My Altercation With The Nigerian Police
It was a Saturday morning, I went on vacation to my friend in a city called Ondo, western Nigeria. We took his pickup van and headed for his farm. Chris was a farmer of birds and pigs and he had workers who lived on the farm premises. He would check up with them, from time to time.
While we were on the journey, a group.of policemen stood at a strategic junction, mounted a roadblock and stopped vehicles and also searched them. They will ask you all sorts of questions. At first, I thought they were doing their official duty. But they seemed to be taking too much time with the vehicle ahead of us. I was beginning to boil but my friend Chris asked me to calm down.
With a heavy exhale, I did calm down. The next thing I bead was a good bang from behind us. The truck had crashed into some waiting vehicles behind us. It was a fatal crash. Though only one darm truck was crushed, what pained me the most was that as soon as the accident occurred, the police officer left the scene with their patrol vehicle. This time, I got madder and Chris supported me.
Instead of going to the farm, he drove me to the police station where we were to see the divisional police officer (DPO).
At first, the officers at the counter were not going to let us in but it seemed like the DPO was heading out, he met us arguing with the officer on duty at the counter and asked us to come in.
What's matter, gentlemen.
We narrated what happened and how the policemen fled the scene without rendering help to the accident victims. More so that they were the cause of the accident.
The divisional head became so enraged that he ordered for his men who were on patrol but it seemed like they had not returned to the station yet. The men were radioed and in a jiffy, they were at the station. They could not deny the accusation.
We had a long talk with the divisional police officer who spoke like a complete gentleman and one who knows his onions about what the police job was all about.
The officers who mounted the roadblock were asked to visit the scene and ensure that the damaged vehicle was replaced or repaired.
I could see a thread of sweat in the face of the officers and the regret of their greed. The roadblock they mounted was actually for nothing spectacular but to extort money from commercial taxi drivers who without committing an offense pay some stipend to the police officers. This has been the trend in our nation and it doesn't look like the leadership in the force are ready to bring a change.
My joy was that the DPO made the right decision. Those officers have learned one major lesson in their lives and career.
The police is your friend but you have to be wise in dealing with the men of the law, they could be crafty, luring you deeper into the crime or offense you willfully would not commit.