Onyinye OyedeleFriday, March 14, 2014




or some important errands in Ikeja, Madam "borrowed" a relative's driver because he is a real "Omo Eko (Lagosian)"! He knows all the short cuts in Lagos; both on the Mainland and on the Island. In addition, in case of a vehicle breakdown, with this driver, there should be "No Shaking." So his first task that day occurred on the boisterous Opebi road! A flat tyre.....

The driver did not waste any time, he veered off the main road and drove into a company and talked to the Security guard. The guard was sympathetic of the situation and tried to cheer the children up as they stretched their legs walking around while the tyre was being replaced.

       Car Jack....tilting the car ....Spare tyre located.....tightening of the nuts and bolts....

       After about 30 minutes, the mission in Ikeja was back on track.

       From Opebi to Allen Avenue, Adeniyi Jones, Toyin street, and more….. By late afternoon, the driver finally navigates through a short cut to merge onto Ikorodu road, in order to beat the rush hour traffic...But then they run into a mounted police check point.....madam mutters.... "ah ….Olopa!"

A sturdy police officer flags down the vehicle and directs the driver to park on the side of the road. He walks briskly to the front passenger's side and demands for the vehicle particulars!

Driver: Good afternoon, sir

Madam: Good afternoon, sir.

Police Officer: Good afternoon. Yes, can I have your particulars?

(The driver hurriedly opens the pigeon hole and brings out the vehicle documents from a pouch. The officer scans through...Insurance, vehicle License....)

Officer: Ah, your Road Worthiness paper has expired!

(All the vehicle documents had just been renewed)

Driver: oh! Okay sir.

Officer: In fact, Madam, where is your tinted glass permit? (The glass is slightly tinted)

(It is a "Law" to have a permit for tinted cars. But the "degree" "texture" and "colour" of tinting varies. Some are "intentionally" tinted black which is obscure. But can they differentiate between factory-fitted tinted glass and those manually fitted?)

Madam: I don't have a permit, Sir. But this is the manufacturer's design, we did not tint the glass, it was bought like this o.

(He examines the windows and then climbs into the empty front passenger's seat)

Officer: Madam, if you don't have a permit, you have to follow me to our office. Oya, driver, move this car. You know where our office is abi?

Driver: Yes Sir. Ah, Oga, abeg. No vex. Please Sir.

Officer: (His breast pocket is decked with dangling medals .He turns around, faces madam then blurts out rashly)......

                     You have anything for me? Find something for me.

Madam: (Her face contours like someone who has not eaten for days) Ah, Oga, abeg, no vex. I no get any moni.

Children: (Crying) Mummy, what does he want? Which office, mummy? Please leave my mummy alone.....wah wah wah wah wah!

Officer: Children, please stop crying, I am your friend!

Children: Noooo (They increase the tempo and volume of their cry!)

Officer: Driver, give me your licence!

(He takes his licence, hops out of the car and slams the door)

Driver: Ah, madam, abeg, make we give am something oh. Na here we go stay today. Hmm, na only 100 naira wey I get, and e too small.

Madam: Eh, no give am anything o. Make we follow am go office.

(The driver leaves the car and goes to beg for mercy. He comes back to plead with madam to find something for the officer.)

…….Dialling…..MTN…No network…Etisalat goes through…..Madam calls her husband and narrates her ordeal. He is too far away to drive down and rescue them.

Husband: Hello, Hello! Eh, that is the manufacturer's design oh. Don't give him anything oh....which office? Eh, let him take you people to the office. Don't give him any kobo!

(The officer returns and takes his seat again)

Officer: Madam, so you have nothing for me, eh. Driver, I said move this car!

Children: Wah Wah Wah......Please , leave my mummy alone!

Madam: (Looking very miserable indeed) Oga, abeg, see my children. Since morning wey we leave house, they wan chop. Abeg pity us.

Driver: Oga, abeg, madam no get any moni.

Officer: My fren, shaarrap! How do you know your madam does not have any money? You don look inside her handbag?

Driver: Oga, abeg no vex. For the sake of the children, eh, forgive us.

(Officer storms out of the car again to flag down more vehicles)

Husband calls to see if there is any progress…..

Madam: Hello, Hello, nothing oh. We are still here. He says we must give him something.

Husband: Just continue to beg him. Don't give him anything.

(After about 30minutes of back and forth begging and loud cries from the children, the officer comes back to the car and reluctantly returns the driver's licence.)

Officer: So you mean you have nothing for me, eh madam? Well, okay.....

Madam: (Twisting her mouth into a "feel sorry for me" pout) Ah, sorry Sir.

Driver: (Receiving his licence)... thank you sir. God bless you sir.

Madam: Thank you sir. God bless you sir.

Officer....Please, go and get your tinted glass permit, o.

Madam: Okay sir. Thank you, sir.

…….The children had cried themselves to sleep.......in a short while, they were cruising on third mainland bridge....

              *              *              *              *

       Few days later, while taking the alternative route for Lekki Phase 1 toll gate, behind Oniru market, Madam runs into another check point and encounters the same police officer! Déjà vu!

"Ah... today na today!" madam muttered.

The children screamed, "Mummy, do you have your particulars?" "Do you have Money?"

This time around her husband drove down to join in the begging committee!