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Bus dents Nigerian’s bikes-are-safe-to-ride campaign

SHARE Bus dents Nigerian’s bikes-are-safe-to-ride campaign

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Transport Minister Ojo Maduekwe hit an obstacle in his campaign to promote bike-riding on Nigeria's mean streets: A bus hit him.

"I thank God I'm alive," Maduekwe told reporters, showing off his unbruised head and hands and marveling at escaping without injury when two buses collided head-on — with him somewhere in the middle.

The impact in Wednesday's crash knocked the bicycling minister into a ditch.

Maduekwe had been pedaling to a weekly Cabinet meeting in Abuja as part of his campaign to promote bike riding as a way to get around in traffic-clogged Nigeria.

Nigeria's major cities are notorious for traffic jams, known as "go-slows," that last long, unmoving hours.

Nigerians widely regard biking on their streets as a high-risk activity and Maduekwe's campaign as a stunt. After his accident, a newspaper thanked him for providing Nigerians with "something to laugh about."

For his part, Maduekwe said he would keep on biking — but indicated security guards might flank him from now on.

"Accidents can happen anywhere, on land, sea and air," the transport minister said, saying the real problem was not his bicycling but too many cars.