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Corporal corruption on our highway

Posted by OMOTOLA JALADE EKEINDE on 2005/05/18 | Views: 3135 |

Corporal corruption on our highway


Let me share my own perspective on the issue of corruption, that evil cankerworm that is eating deep into our psyche and which has given Nigeria a bad name all over the world as a country of corruption.

Dear diary,

Let me share my own perspective on the issue of corruption, that evil cankerworm that is eating deep into our psyche and which has given Nigeria a bad name all over the world as a country of corruption. To be corrupt is to be dishonest and to indulge in illegal behaviour like collecting money from people who do not know what they are paying for. In our country corruption has become ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. You can see it our video movies. And you can see it in real life. Everywhere. Every day.

I see corruption every day on the streets of Lagos. In fact on any street or highway in Nigeria. I see corruption dressed in the smelly uniform of a policeman—a corporal, sergeant or inspector or whatever. Corruption armed with a gun and bullying motorists. Corruption turning itself into law and forcing motorists to pay unlawful payments.

Each time a yellow transport bus is stopped, you know something shady is going on. Money must change hands. From the driver or his conductor to the man in the uniform of corruption there is this ritual of corruption being acted out in the public glare.

These things stare in our face every day. It’s a daily occurrence. Anti-corruption noises are made every day, but in reality, nobody can stamp out this form of corruption on our streets.

Once or twice you hear of policemen firing shots and killing, all in the name of demanding twenty naira bribe from a stubborn driver who sees no reason to comply with paying bribes on illegal police checkpoints.

Not only policemen are guilty of this. These days, you find armed soldiers as their partners in crime as they mount illegal checkpoints where they daily collect their dues from transport business owners.

I know I promised the last time to be serving you with some new tricks in the box used on people. I will still but this issue of corruption on our street and on our roads in and out of Lagos especially the one leading to neighbouring countries around where I live, has caught my attention. It bothers me.

I live at the Iba side of life, OJO!! For about two weeks now, my in-laws have been around from the United States, with a truckload of kids that have never been to Nigeria! This was supposed to be a very exciting time right?
After spending some days in Nigeria, they had to travel to Ghana where my sister-in-law resides, and because they wanted to savour the countryside they decided to come back by road. This was the beginning of their nightmare trip.

I hear from Ghana to Togo the journey was smooth and fine but from Seme, it was hell. Who made it hell? The law enforcement agencies.

At every 10 minutes there were hordes of customs officers extorting money. It is so had that sometimes it takes a whole day to get to Lagos just from Seme. You see corruption is not limited to the police or the military. As for the Customs, it has become their custom to extort. You don’t even know who is worse—the police or the customs. It was extortion all the way innocent passengers were made to pay illegal charges.

My people were no exemption. With all their American accent, they were still made to drop money. And you know Americans, they would want an explanation. They would want to know the reason for every dime they spend. But they got no reasonable explanation for this act of bribery and corruption. Needless to say that they slept at the border that day. The next day, they looked so tired and messed up that they slept all day.

Nigeria is a beautiful and big country, but why would a bunch of people choose to make it hell, make it so “unbeautiful.” Please forgive my choice of language. We suffer ourselves unnecessarily in this country. For example the international express road leading from Cotonou goes through Badagry, Agbara, Iba, FESTAC, Mile-2 etc. Now this road had about 2 (two) major markets i.e Alaba and Trade Fair (where Idumota relocated to). But although this road is so important, it is so neglected. This is also the road Mr. President passes to go to his Ota country home. My God! So much to, say so little being done. I rest my case. Till next week catch ya!

N/B:
The kids weren’t so disappointed with Ghana. They found Ghana cool, fine and orderly. Unlike Nigeria, the Giant of Africa. There, the roads are good and there’s no power outage and definitely no cops harassing you. What’s up, (GOA) Giant of Africa?

Pa Soyinka, I love
you so much

Let me join millions of Soyinkamaniacs all over the world to wish our legendary Nobel laureate a happy 70th birthday. I am so happy that Pa Soyinka is an actor. How I wish this man had the opportunity to rule Nigeria even for one week, considering all he has done for Nigeria. Which ex-head of state out of power can receive such a natural, unforced adulation from the people? Soyinka undoubtedly is a man of the people. Soyinka is to Nigeria what Mandela is to the whole world. May God bless you as you enter the winter of your life. If anything, I love your white hairs. Please, don’t ever contemplate cutting them. It’s too late to let your hair down.


