Between an Officer and Abudu, who wins Mama’s heart?          

“Now listen carefully. Ever since I…”

   “Ever since you what?”

   “Please, I’m really sick, and you’ve offered to take me to the hospital, and I   do appreciate it. Please don’t indulge in histrionics for the moment. Leave that for another day.”

   “Okay. I just wanted you know how much I admire you.”

   “Would you stop the car and let me get out?”

   “No. You are sick. And I can’t leave you by the roadside under this hot  sun.”

   The weather was fine, and the traffic was light. Abudu was doing ninety on a wide straight road with a speed limit of 65km/h. He was spotted by an off-duty traffic police officer who gave him a good chase. Abudu had defied orders by the officer to pull up. He therefore had to call for a back up. But long before they arrived, he had a flat tire. The officer arrives.

He’s in his early thirties. He’s a tall, lanky and good-looking man. Abudu is looking nervous. Not because he’s afraid of being charged with disregarding the speed limit and also flouting orders to pull up. He’s nervous for a different reason, losing me to this young man. He knows after all that, as far as breaking the law is concerned, the payment of a sum of money, linked to the gravity of the offense, will enable him get away with it. He’s done it on several occasions, and is determined to do it again this time.

   “Do you know you realize how dangerous it is to over speed?”

   “Many innocent people get killed on our roads due to what some drivers always consider to be “circumstances” that force them to…”

   “Officer, you can see that the girl inside the car is moaning, as pain wrack her body. I was only trying to help by… ”

   “By your over-speeding? But you could equally have killed her by driving recklessly!”

   “Ok Officer I’m sorry.”

   “Sorry for what?”

   The back up arrives. Abudu calls one of them aside. In a geographic area where bribes and pay-offs are an accepted way to get things done, he tries to bribe him. This was an exceptionally bad day for him. These were not venal police officers. He therefore refuses to accept any bribe. One of them issues a ticket to him for being quite reckless of his and my safety.

 I’m now outside of the car. The off-duty police officer sees how I’m toiling to ease the pain wracking me. He tries to offer me a ride to the hospital. Abudu becomes fidgety. Sensing that I might not, after all get to the hospital in his own car, he says:

“Officer, don’t worry, I‘ll quickly fix my car and drive her to the hospital.

   “How would you do that in even two hours time? Look the girl is in real pain!”

   “If I’m not able to fix it soon, I’ll take a taxi.”

   “Stop dreaming about taking a taxi when I’m willing to drop her at the hospital at no cost.”

   To be continued…