So last night after leaving @iB9jaMAN’s birthday hangout with @sesesweetie, @heyshomy and a couple of others, my beloved Mom needed a few things delivered to an old friend’s place in Barnawa.
I Drove home, picked up the package, and went back out on the near-empty streets of Crocodile City. It was 1030pm, street lights were on, night air was cool…
Pounding ‘David Guetta ft Sia: Titanium’ on the stereo and doing about 100km/hr, I soon got to the military checks around station round-about.
Those guys didn’t look too friendly on this night. A silver Camry was parked off the road shoulder and the owner seemed to be close to tears. The lady in his passenger seat was staring humbly at her hands in her lap. Two ‘MoPol’ guys were searching the car in front of mine, one of them was harassing Some okada guy who was frog-jumping. I sharply turned off the stereo (you know how you turn down the music when you’re lost or in trouble) and put on my most innocent expression. Both hands on the wheel, eyes straight ahead. I was passive and docile. No time for Mr. Macho here.
They asked the guy in the cream-coloured peugeot 505 (they still drive those things!?) ahead of me to come out and be searched, he hesitated. They barked at him and he practically teleported out of the vehicle. By this time, I was agonising sha.
The officers peeked in his trunk while firing off questions. The driver of the 505 constantly kept rubbing the hem of his shirt between the index finger and thumb of his left hand. Poor dude. He was calm as a hamster in a cage of snakes. I started chuckling when I realised that I was constantly tapping my right thumb against my dashboard. The humour died there.
Finally they let him go and beckoned at me. I drove up slowly and stopped. The uniform on the left turned and stared at me silently. His eyes were RED. Dude was high.
That was NOT a good sign…his right index finger seemed too close to the trigger on his assault rifle. He nodded at his partner who pointed at my boot. I popped the boot and the red-eyed uniform barked at me,
“where you de go?”
I swallowed and said,”Narayi.”
He hadn’t heard me. my voice came out squeaky. Oh crap…
He came closer and took the earphone out of his left ear and barked,
I could smell the weed. Oh man…
I cleared my throat and just as I was about to repeat myself, I heard what was coming out of his dangling earphone:
“The chorus from Spice Girls’ Viva Forever…”
I almost burst into laughter at the absurdity of it all. I could hardly control myself. His red eyes and wayward-looking trigger finger helped though, I swallowed my humour. It went down hard.
I looked pointedly at his earpiece and then looked him in the eye. He looked down at his dangling earpiece, looked me dead in the eye with his bloodshot manic eyes and growled,
“oga u like my music?”
I nodded and smiled like I’d been dosed high with morphine and then tasered. Dude smiled back and tapped my roof twice and said,”carry on.”
I drove off confused and emotionally frazzled. I felt like a child who had just been told that butterflies and caterpillars were practically one and the same. This was too much.
The Nigerian Law Enforcement and Security Forces are a complicated bunch. They could open fire just because your t-shirt was a wrong shade of green for a civilian or they could offer to escort you down the street to buy airtime, no charge, just because,
“bros you be correct guy and we don obsaf you for dis area.”
You just never know…weed, uniforms, automatic rifles and…SPICE GIRLS!? *sigh* I can’t deal men…