We have heard it announced, advertised on radio as infectious jingles, and appear on daily prints – “Police is Your Friend”. In Nigeria, the police’s role is to serve and protect. In fact our Police Force’s motto is “Serve and Protect with Integrity”.
They have not always done that, so now we beg them to protect our votes and safeguard our democracy by policing the ballots during elections. This picture evidences a betrayal of our collective trust. The last time I saw a picture of a Naija policeman on the web, he was carting away a huge bag of rice at a food scramble organized by Ms Jonathan last year. In doing so, he displayed the brute strength and temperance of a U.S. Navy Seal in endurance training. Meanwhile people were being trampled to near death a little distance away, in the ensuing fight for PDP rice melee.
Ironically, the Nigerian Police Force service crest has a huge elephant inscribed on it. Not the most fleet-footed animal in the world. Slow, moody with a short memory. Reminds you of someone, eh?
Looking at the above picture, though we highly doubt it, the policeman’s superiors may summon him to Ikeja High Command to answer a query as to why he was catching 40 winks on duty while our votes were in danger of being misappropriated away by election fraudsters.
I struggle to think about the sort of excuses he may come up with in answers when confronted by the Inspector General. Which kain sleep I go dey sleep when elections de happen? Tufiakwa!! Never! I no sleep at all, lai lai. Make I explain:
- Sir, I was only checking my pulse because my heartbeat has been a bit irregular.
- I was only feigning sleep; it is part of a covert police operation to catch scheming ballot box thieves
- It was the work of my enemies who are people from other ‘tribes’ envious of my position as a designated ballot security agent. They sent a paparazzi photographer to snap me at my moment of weakness.
- I was playing a simple game of ‘spin the cap’ to pass the time. Honest.
- I was meditating in prayer for the success of the elections. And for you sir. May your enemies never catch you slumbering, sir. May EFCC never Tafa you.
- Some people from one of the major political parties tried to bribe me to help them perpetuate electoral fraud, but I refused so they ‘jazzed’ me with a ‘poisonous’ N1000 note so that I would pass out on the job. Funny enough that note seems to have disappeared too.
- I was searching for my service pistol on the ground.
- The person in that picture wasn’t me. It was ‘photo-shopped’ or ‘trans-imposed’.
- I was killing a ‘jigger’ bug by stepping on it, at that precise moment the picture was taken.
- I was possessed by a wicked spirit which made me unconscious for half an hour. Its name is “Esprit De Corps”
If all of the above fails, he can fall back on the fool-proof Nigerian excuse: Please, it was the work of the devil, sir.
Ah, sleep is the cousin of death.