I finally put my sociological experiment to use. At roughly 11:50 p.m., I drove through Ikeja in a private automobile while wearing a mufti. I went by two police checkpoints. I remained at the first for five seconds without hearing from the policeman. He merely waved me forward.
I stayed at the second for thirty seconds. Policeman: Are you Uber? Me: No. It’s my own vehicle. Find me something, officer. Me: I do not understand. Officer: I see you’re okay. Please find me something. Me: (silence). Oya, dey go, officer.
On both occasions, I wound down the glass on my side as soon as I was flagged down and turned on the cabin light. First to welcome was I. In the second case, I also purposefully grinned and seemed approachable.
They didn’t recognize me, and I didn’t identify myself either. That never happened. Not even papers were requested. There must be a lot of others out there who have had similar situations. I realize that everyone is different. However, one thing is certain.
Respect is mutual. Gratitude is due to individuals who work long hours for little money. Avoid being patronizing. Avoid becoming overly forceful. Do not be docile as well. Always stand up for your rights. And resist the urge to impose laws on others.
Utopia doesn’t exist anyplace. Report the few bad apples, and we’ll keep doing internal purging. I considered mentioning my social experiment. I’ll change the parameters the next time.