Its been awhile that i last posted on my blog. Been busy watching and participating in events.
Well, lets leave that forthat. I had quite an interesting experience on Friday 3rd July. I never knew the Police where not meant to enter your vehicle at any point in time for whatever reason or offence. Well what happenned, i and a collegue went to pick the German expatriate that came to work on our Shape CD machine, so we took Allen round about stopped with the traffic waiting for the go signal. We were not able to see the light, because we were at the back of the queue. So the vehicles in front of us moved and we moved along naturally as expected only to hear stop! stop! You broke the traffic light offence! Where is your driver licence! Open the door! And before we knew it, they had forced there way into the vehicle and told us to drive to park or go to the station. Funny thing, there was no traffic light at that point and we were asked for our tax clearance papers!Luckily, my collegue driving was a Youth Corper but that did not fly with the Policeman! Now the clincher, he said fine for commiting a particular offence was N250. Fine for commiting a traffic light offence was N65070! Haba! Oga Police!
They wanted us to drive down to their station but my collegue slowed down enough to create a traffic situation that obtructed a siren blowing official coming behind us! Suddenly a woman drove alongside us and asked,”Are you going together?!” and we replied “No Madam!”And she ordered them out of the vehicle. Meanwhile, an official looking man was suddenly at the other side of the vehicle and demanded of the policemen if their duty post was inside the vehicle! The men scabbled out of the vehicle dropping the driving licence (which we did not know until much later) and the woman ordered that we follow her. Fortunately we lost the woman and continued to our office withh the German expatriate amused and not the least surprised by it!
The second incident actually happened in the middle of the night between the hours of 1:55am and 3am on saturday. I suddenly awoke to the sound of an alarm outside. I got up to enquire only to discover that a flat in the next block to my block was in flames! people were screaming, shouting running up and down and i remembered that i had the lagos emergency number. So i dialled, it went through once and the information passed aacross and said the fire team will be there shortly. Ten minutes later, i called asking were they where, and told they had been dispatched. The next thirty minutes were harrowing as we watch the flat burn. The young men summoned courage, got buckets of water with detergent to combat the fire. And for the next Thirty minutes the young men battled with the fire and succeeded in taming it. Meanwhile a friend also called the fire service and was told they were on their way. And they came in less than ten minutes after the fire had been relatively tamed and contained! They were led in by the RRS who had earlier visited the scene and left. Of course trust the people, they ordered the fire engine back to its origin! They were lucky the policemen where there and they pacified the youths and told them that as soon as the call was put through, they had been on their way all the way from Alausa to FESTAC! Thirty minutes after my call went through!
1) A Policeman has no right to withhold your licence for any traffic offence, he should issue a ticket if empowered to do so: Have a photocopy of your licence everytime, and demand he issue you a ticket if you have indeed committed a traffic offence. But be wise!
2) Always be wary of traffic points where policemen mount, they would use any guise to obtain you. Because a foreigner was in the vehicle, we suddenly committed a traffic light offence with a fine of N65070!: Desperation can drive men to unimaginable limits! Nigerian Police especially!
3)A Policeman has no right whatsoever to board your vehicle without your consent: Any Policeman trying to board your vehicle is a thief! Especially when uninvited!
4)Always have the emergency toll free numbers with you always. 767 for lagos state: It could be the difference between life and death. It could be your only saving grace in a dire situation. Have it all the time!
5)In an emergency situation, keep your cool and take a proactive approach to the situation. Don’t join the band wagon of pity party that compounds the situation: Its a very bad habit of Nigerians to gather round the scene of an accident and gape at the helpless victims and lament without doing anything to help but add their wailings to the hapless. Its a very bad cuilture that needs to be dealt with. Think positive, think of the next step to rectify the situation and be a blessing!
6)You alone can help yourself and your situation! Don’t wait for the Federal Government! Most people put the spot on the Federal Government to remedy the situation in the country, but forget the saying that heavens help those who help themselves! Am not trying to absolve the FG from there responsibilities, but we need to know that we must fend for ourselves to solve our problems before we expect the government to act!
7)A help you think is nearby is farther than you think! Don’t count on it! FESTAC fire service did not show up, but Lagos state fire service showed up all the way from Alausa to put out a fire in FESTAC! The person you think is nearby to help you may not be readily available to do so. Don’t count on that brother or friend less than a metre a way to help you, help might actually come from a 100 kilometers!
My condolence and sympathies to the family of the Adeolu Akinyemi and my friend, Abiola his brother over the sudden exit of their mother on thursday 2nd July 2009. God grant the family, fortitude to bear the loss. Amen.