My aunt called me yesterday and was sounding a bit worried.
The cabbie who usually takes her on her short trips within Nigeria called, that he had been arrested by the police at the Kaduna airport.
Apparently, the last time he picked my aunt, he had been blabbing about the newfound business opportunity in shuttling between Abuja and Kaduna following the relocation of the Abuja airport runway services to Kaduna.
My aunt had wished him luck, but advised him to register with the Kaduna airport car hire services association, to avoid any harassment and make it easier for him.
“No need”, he bragged. “Na we we, we go always fit sort ourselves out”.
Well, that backfired pretty fast though, they arrested him and he was already behind the counter when they allowed him place the call to my aunt.
She was tired, needed to focus on her business after returning from a trip, and didn’t want to get involved especially since the police officer she spoke with, said the guy had been engaged in a shouting match with both the people who accosted him at the airport, and the police officers.
How Nigeria was for all of us, it was a free country, they had no right to stop him from picking up passengers anywhere he liked and he had a right to pick up passengers from the Kaduna airport, whether he was registered with them or not.
After all he was duly registered to run car hire services in Abuja, blablabla.
It was wearying, but he kept disturbing my aunt with phone calls, would not let her rest. And she in turn was calling me.
At a point I said to her, call your people to step into this matter let them release this boy please and let us hear word.
My aunt was reluctant, giving excuses as to why she didn’t want to get her contacts involved in this kind of petty matter.
The person she knows had been promoted, had been transferred out of state, was sick, etc…
I persuaded her to call, because the man now in police detention and the police, were badgering her small life. Running down her phone battery with calls and she could also not switch off her phone just to avoid their pestering.
Now that the cabbie had also spent a few hours cooling off his heels behind the counter, he was no longer loud and belligerent and claiming right, he had calmed down and was begging now – trying to involve my aunt and hoping she would drop all she was doing and rush down to the station. He was convinced that once she appeared and they saw how elderly she was, they would let him go.
That was the last thing my aunt wanted to do, but the badgering on phone was also beginning to wear her down.
So I kept encouraging her to call her contact and she finally did. The person took the incident details, got in contact with the airport police and got back to my aunt that it was a small issue.
As soon as the DPO returned to the station, they would release the cabbie to start returning to Abuja but if he needed to operate within the Kaduna airport, he would need to register with the association, and queue up to await his turn – not hustling passengers.
Around 4pm yesterday, the person called to inform my aunt that the boy would be released in a couple of minutes; then called again by 4.30pm to inform her that he was already out and had left the station.
My aunt waited… and waited… and waited.
By 6pm, she called him.
“What is happening, where are you?”
“I am almost in Abuja.”
“Have they released you?”
“And you did not think it proper to call and tell me?”
“No ma, that person you called, they did not do anything to help me now.”
“Ehn, it was God that used one Baba like that from the motor park at Abuja junction. I called him, and he came and begged the police, that he knows me very well.”
“Yes. It did not take him up to five minutes that he came, they released me.”
My aunt was speechless. She had seen and had enough of ungrateful Nigerians and this was why she had refused to be involved from the first instance, she said. I was the one that persuaded her to get involved. Now all the time and effort she had spent, plus the involvement of her contact who ordinarily, shouldn’t be involved in such petty cases as this – was being rubbished by this nincompoop.
I just told her to calm down and let him be, life has taught me that it is always just a matter of time before he would run into another wahala and come grovelling for help.
But seriously though, this is one fundamental flaw in our DNA that we need to start immunising our future generations against.
I have seen people seek contacts for employment and after getting the job, claim it was the “holy spirit” that did it for them.
Or badger people into wasting time, energy and resources to do them a favour or two and after their story has changed, attribute it to “God”, without acknowledging the mortal that invested time, energy, contact and resources to bring that “miracle” to pass.
Anyway, like I told my aunt about this incident, make she leave am to that same God that used “Baba from the motor park” to epp this humanoid.
Life is funny.