Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Law Enforcement and Us"

Hi folks! How have you been and trust you've had a great week so far. Thanks for reading this post (in advance):) .

Yesterday morning, as early as 9am, my fiance's best friend rang me up to tell me he had been arrested by the police. What for? He replied that he was arrested alongside some other drivers for driving vehicles with tinted windscreens/glasses. You'd remember that the IGP Mohammed Abubakar some weeks back threatened to clamp down on motorists driving cars with tinted glasses. a lot of people kicked against it mostly because a good number of these cars come in tinted.

That's not the issue at stake. My fiance's friend called me (maybe to help since I worked in a radio station) - I didn't even allow him finish, I asked him to hang up and that I'd try pull some strings. Immediately I hung up with him, I put a call across to the DPO of the police station he had been taken to, the officer didn't pick up, I immediately rang the PPPRO of the state who also chose a great time to turn off her phone. I rang him back only for him to tell me that they were about to be taken to court! I was stupefied!! I'm yet to understand why I was though.

Now here's the deal. Why did he call me in the first place? Prolly because he wanted me to help him out of the situation. Why was I making those calls? Because I wanted to pull strings to help him out of the situation. This is a regular occurrence in our country. This is one of the many reasons Nigeria is stagnant. Right or wrong, we always try to wriggle our way out of every situation we find ourselves most especially when it involves law enforcement agencies.

When LASTMA impounds or try to impound your car in Lagos, we scroll down on our phone to see who'd help us out of it. You get arrested by the police and the first thing we do is to call that uncle of ours who's a General to come help us out - and trust me, they always come to our aid. Either we plead our way out of it, or offer a bribe (the law enforcement guys are always ready to request for and accept by the way) or we pull strings - we must find a way out of it by not paying the fine. A friend of mine broke down in tears all because he wanted to avoid paying his fine. And he's a man!! I asked if he truly cried and he said he just had to act up - the poor officials had to let him go on seeing a grown man in tears. That's just who we are as a country.

I was at the Iwo Rd police station some years ago because we needed security for a station event. A Major walked in (he had disdain written all over his face) to the DPO's office, identified himself fully and went on to complain about how 3 of his men were detained at that police station and that he was there to make sure they went back to the barracks with him that night. We left him there but I'm sure he eventually had his way.

Why do we stand in the way of law enforcement agents? You're right, our law enforcement agents aren't the best in the league of enforcement agencies but I'm sure you and I contributed to that. Nigerians obey laws FULLY when they travel out of the country but come back home and start acting all lawless.

I'm writing this to let us know that each time we say "this country is useless, this country is going to blazes" - do remember that Nigeria isn't just an ordinary geographical location - the citizens (you and I) make up the entity we now call Nigeria.

Have you ever been in that type of situation before - where you had to wriggle your way out via bribe, pleas or by calling the 'oga at the top'? :) Kindly share your experience.

Do enjoy the rest of your day and sure, I do hope to write really soon (I always say that :) )



  1. Dis is ma 1st tym of reading ur post...u seriously hit d nail on d head...we kip on complaining dah d ppl in power or d "rich" oppress us...yet we're d 1s oppressing one anoda..abi aren't we d 1s kalin d rich major,commisioners,honourables in d family....we don't want to get punished 4 our offences yet we commit dem...why is it so hard to stay away 4rm dem...even if we're not least "give onto ceasar wat is ceasar's"

  2. Bloody or Bloodless, Nigeria won't change after a revolution, if our mindset remains the same. Great piece Nike!

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  4. It quite ironic how we trade blames and shift responsibility amongst ourselves, like a Yoruba adage that says (kokoro ti onje igba idi igba lo wa) we are the kokoro we are also the igba. It's not even with the law enforcement only, we apply this habit in all the facet of our life and later start pointing fingers are say this country is corrupt, imagine the pot calling kettle black. All we have to do is expect the worst and hope for the best cos this habit has been embedded in our psyche and getting rid of it is almost impossible. Great piece Nikillicious
    P.S Thou shall not procrastinate about writing.heheheheheh

  5. The system has wired us that way from d onset. For instance, d condition d IG gave for tint permits makes it impossible to get one without paying an illegal 20k....ironically, even with my complete documents, I still get stopped by d Police for 'offerings' and it makes me wonder why I bothered to have d right papers in d first place. Write soon, eh?

  6. No more to add. Great piece