to the Sagamu-Benin Highway. Destination was Warri and cargo was a 40toner.
Then the interrogation started. The driver asked the motorboy if he was aware that he got an invitation from the Fleet Manager the night before and the motorboy responded that he was not aware. He narrated to him what transpired at the meeting. The motor boy appeared surprised too. The truck driver at this stage couldn’t hold himself any longer as he pointedly accused the motor boy of ‘ratting’ on him.
An argument ensued. Gradually it became a shouting match. In no time, fingers were being poked at each other’s face. Around this time, the journey had progressed to Sagamu just a little after the Total Filling Station beside the road leading into Sagamu Town.
Suddenly, a chap smack on the face that sounded like a plank being smashed on a dry pavement echoed in the cabin. It was the Truck Driver making good his promise to deal with the Motor Boy. Well, long ago it was that a deep reverence existed in the relationship between the truck driver and his motorboy. Nowadays, such reference only existed in fables. The motorboy did not waste much time in responding in equal measure. Now, the truck driver was raving mad. He practically left the steering wheel to engage the motorboy in a scuffle.
He was going to regret that for a very long time!
The next sound they both heard was the one that could only have come from a heavy metal smashing into another metal. That brought the ‘matured babies’ back to their senses.
The truck had completely veered off the road. It plunged into a saloon car that was packed some distance away from the road. The saving grace was that the truck was not moving at high speed and neither were any other vehicle ahead of them or in front of the crashed vehicle.
The brand new truck which was barely 2months old was badly battered and likewise the saloon car. It set the Company back by as much as N900,000.00 both for the truck and the third party vehicle including the cost of ‘freeing’ the truck from the police. Though the insurance company took care of the bill, the haulage firm decided to surcharge the culprits for the full value of the damage resulting from the avoidable accident.
The Motor Boy was sacked. Truck Driver was placed on indefinite suspension without pay pending the full repayment of the surcharge by the driver’s guarantors. He was recalled months after only to receive a sack few months down the line!