President Bola Tinubu claims that while working as a taxi driver in the United States, a military officer once slapped him for accidentally overcharging the man.
In a biography that was printed on the back page of a major newspaper, the president made this public as one of his shared tales of modest beginnings.
‘Tinubu: My life as a gypsy taxi driver in the US’ is the title of the biography written by Nigerian veteran writer Mike Awoyinfa.
According to Tinubu, the character in the narrative drove passengers to their destinations from the airport as an illegal taxi driver in Chicago, United States.
The president claimed that he started working as a driver to support himself financially before starting school.
He stated, “We got an unregistered used car commonly called Gypsy, which we ran as a taxi. We operated at the airport where we picked passengers, and not anywhere else, like the hotel because it was forbidden for unlicensed cab drivers to do so.
“We did that for a while to raise some money. Bolaji went to Tennessee, while I headed for Chicago.
“I was supposed to have started schooling in April. I deferred it till September in order to have more money. Immediately I got to Chicago, I went straight to Richard Daley College. It was very interesting.
“I was able to pay for my apartment and tuition fees at Chicago State University. I supplemented that by doing different menial jobs like door guard and security man.”
In addition, he said the naval officer he picked at the airport slapped him because he overcharged him, as his destination was nearby.
“As a cab driver, one experience I will never forget was when I over-charged a naval officer who was returning to the country. It was not intentional,” Tinubu said.
“Apparently, I didn’t know the direction. There was no GPRS in those days to locate directions. So, he gave me the direction to his house in a Virginia suburb.
“I gave him the price and the man responded with a slap to my face. He said I should know the correct price to charge to the location he mentioned. He slapped me and gave me the money.”