Six families living in a four-bedroom flat,
Daddy is lucky to get the largest allocation:
‘the garage is his government accommodation.’
Each daddy and mommy each have four kids to boot –
Daddy wears a police uniform, not a suit.
Thirty-six faces going in and out of the same door,
what is the definition of toilet congestion or….
can’t we just make do in a nearby bush?
Two children from two different mommies,
looking alike, but claiming to have different daddies
is it just a coincidence that?
or there has been ‘a series or a sequence of’
one police daddy doing some extra time-off
while the other daddy is away on night-duty?
It is a hard life for daddy policeman
in this part of earth, where such are made to live in a can.
Government budget for police-gear: released,
but officer, ‘please come and buy your own uniform,’
to serve your fatherland in the heat of the sun,
buy your beret, belt and your boot,
or else you do your job barefoot,
To be a policeman, would I choose?
there’s nothing to gain, I got all to lose.
Daddy is sick but can’t take a leave,
Two days maximum for him to be healed or heal himself,
else whenever next he reports to work,
he’ll end up in that guard-room with a lock.
Daddy is a policeman and he’s in prison,
absence due to sickness is the reason,
and dismissal from service will be the cost,
when armed robbers visit his duty post.
Promotion list has been out three months ago,
Daddy went to check his name – ‘unofficial,’
if he ‘drops something,’ it becomes ‘official,’
else a faster bird might just catch his worm,
and all Daddy will do is to sit and morn.
Twelve years and counting, daddy is still on the same grade,
and daddy doesn’t sleep home at night,
coz he’s a policeman – on night duty.
“Na only Oga dey enjoy oh,”
no be new recruit wey no get liver,
Oga lives in Asokoro,
new recruit lives in a koro-koro
JJC might just become a duster,
used, abused, he’ll be forgotten in a corner,
where he’ll learn to survive, collecting twenty naira.
“Rain-fall from Heaven no dey reach ground oh,”
daddy is tired of his job, he has no choice,
to complain? to whom? he has no voice,
doom yourself and report police injustice.
Donkey years in service for fatherland’s cause,
daddy can’t even build his own house,
no staff bus, no car, only a motorcycle,
to get it on the road is so much a trouble,
so many ups and downs, can’t pay the bills,
from one debt into another for the kill,
his monthly salary evaporates into creditors hands,
and the pastor in his church still preaches prosperity,
daddy found nothing in the sky, he now looks at the sand.
No wonder, daddy won’t risk his life,
when armed robbers arrive, daddy runs away,
dismissal from service is worst, so let come what may,
coz if daddy loses his life while he fights,
no one will say daddy did anything right.
three-weeks, and fire-for-fire will drive mommy out,
out of government accommodation, she’s now on her own,
-who cares for a policeman who dies in the line of duty.
Soon, frustration begets anger,
daddy-lawkeeper has become a danger,
to the hapless civilians who fear anyone in uniform,
who harass every motorist who goes and comes.
But daddy really has to make two ends to meet,
so he demands 20 naira at night, over there on the street,
Twenty naira in 20 places is a lot of money,
in the morning, he gives some dividends to mommy.
“Na so life be oh, na so life be oh,
na so life be for daddy policeman,
how his pickin fit go school? fit know book?
when daddy dey collect 20-naira chua-chua,
with six people in a car, raining curses on daddy’s head,
and today is just the first day of this week-Monday,
five more days of curses: Tuesday to Saturday
and then daddy goes to church on Sunday to bind the devil,
From frying pan into the fire is his way of life.”
Daddy no fit buy school bag for junior,
mommy no fit buy school uniform for junior,
then principal go send junior back home:
“tell your father to come and pay your school-fees,”
then daddy go come dey prostrate for principal
“Abeg sir, allow my son to go to school,”
principal go look daddy from head to feet,
he says, “see yeye policeman
wey no fit train his child for school,”
daddy policeman just lost his respect.
Oga principal goes home and junior becomes a story.
But how daddy policeman fit train his child,
when money no dey for pocket?
push him to the wall, he’ll jump over,
daddy policeman soon becomes an “armed robber,”
– no sweat, he’s not new with the gun,
one evil plus one evil makes two evils,
na so life be oh, na so life be oh,
na so life be-oh for daddy policeman.
author: Tokunbo Ajewole, Oct25, 2008