The Common Commoner, The Police Force And The Rest Of Us By ‘Lanre Bucknor
One have heard and seen so much of polices’ inhuman behaviour but one one’s about to share worries one. It didn’t happen to one though.
One have only been ‘rogered’ once before and on that occasion, one left the station on the same day. It could have been worse but God be praised, ‘one didn’t just fall from the sky’.
The incident that made one hear about the story was one which Mr. Fashola wanted Lagosians to avoid i.e sit thyself at home if where thou hath going will not affect the price of ‘derica’ of Garri. One’s outing that day could get one arrested base on this. *smiles*
It happened that and ‘ex-Girlfriend’ of one (we never broke up) who stays somewhere far was spending a week at her aunt’s in Igando. Igando is about N150 away by bus from where one stays had invited one over. One had to honour on two premises, one does not have pressing issues to attend to on the said day and also one could still afford N350 Tfare. So, off one went.
One took a bus going to Ikotun and we were on our way. ‘Unfortunately’, it rained the night before thus, the ‘Iyana Ejigbo River’ over flowed its bank hence, we encountered unusual traffic after we got past NNPC bus stop.
Danfo drivers, in their usual ‘no time to check time’ attitude maneuvered us off the road, cut into a neighbourhood with a D and C surgery road to beat the Iyana Ejigbo traffic. We endured the spine cracking ride and burst out through the Ojon of Ejigbo market. We were about making a U-turn when a LASTMA official ordered the driver to proceed and make the turn a few metres ahead. Before we could say a word of thanks, a police officer jumped in and sat beside one. One actually thought she was joining us on the trip until she ordered the driver to make a turn and head for the station. One just smiled.
We were all shocked in the bus; first, it was questions, then pleading mixed with few ‘rakes’. One regained his voice and told the policewoman, “Madam, allow us go please”. Her response was venomous, “Go where? What is your own?” One explained to her how the LASTMA official actually waved us on after the driver pleaded. Again, she responded, “LASTMA? LASTMA over me? I am a Federal employee”.
A lot happened thereafter, but one would skip because one’s actual point of worry was not about the journey but the story the conductor of the bus told one after the incident. We spent close to 25minutes on that spot though and NO, money did not change hands.
So, we continued with the journey and one had to ask the conductor why he wasn’t close by while all was happening. He narrated the following story to one and another woman on that same seat. He was sitting in the middle.
“On a fateful day, a bus was going to the same Ikotun and a certain gentleman boarded the bus. The conductor of that bus, going through the usual rounds of fare collection asked the gentleman for his fare and our man responded as being a ‘staff’. The conductor being annoyed, responded in their almost routine rude remark, asking him if were a police, LASTMA or agbero.
A hot flow of insults and threats ensued afterwards and before anyone could interfere, the gentleman got to his bus stop and was not allowed to alight. The conductor refused, stating that the man won’t get off till he was able to get his fare from him. The bus went on to Ikotun with the man still on board.
The bus got to Ikotun and was making a return trip back to wherever it was coming from, the gentleman unknowingly to the conductor was actually a policeman and had made a call to his colleagues which the conductor dismissed as an empty threat. How wrong he was. The bus was stopped and the conductor was arrested for God knows what.”
One continued listening and wondering while our conductor spewed further.
“Days after he was arrested, he was transferred to Kirikiri. One was shocked outta his skin and asked if he was taken to court. Our conductor was affirmative but stated that it was after he had been remanded in a maximum security prison. One asked again what the verdict of the court was and our conductor told us, he was granted freedom provided he could get someone with a landed property worth a sum he couldn’t muster and he went further in telling us that, the guy is in his second month of cooling off in prison.
One was amazed and kept wondering what kind of crime the police would have charged the poor dude for, to warrant him being in a police cell, talk more of a maximum security prison!
Our bus did not even get to the normal Ikotun roundabout bus stop before our driver decided he wanted to turn around and head back. Other passengers were voicing their disapproval but one was still in a state of shock to even talk. Sure thing, one would have dropped a few lines of admonishment and perhaps insults for the pair (driver and conductor) but one was still reflecting on the day one was ‘rogered’ some 8 years or more ago. A lot of ‘what if’ crossed one’s mind. And one wonders if one would have cooled off in jail too. God forbid.
As one sauntered off in the early afternoon sun, one appreciated God for all life moments, one forgot he was unemployed and one was extremely worried, not only for the unfortunate conductor but for one’s country, the safety of his people and the efficiency of its police force.
Y’all wanna know what happened at Dami’s? (Yeah, that’s her name). Nothing really, it was just an innocent visit. *winks*
‘Lanre Bucknor is on twitter @lordrooz
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