By Tony Ekwoaba
“Stop now, stop now before I shoot.” A policeman holding a gun screamed, others running fast behind him. “I go blow your head if you move.”
“Oga, abeg ooo. I don stop, abeg ooo.” The driver said beggarly, raising his hands above his head and far away from the driving wheel.
It seemed that was not enough as the others were already pulling the front and rear plate numbers of his taxi.
At this point we felt it was time we, his passengers, came out of the car. What seemed like a joke was beginning to look scary. My brother and I had gone to drop his car for repairs at the mechanic village; Apo and we had to taxi back to Area 1. The taxi had just picked us before this drama started.
We were still wondering how to start the conversation with the policemen, amidst the confusion, when one of them again shouted “Hold it! Get that idiot.”
Next thing they dragged the driver of another vehicle out and started beating him.
To cut the story short, after many failed attempts at stopping the men-in-black, we gave up and continued on our journey, taking another taxi.
Since then I haven’t stopped asking, what is the worth of a Nigerian, where is our dignity and honour?
Where is the dignity and rights of a Nigerian life that he has to face this, almost on daily basis? It is so common these days; Nigerians have accepted cowardly this abnormality as the norm. No wonder there was such weird indifference from passersby and other motorists, as the driver was beaten almost to stupor.
When will all these stop? Haven’t Nigerians any human rights that they would have to be treated like this by the same policemen that were supposed to shield them from such danger and uphold rights and humanity? Each day we get these stories: Today, a Nigerian girl was dragged and molested by a man in uniform, a woman was raped by a police DPO, a police officer kills a driver for refusing to give him bribe of 20naira.
Sometimes last year, a friend of mine won one of this America visitors program and had the opportunity of touring some states in the US. In one of his tour pictures, he showed himself proudly posing with an American police officer. Can we really try this with our officers in black? Yet the police is our friend.
The Nigerian life would be worth nothing, if we continue to overlook these things the way we do. We must do something to stop this. I will not advice that you fight a man with a gun. Perhaps, a picture discretely taken and uploaded on the Internet would continue to help draw the attention of those at their helms of affairs, video clips of errant officers caught in the acts have proven to work and an article as this or a word of wisdom could make the difference.
Disclaimer: The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author are his alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of Pride Nigeria.