Monday, 16 November 2015


     The journey to Iwo was a funny one. Yesterday was my sister's convocation and I had to find time out of no time to go celebrate with her - am a busy man you know.
     And so as we journeyed: my three cousins, my grandmama, my self and the driver, we met officers on the road. I had seen them from afar and I wasn't sure this driver of ours' had a driver's license and the 'likes'. And then we reached the check point. I looked at our driver as he boldly retrieved a twenty-naira note from his pocket and slipped it into the officer's left hand.
     'Safe journey oo,' the officer yelled grinning.
     I sighed where I was seated beside my three little cousins.
     'So these adult officers too do collect money?' My Grandma asked shaking her head.
     The driver laughed loudly and said,'Everybody wants to eat Mama.'
     That is right, everybody wants to eat. The question is: 'Does everybody care whether the source of the food is right or not?'
      No one said a word after that, we all kept quiet until we approached our destination. Then we met officers again. (permit me to use that word) But these ones were working for the University and so we passed without dropping a kobo.
     'Why did this one not collect money?' my little cousin asked looking at the officer as we passed as though he had done what she had never seen any officer do before.
     'Because he is not corrupt. And what they are collecting is not 'money', it is called ''bribe'' and it's illegal'. I said firmly. Better these little ones know the right thing now before they take everything as normal
     'No, not bible, BRIBE.' I corrected my cousin.
     And then I asked myself why should the officer not collect bribe? Then, I asked myself again, what if the officer refused the bribe, what would we do? Obviously, our driver did not have the required 'particulars', and so we should be happy that the officer collected our 'chicken change, shouldn't we? After all if he had rejected the bribe, perhaps we would have been delayed and then probably miss the interesting part of the convocation program. So I was thanking the officer in my mind for collecting the bribe.
     And then something struck my mind: how many drivers were ready to submit their particulars for checking? How many even have?
     And so that's where the problem starts: You don't want to the officer to collect your money, but you are not ready to do the right thing. Imagine, an officer stretching his hand for the usual Muritala Mohammed and you hand him your particulars, what will happen?
     1. He will be surprised.
     2. You might be delayed 'unnecessary'.
     3. The officer might still find a way of collecting a larger amout, maybe by demanding to see your fire extinguisher or something. He may eventually collect Ahmadu Bello or Nnamdi Azikiwe.But the thing is, if you have all the required things, you need not fear.
     'He who does no evil needs fear no evil'
     They stretch their hand, you hand over your papers. They tell you to park, you concur. They ask for everything, you give them more than 'everything'.
     Then they are like 'Oga, drop something now,' and then you are like 'Well done, good job.'
right? But I tell you unless you are ready to do all these, then you are not the different from the uniformed guy by the road. Not only is collecting bribe wrong, giving it is also wrong.

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