‘OMOTOLA, YOU ARE OUR LONG, LOST DAUGHTER’

Hello diary, how would you feel if you just woke up one morning without nightmares and there’s a knock on your door with a delegate of about 6 people, with the mission of claiming you? I see eyes narrowing… What on earth does that mean? Wait until you read this letter from a family claiming I am their long, lost daughter:


The Family of Adeyemi
Silifat
29/03/2004

Dear Mrs Omotola Jolaade,

Quite and age, how are you, your husband and your children? The motive of this letter is to inform you that, we the family of Adeyemi found out that you’re Silifat Adeyemi our daughter we have been looking for since October, 1985.
If you could remember, you had your elementary education at Ansar-Islam Primary School Alla in Alla, area of Kwara State and Woko-Womu Girls Secondary School, Omuaran, Kwara State and secondary education, when you finished secondary school, you went to sister Yinka in Lokoja, when you got there, it was not up to 2 weeks you were nowhere to be found in Lokoja. It was then your mother, Onibipe Abegbe went to Lokoja herself to look for you and she took you down to Lagos, on getting to Lagos your brother Rasaq Adeyemi asked you to stay with him at Savage Street in Orile Iganmu.
Meanwhile, on those fateful period, your stepmother came from Ife to stay with you and your brother for a short while, it was 3 days after which was on Saturday we could not find you, so since then we’ve been looking for you but our effort to see you was to no avail.

Your mother, Onibipe Adegbe who lived at No 3 Alubomimu Street, Isale Eko, tried her best in looking for you to the extent that in the process, she had an accident and after 3 years she recovered and later had stroke till this moment.

We have come to your house at Ipaye about 3 times but we were not allowed to enter by the gateman.
I Kuburat Adeyemi your sister, I’m appealing to you to please come and see your mother because she thinks a lot about you, so in order not to loose her untimely you have to come and see her. I’m still at No 23, Muri Ojora Street, Amukoko, Lagos and you can call me on these numbers 01-4820104, 08035522426, 08033023374.
The names of your brothers and sisters are Kuburat Adeyemi, Muritala Adeyemi, Fausat Adeyemi and Taofeeq Adeyemi. Till I see you, cherio.

Your lovely sister
Kuburat.

NB: One of your old passport photograph is enclosed.


My dear diary, now in developed countries when celebrities go paranoid we think it’s because they are on drugs. How about people driving you N-U-T-S! I was at Enugu doing what I love doing when I got a call from my hubby, intimating me about this letter. As soon as I saw the letter, I freaked out this was coming on the heels of about two or three other such claims but this one was mind blowing. Earlier, March I got a call on my way to location, that I had to be at the National Theatre by the A.G.N president. It was an emergency he hollered. I did a runabout turn on Eko bridge and on getting to the National Theatre, I met a scene, where a young girl Rhoda Okafor, insisted that after her parents of a Nigerian father and Cameroonian mother took her to Cameroon and subsequently their death years after, she asked her only brother who their families are in Nigeria and how to locate them. Her only brother, then told her that the only family of theirs he knows in Nigeria is OMOTOLA.

Una see me see trouble? This is crazy. There are also two cases that are too funny to be published. Now this! I concluded in my heart that as long as none of them comes near me or my home, I was just going to ignore them. Then it happened. June 22nd there were vicious knocks on my gate.
I was about driving out so, I decided to find out myself what the problem was. Standing in front of me were about four people, an old man and probably his wife, and two other people who immediately started begging me that they came all the way from Ilorin and that I should reconsider and come back home. They asked me to please check for a birthmark on my stomach that they all have in their family and showed me the picture you see in this publication as me before I left home. Hmm. If this people’s child ever gets to read or see this publication, I beg her to set her parents free.
Let me categorically state here that I know my family and my siblings. I certainly do not have any Okafor blood neither do I have any Adeyemi blood etc. I am not looking for my family and will definitely not take it easy with any claimers from now on. Thank you.
Dear Diary, I hope to be here with you for as long as am fit so let’s hope some claimer doesn’t take me away (Not so funny after all). I remain OMOTOLA JALADE EKEINDE


Till next week, lots of love.

N/B: Watch out next week for the newest hottest tricks in town. They’ve tried it on me, you don’t want to miss this one.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.