I was on my way from Jos to Abuja for an event with my headphone jamming to MI’s ‘You rapper should fix up your life’ when at a checkpoint this sun beaten dark in complexion Hausa soldier wielding his worn out AK-47 flagged us down.
The sun that day was like hell and it was as if I was the only one feeling the heat cause I was practically soaked in sweat and frantically fanning myself.
“Koi oga wetin dey my booth?” the soldier man with his dark sunshade that was almost covering his face hollered.
“Nothing Sir,” our driver replied, looking like a frightened kitten in an oversized jacket.
The soldier wasn’t convinced I think as he barked: “come down and open my booth my priend,” and our driver obediently jumped down, and hurriedly made for his trunk.
I peeked through the back windshield; seeing our driver shaking like someone who was beaten by rain and it got me thinking, “hope this man doesn’t have anything bad in this his trunk?”
He opened it and gave way for the soldier man, who looked into the trunk like he was searching for an explosive and then hissed: “close it back.”
That was a relief… at least we can now go, but it wasn’t actually… the soldier man came to my window and knocked, staring down at me with the kind of stare a predator would give to his prey:
“What is it?” I frowned at him. “I know my rights oga soldier.”
“I no wan come out abi?” He cocked his gun and I quickly opened the door with my headphone jamming to Tecno’s ‘Yawa’ but had not fully alighted when the voice of Tecno was suddenly replaced by a resounding slap… “kpaaa…”
“What just happened?” I checked myself.
There was this strange air around me and I could not turn a side of my face.
“This is strange… “
And even stranger when I could not hear anything anyone was saying for a round of minutes.
My vision became blurred that instant like there was a cloud of water before me:
“Aba! Oga soldier what is my offense?”
“Pull it,” He shouted, his voice having the same effect as his slap on my ear.
“What Sir?” I muttered silently almost bending to my knees.
“You no dey hear abi?” His brows shook dangerously and he swung his gun almost hitting me and then he grabbed me on the neckline of my polo.
“You know no wetin you wear abi?”
And then the realization hit me: it could be because of the camouflage shirt I was wearing.
“Haba Oga Soldier I never knew, na borrow I borrow am…”
As I am writing this now, I have not still recovered from that slap.
Please and please, someone should help me tell these soldiers that not everyone has the stamina to withstand their slaps.