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Getting Our Security Forces To Obey Traffic Lights

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My brother, nothing ‘vexes’ the spirit than respecting yourself waiting for traffic light only to have our so-called security agents run against that same traffic light as if it is their right, thereby putting people in danger of collision.

I just witnessed one and couldn’t help but pour out my frustrations here.

The first incident I observed was on a different day as I prepared to travel to my village.

The author, Peter Obidike

We were all there waiting for the light to count down and this security team blew their siren and zoomed across the very busy road with the resultant effect that the legitimate owners of the turn found themselves swerving to avoid the oncoming security vehicle.

On that particular occasion as I continued my trip, one of the thousands of the police at the check points stopped me and was really nice as he leaned over the driver’s door and asked in a low friendly voice, “sir what did you bring for your friends”.

I smiled in my characteristic way and told him “bros, another day”, and then I rolled the wheels in continuation of my journey.

As we got off the check point I made it clear to my company (you know who) that for the avoidance of doubt “this police is not my friend”. How can he be?

With what we just witnessed in town on how they exhibit a reckless disregard for traffic lights as if it is meant for fools like us who take the time to wait.

And mind you, it will be that same security forces that will arrest anyone they see running against the lights.

On our return from that trip, I was so relieved that the rains washed all those so-called friends away allowing one an easy passage to the Garden city.

Of course, I was also mindful of the kidnappers and criminals that the rain also washed away.

I have always argued that the best way to police our highways is not by stopping the traffic and making the already long journey unbearable for Nigerians.

The police can patrol the stretch of the route with their cars and respond to any incident in minutes.

And someone will ask where they will get the money to buy fuel from and I will respond “from the 43 million dollars” and other slush funds that have been misappropriated by the responsible parties.

In a time when other civilizations are thinking of how to cut travel times for people, deploying all kinds of technology we are still applying methods meant for our forefathers.

As I reflect more on this noncompliance of our security forces to traffic light, I wonder if we really want to be counted amongst civilized people.

What goes on in the minds of these drivers when they go against this traffic light? Are they under instructions to beat it?

Do they realize the risk in beating traffic? Do these guys have some form of driving training?

In fact in a particular instance, the traffic in front of a military barracks had to stand still because their vehicle was coming out of the barracks, so the turn lapsed on us because we had to wait for the kings to pass even though it was not their turn to do so.

I keep wondering, “are these not the same people who attend courses abroad?”

Are these not the same people we have read bought all the properties in Dubai and London?

Can they do this in London or anywhere abroad?

But what do we expect? When a whole Lagos was locked down because the “big oga” from Abuja came visiting!

I wonder if anyone made some calculations on what it cost Lagos.

All I keep asking myself is “is there no other way? Who are these people for Christ’s sake?

Do they have two heads? Are they not the same people who came begging for our votes?

Are they not the same people who came eating “amala” with us on the streets promising to bring “change”.

I cry each time I reflect on my naivety as I put my trust in the words of these politicians.

First was my trusting OBJ’s promises of how we will all be swimming in electric power way back in 2007, how childish I was.

And with all the deceit and disappointments I forgot so soon and thought things would be done differently this time around.

From what I see today “ihe na ebe kana ebe” (nothing has changed).

Nothing has changed indeed as impunity still rules our land with different rules for our security forces.

If that is what we have then let no one trouble Trump when he calls us a “shithole” country because that is what obtains in such countries, no rules, and when there are,  they are just for some people.

The truth is that this country is a civilized nation and our security forces, paid by us, must respect the laws of the land.

Someone in charge must call the offenders to order.

I want to believe that it is not all our security forces that are into this traffic breaking of a thing but the few doing so are belittling the profession.

It is not a case of “show of force” to be seen breaking traffic light but that of endangering your life and that of other Nigerians you swore to protect.

This life is sweet and car accident is not a respecter of persons, be you a security man or just a bloody civilian.

Obidike Peter wrote from www.peterobidike.com and p_obidike@yahoo.com.

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