May 27, 2021
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He continued, “I will let you go with a warning not to repeat this again.” I stared at him in disbelief, was this man for real? Clearly not, but this was my dear country. For Altine’s sake I kept quiet, she was already looking relieved in the passenger seat. I sighed and waited for his final verdict, we all know that I was not stopped for sake of nothing. But the traffic warden smiled and cleared his throat to say gruffly, “You can go,” returning to his post. I knew why he had not asked for a bribe popularly called, ‘egunje’ even when he had insisted I ran the red lights. My mention of writing a column in the newspapers had discouraged him asking, coupled with the fact that I had also challenged him.

I had not even used the popular question that worked for many people, which was, ‘Do you know who I am?’ That would have done the job. I remember when my sister had a similar issue, Hadiza was a lot bolder than I was and also quite boisterous and amiable. She had screamed at the security men “Do you know who I am???” I smiled recalling her story as I got in my car. They had of course let her go. However, it didn’t stop them from asking her if there was anything for the boys. She had parted with N5, 000 that day.

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