Shotgun freindship

Omordia, Efe Alexandra – Researches and tabloid headlines tend to highlight our differences. We are constantly bombarded by theories as well as sensational claims that person A or community A are mismatched with Person B or Community B but in our sober and realistic moments, we would all admit that in the things that really matter, human beings are basically the same. How else can one describe the need by the majority to be part of a physical or on-line community?  To be part of groupings that range from the out rightly ridiculous to the absolutely essential.

Communities may be evolving and individuals in concrete jungles may seem as if they are getting more individualistic by the day but if one takes the time to peel of the layers and layers of indifference, one would find vulnerability beneath all the hardness and ambition and need I say cocaine. Beneath all that is the desperation this group of individuals possesses to be accepted by their peers. To love (albeit perversely) and be loved in return.

The sternest individuals are usually the most vulnerable and it doesn’t matter if they are dictator-like in their approach to governance like Samuel Doe of Liberia or Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria were as Heads of State in their respective countries in the sub-region or if they carry guns like the policemen on Nigerian roads. Beneath all that is a desire to be surrounded by robot-like friends that are programmed to be at their beck and call. While we are glad that dictatorial regimes are fast losing their grip on the sub-region, it is alarming to note that the Nigerian Police Force are not only tightening their grip but are also cocking their firearms till this day.  They are getting too close to the Nigerian populace for comfort if you ask me. It doesn’t matter what one does or does not do, anything from coming out on your porch to relax to a ride to the next town with passengers in your taxicab or bus can become life threatening. In major Nigerian cities, they have become a menace as they always want to be in the face of road transport operators. In some major highways one can find as many as a hundred security checkpoints and this could make a first-time visitor to Nigeria assume that there is a civil war in progress. At each of these checkpoints the bus or taxi driver is expected to part with some of his hard-earned cash.  There is usually cheerfulness on both sides as this illegal transaction is ongoing but on closer inspection one would notice a strain on the features of the driver as he glances nervously at the weapon being carried by the police personnel.  This should be expected as cases have been reported of drivers being sent off to the great beyond by a trigger happy cop who wasn’t pleased at being snubbed by his driver “friend”. Though the friendship is not on equal terms, the driver has little choice in the matter as his rights are not protected by the authorities so he continues suffering and smiling like the majority of the downtrodden have become quite adept at in societies such as these.