Wednesday, May 5, 2021 1:05 pm
By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
I hereby mourn the demise of my dearest friend, the ubiquitous illegal checkpoint policeman, who was heartlessly made to kick the bucket by Unknown Gunmen. Oi! Oi! Oi!
This monumental loss is indeed very tragic for me because the checkpoint policeman, whilst he lived, happened to be the most dutiful Nigerian worker who was always at his duty post, from Kaura-Namoda to Agenebode, and from Koton-Karfi to Otanchara-Otanzu!
Nobody could have accused the checkpoint policeman of absenteeism all the days of his police life.
Compared to university pedagogues, alias ASUU, the checkpoint policeman was always there, come hot sun or high winds.
Here was one Nigerian worker happy to do his job and was never found wanting in his national duty of collecting Fifty Naira at checkpoints.
This is one area where the Southeast zone that perennially cries of marginalization in all spheres of Nigerian life was never in lack.
In fact the Southeast had more checkpoints than the rest of the nation put together. It was a case of one pole, one checkpoint.
Ever since the appearance of the unknown gunmen, all the checkpoints have disappeared and the policemen have abandoned their stations and uniforms, and are lobbying furiously to be posted out of the zone that used to be a cash cow.
The shoot-at-sight order on the dutiful checkpoint policeman by the unknown gunmen cannot be countermanded: “Set up a checkpoint and die!”
What a deadly price to pay for dutifulness! A tear for the checkpoint policeman!
He’s gone kaput just because the mysterious unknown gunmen never liked his face, or stomach, as the case may be.
The checkpoint policeman carried his pregnancy with prolific protrusion, and I learnt from forensic sources that the gurus of the Guinness Book of World Records were on their way to Nigeria to record for history and posterity that it’s only in Nigeria that policemen at checkpoints carried huge pregnancies.
The scientific connection between the collection of Fifty Naira notes and the impregnation of the checkpoint policeman bears comparison with the transition from change to the next level.
The real McCoy in the matter is that even in very advanced pregnancy the checkpoint policeman could collect Fifty Naira notes from bus drivers and allied conductors with the agility and acrobatics of the likes of the legendary goalkeeper known as Emmanuel Okala!
It’s quite scientific that the accumulation of Fifty Naira notes at checkpoints always led to gargantuan consumption of beer and pepper soup by the police rank-and-file, thus leading to the fat beer belly called police pregnancy.
Who out there doesn’t know that the “beer and pepper soup theory” was initially proposed by good old Alozie Ogugbuaja in regard to the military brass-hats and their many coups?
Now that military coups have been overthrown by police pregnancies of the selfsame beer and pepper soup combo, unknown gunmen could not but strike.
By ruthlessly dismantling checkpoints, the unknown gunmen have succeeded in killing the singular honey-pot motivation for joining the police force.
Just before the coming of the unknown gunmen, one young man from Akokwa town in Imo State attended a police recruitment interview, and even before he could get the result of the interview he had set up a checkpoint at the Akokwa border with Anambra State, collecting so much Fifty Naira notes such that even the Central Bank noticed a shortage of Fifty Naira notes in its vault!
I am yet to clear with CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele whether the activities of this police wannabe led to the disruption of cashless Nigeria!
As things were, the checkpoint policeman could have started up a revolution just at the drop of – you guessed it – Fifty Naira!
With the annihilation of the checkpoint policeman, Mama Iyabo, the ogogoro seller just by the Lagos Country Club at Ikeja, can no longer boast of the ready change almost always supplied from police checkpoints.
This has led to a very bad chain reaction since bus drivers who got their change from Mama Iyabo have become so short-changed that they now settle their change matters with their passengers through kick-boxing and kung-fu.
And like the struggle for General Muhammadu Buhari’s essential commodities, alias Essenco, of those bad military days, the total absence of the checkpoint policeman and his change all over Nigeria amounts to a fight to the death.
Call it anarchy, for by totally obliterating the checkpoint policeman and his many checkpoints, the unknown gunmen have removed the referee in the Nigerian free-for-all fight intervolving all unknowns such as unknown democrats, unknown herdsmen, unknown bandits, unknown kidnappers, unknown armed robbers, unknown scammers, unknown terrorists, unknown soldiers, unknown civilians, unknown government, unknown presidency…
Chai, let me stop here before I turn into another basket-mouth like Fela.
Another tear for the checkpoint policeman! Oi! Oi! Oi!