I liked the military check points; they were disciplined or appeared to be. All they needed was your co-operation. Slow down your car and you can go peacefully. Although my mother whose reasoning level is beyond amazing once again asked if that’s actually secure enough. She said armed robbers and the bastard terrorists who are threatening to end us forgetting they don’t have the power to might know their style, so they might just slow down their car like other people when they get to the check point. We all ruminated over it and she said, ‘well! They are not the police. Military training is by far more sophisticated than that and they might be able to know especially through body language.’ The driver concurred and added that they will even catch them because armed robbers and terrorists cannot be calm enough. So the soldiers will know there is something fishy going on. I prayed they were right because I know those that have been in the profession of taking from the world for a long time might have trained themselves so much they can remain calm and appear very normal. How else have we had some suicide bombers who have successfully ended lives despite police and army scrutiny? We moved on.
I picked up my laptop, ready to post a story when we stopped by another check point, this time a policeman caught my attention. This man asked us to park. We did without arguing. He invaded the car with his eyes. After wards, he asked for the driver’s license number, car registration and those bullshit questions they ask when they want to look professional first before asking you to buy ‘boli’ for them. The driver gave him all he requested for. This man kept staring at us for a while, as if he didn’t know what else to ask for; he asked to see the engine number. ‘LOBATAN!’ In all my years travelling on Nigerian road, I have never heard a police ask for engine number. The driver with a mock smile on his face showed it to him. We satisfied him enough by giving him enough bread to chew and we even added water to it, the engine being the water. When he finished eating and drinking and didn’t know what other food to ask for, he released us. Meanwhile, his boss already passed the car before we got to him but he just had to do over zealous ‘omo ishe’. I don’t know if his thorough checking was good or not. I think it would have been good if only he wasn’t waiting to be handed dollars and God help us if it was an armed robber and dollars with pounds were given to him for him to close his eyes likes so many of them do.
We got to another one that was really not far away from the last check point. I would have felt safe knowing we had so many people that are meant to protect us out on the road but what an illusion my happiness would have been planted in. Only God can protect one in this country and well, your dogs too. You really don’t want to mess with my dogs; even I don’t want to mess with them. So we got to this one and he stopped the car. He invaded the car with his eyes like the other one and he commented that it’s a big car and because we have national assembly sticker on our car, he asked the driver how the office is and my driver said, ‘all of us dey try survive’. He then went on to tell the driver how blessed he is, having fine children ( these kain children no be like our own) and how he has a good car and wife. What else did he want that God had not blessed him with?! He then told the driver to give him money for pure water and money for bread. The driver smiled and said he had nothing. The man went on to tell him he would follow us, jump on top of the car if the driver didn’t bless him with manna from heaven. My mum ended up giving him money and he smiled and let us go. I don’t know how much she gave him but I’m guessing it was good enough to last him till he could bully someone else. There have been many more. Some have told us to appreciate their work and some have told us to consider them that are staying under the scorching sun just to protect us.
My mum thought aloud and said: ‘Am I the one that said you should work under the sun? or why are you doing like I don’t also work and my work is not also demanding though in a different way? I don’t need to appreciate your work, my tax already does that. I can only appreciate it if I feel like not if you harass me for it’ and I nodded my head in agreement because I cannot stand people that harass me in the name of giving them money for pure water. I once stopped a friend from encouraging a security man with his harassment by giving him money when the man felt he deserved to eat the cookies I was eating, not saying he deserved in a ‘my sister, help me now’ way but in a ‘you no go buy biscuit for me too. Give me money now. It’s my right’ way. Absolute Nonsense!!! And the moral of my story is…
There is no moral. It’s just a story, a real one and well, I will just advice you hold on tightly to God. He is the only one that you can fully trust with your security and well, buy dogs. Not the types that don’t poo.1