HE PROSTRATED IN UNIFORM By Sanni Kay Yusuf
I alighted from a tricycle, patronized a motorcyclist on the other side of the road to further the crucial trip. Less than two minutes into the zoom, we encountered a road block actuated by some dark men in dark attire. “Where is our money?” one of them cried out. “Officer, I paid to the batch that was here earlier this morning, sir,” responded the biker. Like a famished, frenzied tout, he roared: “Give us our money joooo!” The biker begged on, rather than do the wish of the weird wizard. Not happy with the polite insistence, the dark-hearted avarice turned to me: “Come down, you!” While I pleaded on behalf of the helpless poor rider, the attired lunatic forcefully pushed the bike and we both staggered east, west. Thank God my belly had been filled to its fill before setting out that morning. If not, I could have found my head on the ground and my legs towards the sky.
Angered by the derangement of the draconian policeman, I walked up to him: “What reason have you to treat us as such? What right have you to ask me down the bike?” The hard-hearted ninny wasn’t moved a bit. “You sabi English well well, abi? Continue. You had better disappear before I arrest you.” I moved a little forward with my phone brought out from my pocket. Immediately, I put a call across to the DPO of the command. “The number you have dialed is switched off; please try again later. Thank you,” said the service provider. They obviously thought I was making an empty threat, therefore, they mocked me big, as they went on with their inhuman raid of motorcyclists.
I called one of the bigwigs in the locality, told him the humiliation I was subjected to by those who were supposed to be the most humane humans to the Nigerian people. He told me a new DPO had been installed, as the one whose number I had dialed was on sick bed.
As I awaited the new DPO’s call number to be sent to me, I saw a bike conveying one of the dark nitwits approaching my side. The other ‘sufayos’ were running behind the bike. I knew they were coming for me. I wanted to wait for them, but Nigerian police could not be trusted. They could change it and rope me in. They could turn it into a criminal case. I could be tagged a murderer, and they would make the mendacity a veracity – beyond reasonable doubts. They could claim that I was a drug dealer, or that I was a badoo assailant. It’s their specialty. They are good at the bad. As if I could speed better than the machine, I therefore took to my hill.
It was long I had a physical exercise. But I never knew I could be that athletic. What a fantastic running skill I displayed! Husein Bolt could not do any better. The bike crossed my path and the officer jumped down to get hold of me. For where? He wouldn’t have done that if he had ever seen me dribble like Jay-Jay on the field of play. As he jumped north, I ran south. What an interesting athletic adventure! I looked back and I saw the lengthy gap between me and the strength-less brat. The idiot had a gun in his hand. Another policeman had boarded the bike. My path was crossed again and I wish I could do as I did earlier. I wish I could explore the leg-over once more. I wish Ronaldinho’s snake bite could rescue me again. But I had been rounded up by them all. I gave up and was grabbed and rough-handled like Oyenusi’s J.B.
It was mockable, indeed, that three hefty police officers could not lift up a small me. All efforts to drag me to the station proved abortive, as I stood unmovable. They got my phone – their target. They apparently thought I had videoed their illegal, satanic activities. They were determined to take me to their den of vampires.
They never relented, but I stood tall against all odds. Onlookers watched on as their frightening Goliaths could not subjugate my fearless David.
While the film went on, there appeared a familiar face. “Imam! What’s the matter?” he cried out. “Officer, you don’t seem to know the one you are treating this bad. You had better leave him alone,” he cautioned. “Who has a phone? I have got a call to make,” I said. “O ya, alfa, call the number,” onlookers chorused. Someone gave me his phone and I spoke to my dad. “What! Where?” he wondered. “I will be there in a jiffy!” he assured. I shouldn’t have bothered my caring father. But his line was the only number I had offhand. And in such a human right situation, he could go the extra mile to teach those demons a big lesson they would never forget.
A police vehicle came around, apparently, to take me away. The leader of the gang alighted only to shout: “Alfa, na you? Wetin happen?” “Aren’t you here to take me away? Do your job nah!” “No, alfa, just enter quietly so that we settle this matter amicably.” “I will go no where!” To the astonishment of everyone, another van appeared. They had obviously reinforced to arrest me. The leader alighted and was begging me to enter the vehicle for settlement. I declined outright. “Alfa, don’t follow them ooo!” whispered some onlookers.
There came my dad in his chiefly regalia and princely beads. Like we were in court, both parties explained their sides of the unpleasant movie. And to my greatest surprise, in full public glare, one of the policemen PROSTRATED to me begging that I shouldn’t take up the issue. Dismayed by the unprecedented ignominy, people shouted: “Haaaaaaaa!”
“Imam, e jo tori Olohun. Mi o mo bi e se je ni. Please forgive me,” he begged as onlookers made jest of him. “So, you could beg?” a voice from the crowd said. I had been badly treated, though, but I forgave him. That’s one of the virtues of Islam. I told him not to prostrate to me. A muslim does not give such to any, as he should take such from none. “Imam, please, may I see you in camera,” the prostrating officer requested. I obliged him. He had nothing new to say than to beg further. They got my call number and promised to pay me a visit.
Nigerian police are no friends but foes to the Nigerian masses. They are part of the reasons the nation isn’t progressing. Does a Nigerian have to be in a crucial position before he will be respected? If you know no man, you will get no justice. That is what the police have turned the system into.
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