Sunday 24 March 2019

Our Hunger for Singham

Police at Roadblock

I was thinking this morning...... about our hunger for Singham. If someone says this to you, it sounds like 'our hunger for chewing gum.' But what or who really is 'Singham' that Nigerians are hungry for? Days ago, I read the Daily Trust news headline, 'Singham: The Story of Nigeria's Super CP' and my curiosity was naturally aroused.
I found out 'Singham' is a no nonsense police officer in a 2011 Bollywood (Indian) movie titled SINGHAM. The lead character called Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgan) is depicted as an honest Maratha police inspector who resolved most of the problems in his town informally and without filing charge sheets. He consequently gained much reputation and love from the villagers. It was this reputation that many in Kano gave the state Police Commissioner CP Muhammad Wakili who has been nicknamed 'Singham.'
In Nigeria, it is very difficult to find a honest police officer, much less one that senior. But there has been several tweets on Twitter attesting to CP Wakili as a man of integrity who ensured Kano State had peaceful elections amidst challenges apart from combating illicit drug sale and consumption in the state. Hmm!!! As I imagined how possible that a Nigerian police officer will be mobbed as being a 'Singham,' I realized that the masses are hungry for a hero. They are desirous of a shining light in the gross darkness we are in. Someone that will stand out from the compromised officials we have all gotten used to.
As I searched my mental repository for other 'Singhams' within the Nigerian Police, I recalled the headline in The Nations Newspaper of how one Ogar Jombo, an Assistant Superintendent of the NSCDC, was alledgedly beaten to death by two police officers in the presence of his wife and children, because he allegedly violated traffic rules. I shook my head and concluded that these men are definitely not 'Singham.' Then I remembered with pain, how, many years ago in Warri, I was stopped on my way to church at an illegal checkpoint  y some police officers. After a detailed scanning of my documents under the microscope, they successfully picked a discrepancy and demanded for N20,000. Having told them I have no such amount to give, they searched my car and found the tithe of my salary for that month in an envelope, so labeled. Fearlessly and shamelessly, they took the money in spite of my protests and questions whether they are now God. Those officers were definitely not 'Singham.'
I have always wondered why my hearts skips and pray a silent prayer whenever I see a police officer on the road, even when I am driving a brand new car. Truth is, the default mindset of a typical policeman in Nigeria is to find a fault in you and believe me, they can get water out of a rock. Unfortunately, the majority of our police officers are not 'Singham' but rather they are 'chewing gum.' You know how chewing gum is only useful for a short time and you toss it out? If you hold on for too long, it can stick to your clothes and furniture and mess it up. I believe in Romans 4:18 'Who against hope, believed in hope that he might become...' I am believing that the 'O to ge' revolution might happen in the Police Force, so that the majority will become 'Singham.'
Happy Sunday.
......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

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