‘DPO dey come’

The traffic gridlock in Lagos has been horrifying for some days, especially since the resumption of school activities and the state government has been trying to manage the situation to the best of its abilities. Thus, more traffic control officers, especially officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the police, have therefore been drafted to places generally identified as the blackspots.

But during the week, one of the police officers drafted to manage traffic at the U-Turn Junction area of Agbe Road in Agbado, a female police officer, perhaps, didn’t see what was coming her way after she opted to take a quick break in the shade of a closed shop away from the scotching sun.

I was actually drawn by the unusual gridlock on the road and my news-gathering sense seemed to have pushed me to the junction, even if it meant I had to trek all the way from Ahmadiyya. I had barely spent two minutes at the spot, as I desperately looked around for anything that could be worth reporting, when I noticed the policewoman, clad in her blue and black uniform, leaning on the pillar of a shop close by, as the traffic she was meant to control threatened to build up the more.

She looked tired as she was not even moved by the traffic already building up. It is not clear how long she had run away from the sun and remained in that position, neither was it certain if she ever had any plan to step back into the sun. She was however jolted from her little comfort when a police van drove by from an  opposite junction. “Go back to ya post, go back to ya post, DPO dey come”, was what bellowed out from one of the occupants of the van.

The female law enforcement agent, who appeared confused at first, dashed across the street to the busy road and almost immediately began directing vehicles to pass or stop.

Truly, few minutes later, another police van drove by, with one of the officers inside having the appearance of a high-ranking police officer. “This must be the DPO”, I mused.

After what first looked like a moment of respite for the bemused woman, the van having the DPO came back with the high-ranking officer stepping down elegantly and engaging the female officer in a chat for a while.

Inasmuch as I would love to know what transpired between the two officers, the woman, who all along looked perplexed and unsettled, was eventually taken away in the back compartment of the van. I couldn’t help noticing a loud scowl on her face as the van drove by.

Perhaps the DPO was not going to be fooled into thinking the woman had actually been  working in the sun, as she appeared too ‘tidy’ to indicate she had been doing so; she had  no single drop of sweat on her brows or clothes. But what the duo discussed and where exactly they were taking her, I guess, I’ll never know.