Here, Hunger Commands

I do not even try to think about what the worst problem of this nation is.

First, in order to do that, I’ll have to think of all the problems of the nation. It’s a very depressing activity.

Also, the process of prioritizing our problems is a process bound to fail because, not only can one never list all the little problems in the nation, you may never also be able to find out which is the worst. 

Some have said its poor leadership, others have said its corruption, while others yet insist that it’s poverty. Some say is lack of love, and others posit that it’s the lack of the fear of God. Some even say it is that we all have given up and we’re laidback, while others say it is that everyone  is hustling too much out of selfishness. Some say it’s because we don’t know where we’re coming from and others say we don’t know where we’re going to. Some say it’s because people who don’t know anything are put in leadership positions, while others say that it’s because people who think they know too much are put in leadership positions. Some day both mean the same thing…

See what I said? I already feel tired thinking about these things. The same kind of tired I felt last week as I rode with my fiancé. We were going for a wedding at Ogun state and we were going to stay for three days there. You know the package – introduction, engagement, traditional wedding, court wedding, white wedding, RECEPTION! 

We both carried our laptops (which happened to be Macs) because we needed to work (well he needed to work, I needed to rest from work and watch my series). 

We got into Ogun state and were cruising; playing music and chewing our mouths to lyrics we thought we knew. It was fun. It was fun until a herd of police men flagged our vehicle down. My fiancé parked; his hands still clutching the steering wheel. 

‘Well done sir’. The police man beside the car said in a rather antithetical tone. 

Thanks. Well done too’ my fiancé said. 

The police man’s eyes roamed to the back seat and stopped there. I could see through his transparent head, that his brain was conjuring crimes from a criminal code he had never opened. When it was done, his mouth conveyed the message, ‘What is your occupation?’ 

I work as a software developer’ my fiancé said. 

Ehehn? So what are you doing with two Apple laptops?’ Oga police asked. 

My fiancé scoffed and said, ‘They are for the both of us. One for me and one for her’ 

The the policeman finally looked at me as though I just appeared there, ‘Ehehn? You what do you do?’ 

‘I am a brand consultant’ I replied with the best poker face I could muster. 

Okay. Two of you would have to follow us to the station.’ He looked ahead and called his fellow criminal ‘Wasiu, come and enter this car and join me. A ti mu awon yahoo yahoo. We are going to the station. You think we don’t know that it is 419 and yahoo boys that use Mac? Abi can you show the receipt of the laptops? Ehn?’  Then he pointed at me from outside ‘You. You cannot tell me that you don’t know that your friend is doing yahoo. That is how all you girls will just follow criminals up and down for the sake of money. Now you are in trouble together. As far as I’m concerned, because you collected the laptop, you are an accomplice’ 

I could no decide what made me more offended; that he thought my fiancé was a fraudster or that he thought I was not smart and tech-savvy enough to be a fraudster as well. 
That day was hellish. That’s all I’m going to say… Because I’m already getting riled up here. We ended up at the police station shouting and begging and insulting and pleading and calling people until we finally had to give them some money because it was getting late and my fiancé was not comfortable with me being there at that time of the night.

But it is not fair. 
It is not fair that I have to pay the police in my country because I own property; as though it is a crime to own property.

It is not fair that the  agencies of Justice are dispensing justice with severe irrationality fueled by their obvious frustration.

 It is not fair that the real commander-in-chief of the armed forces in Nigeria is not the president, but Hunger. 

It’s not fair that the nation has accepted him as our commander, and accepted his commands as our laws.

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