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Africori

A young man gets stabbed and robbed in broad daylight by hoodlums in a busy commercial avenue.

Nobody stops the hoodlums. They let them get away because nobody wants to bear the burden of responsibility.

While the young man lay there bleeding and dying, nobody stops to help him. They all keep literally stepping over his bloody, writhing body, pretending not to notice him.

Worst of all is that the entire thing is happening right in front of a heavily armed mobile police outpost, just a few feet away. The police officers conveniently turn a blind eye. They acted like this because they get a cut from the loot of every robbery, fraud, and underhanded activity taking place in that area.—- COMPUTER VILLAGE, IKEJA, LAGOS, NIGERIA.

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A tricycle driver, his wife and two children were returning home from church on a lovely Sunday morning. He doesn’t work on Sundays; dedicating the day to God and his family. They take the usual route back home. But on this occasion, they encountered an unusual makeshift police checkpoint.

Two armed uniformed police officers flagged them to stop. Promptly, they demanded a bribe from the man. “Give us something for the weekend,” they said. 

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The man told them bluntly that he has nothing on him. Saying he doesn’t work on Sundays. They got agitated and insisted that he gives them something before they can allow him to continue his journey. The man scoffs at them with contempt and puts his foot down on the pedal. The moment the vehicle moves forward, one officer fires his weapon at the tricycle.  The bullet goes through the tarp covering of the vehicle and hits the man’s wife in the neck, killing her instantly. When the officers noticed the wife was hit by the bullet, they take to their heels and disappear.

 The Man’s wailing voice reverberates throughout the neighbourhood as he cries helplessly over his wife’s body.—- YABA, LAGOS, NIGERIA

A funeral party is escorting a mourning family and the corpse of their deceased father to their village for the burial. 

StageRave

They were in two separate vehicles. A bus and the leading station wagon containing the coffin and the immediate family of the deceased. The procession encounters one of the many police checkpoints they have been encountering throughout the journey so far.

The police officers let the leading station wagon through. But ask the driver of the trailing bus for the usual bribe. Prior to this occasion, the driver had refused giving bribe at any of the previous checkpoints. He insists on doing the same on this occasion. He ignores them and moved his bus, in his haste to catch up with the leading vehicle. One of the police officers opens fire on the bus. Several of the bullets hit some of the passengers before the bus topples over; somersaulting several times. The police officers after the incident immediately fled the scene instantly.

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Only five out of the sixteen passengers in the bus survived.—– SOMEWHERE BETWEEN ENUGU AND ANAMBRA 

A woman steps out with her 3-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter one evening.

On her return, she discovers that her house has been burgled. And several items have been stolen. She reports it to the police immediately. They assure her they will get the thieves. And this they do.   Well, they do not catch the thieves exactly. But they somehow retrieve many of the stolen items.

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 Apparently, some heavier, bulkier items are too much for the thieves to tow as they tried to evade the police chasing after them. So they dump most of them and take only the most portable items they can manage.

The Police call the woman to come over to the station to collect her property. She gleefully rushes over there. However, she is met with an unpleasant surprise.

The police ask her to pay a sum three times the cost of all the items put together to collect them. She adamantly refuses to pay it. “I might as well buy them all over again,” she says.

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The shameless cops bargain with her as if they are in a market. Bargaining over HER OWN PROPERTY!  She maintains her stand on the matter, saying that she will not buy back her own property from them.

They eventually give up, seeing how insistent she is. She collects her belongings without giving them so much as a dime.

On her way out she glances with disgust at the sign on the wall that says “POLICE IS YOUR FRIEND”—– GWARIMPA, ABUJA, NIGERIA

Two friends are strolling through their neighbourhood.

They see two young men fighting over an irrelevant issue. The two friends try to stop the fight.

That same moment, a police van screeches to a stop next to them. Rather than arrest the two who are fighting, they arrest the two innocent friends instead. Whether this is deliberate or a mistake on their part will never be known.

They take the friends to the station and lock them up. The younger of the two is Asthmatic and is not having his inhaler with him. He begs not to be put in the cell because he knows he would surely die without his inhaler. They ignore his plea and push him and his friend into the cell. The police on purpose delayed calling the boys’ parents to come and bail them out.

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Shortly afterwards, the Asthma symptoms kick in. And in no time the young man is gasping for air and dying slowly. His friend calls out to the officers on duty to come over and help. But they ignore the calls, thinking it is a prank. A few minutes later, the young man dies. It is at this moment when they hear the friend crying, and saying that his friend is dead, that the Officers realize that it is for real.

Not knowing what to do, and knowing they cannot plausibly explain their error, they decided to cover the case up. 

They bundle the young man, along with his friend’s corpse into a van. They take them all the way back to their neighbourhood. They dump the boy with his friend’s corpse in the street and zoom off. The case has not been brought up again to this day. —– SURULERE, LAGOS, NIGERIA

These stories are not fiction at all. But are all actual accounts of true life events. They are but a few among countless more that happen on a daily basis all over Nigeria.

They go a long way in revealing we are living in a lawless society.   A society where those who are meant to be the custodians of the law are the ones perpetrating the crimes and corruption they claim to be fighting.

There is no law in this country. What we have is false security. What we have is a bunch of criminals in uniforms; Hoodlums and robbers bearing the banner of commitment to protecting lives and property; scoundrels who mock the uniform and a badge that should be the symbols of security and refuge; and make nonsense of the laws of the country.

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We do not have any real Police department. What we have is a sham. A total disgrace. Faecal matter in uniforms that should be spat upon.

So If you still think you have any form of security in Nigeria, think again. Because we are all on our own. Forget the so-called police,  because all we have now is each other.

We must protect and look out for each other. Because no one else will do it for us.

Learn to be your brother’s keeper. Don’t say “I have my own problems.” Because tomorrow might just be your turn to be stabbed, robbed, and left for dead in the street. While you helplessly watch people pass you by without stopping to help you.

Never say “Let someone else do it.” Let that “someone else” be you.

BY MAXIMUS UMEH. All rights reserved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rex UmehMaximus Rex Umeh is the true definition of “Jack Of all Trade.” He is an Actor, a Recording Artiste, a Model, a Motivational Speaker, a Voice over Artist, and an aspiring Filmmaker. He is also an unpublished author and Poet who will publish his first book in the nearest future.  He is presently working on his debut album; as well as working on producing his first film.

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