That is how it is. Whenever it’s the new year, people always hustle here and there, rushing like Russians only to retreat later with excuses and wreak of the highest order behind them.
Why do people always work themselves into anxiety and stress every end of the year and first two weeks of the new year as if those two months are something special to compare to the other months?
Gabriel Okolo knew that those two months are months the court and the police make their own money from those rushing after the money. Officers rush after those rushing after the money and the court never have mercy on anyone that finds his or her way into their dean in those two months. “ the only way to educate them and introduced new ideology into them is by force” one officer said to his colleague after wiping out one driver that ran the red light out of all the money on him.
“ He will not be rushing any red light for a week. That is the only language most of them understand” he continued his justification.
Despite not giving a receipt to any of the five people he arrested for violating a traffic law and practically snatching all their money from them with a threat of sending them to court if they don’t reciprocate his understanding. That is his words for it, understanding.
Such was the situation Gabriel found himself in when he was stopped by an officer and accused of running the red light when he was crawling like the old tortoise and packed behind an old lady driving a late 70s Volkswagen. So, how has he offended? How can a man packed behind a car be running red light when he is not n motion? It seems to him after giving the issue a detailed thought that the officers must have been working for his enemies. The type of questions and utterances coming from the officer that arrested him and the one questioning them at the station confirmed his suspicion.
What was confusing to him is the whether the court and the corrupt officers are working together. Are they complimenting each other's work or something? In this country, nothing is impossible.
The officer had passed the old lady in front of him at the traffic light and came after him and “park well” instruction followed. He had thought that the man was one of those cheap gin-drinking officers but to his surprise, he never perceived any win-related odor from the officer. It’s just impunity at work.
He wanted to know why he was picked on and why he was asked to park well. There were about fifty drivers both commercial and private hauled to the station illegally, the practice that is common with the officers each December and first two weeks of January.
He was the tenth person called among the fifty at the station to answer for their sins as the officers called it. Listening to the line of questions others were being asked made him to know that the officers meant business. It was as if they discussed the operation in the general meeting before rushing out to fulfilled their mandates.
“Why were you wasting the officer’s time when he asked you to come out of your car?”
“ Sir, I wanted to know why I was asked to park well and why I am asked to enter the police bus?”
“ So, how many whys do you want the officer to tell you before you obey his command?”
“Could you believe I am the third on the line of the parked cars and am being accused of running the red light how can that be possible ”?
“ Who Is controlling events on the road there? You or the officers?”
“The officers of course but …”
“There is no but. You have answered well. Am sure you know now why you are here. Disobeying the officer, causing holdup at the junction there, attracting unnecessary attention and threatening the officers in public”
“ who threatened officers in public?”
“ Are you denying that one too?”
“ I never threatened anyone in public. I just told him that I will react if he keep disturbing my peace”
“Ah!, you did not view that statement as a threat?”
“ No sir. I just wanted him to know that not everyone will swallow that pill he is issuing. The bullshit he was vomiting?”
“What bullshit was he vomiting?”
“He was the one threatening me with arrest if I don’t come out of the car and enter their bus. I told him to get lost or I will contact my lawyers. He rushed my car key”
“ So, now you are finally here, have you contacted your lawyers?”
“ Officer, I don’t have time for this questions and answer session and I will not talk to you again until my lawyers come”
“until your lawyer comes?- have you contacted him already?”
“ That is more reason you must grant me access to the telephone, It is my right”
The officer eyed him and smirk to himself and continued taking statements from others and asking them to sign and thumbprint. One surprising thing is that the officers no longer care about who might be recording them, observing from near or afar. They are simply on mission.
They were separating those arrested into three different categories only they can tell what each one represents. From his observations, Gabriel could tell that it was on the bases of the disturbance and headache each person gave them. They seem to have concluded those they will handover to their partner in crime the court and those they will collect money from and shown the door and those their luck will depend on the flip of a coin to retain their freedom. No court, no bribery.
They will call each person their freedom depends on the flip of a coin and pick up a coin and flip it on air like referees do, head you go, tail you buy your freedom.
Gabriel was among that group. When it was his turn, as the officer picked up the coin, he asked him if he will be allowed to decide his fate by flipping the coin himself. The officer eyed him for a long time and asked him if it turns out tail, what will be his penalty for suggestions such?
He eyed the officer, smiled, and told him that it should be regarded as the same. The officer refused and told him that the officer will determine what his penalty will be. “Did you agree?”
Gabriel decided to test his luck with the danger he sees around him. What do you lose? 70 percent of the coin flipped already turned negative and bailing money is in thousands.
He agreed to the officer’s propositions and was given the coin. He tossed it high in the air as it turned three times before he caught it in the air and smeared it with a loud noise on the desk there, eyed the officers before slowly withdrawing his palm.
Everywhere was quiet as both the five officers and the arrested numbering about 93 as their number has grown while they were there were all stretching their necks to see his luck. He burst out laughing at the officer who was visibly not happy with the result before him.