Anytime I see men in the armed forces carrying their weapons I always wondered so many things. Is it heavy ? Do they plan to use it? What does it feel like? Have they ever used it?
Yesterday, I woke up and was trying to plan what I’d do for the day. Errands? Chores? Then I got a call from my dad telling me that my stepmom was coming to Lagos for an appointment and I’d have to take her for it as the driver had some other errands to run before going back to Ibadan.
We met at the mall and hung out for a bit and decided to head for the appointment. She had a gentle police man accompanying her (she’s South African, isn’t very used to Nigerian Culture, lives in peaceful Ibadan and just wanted to feel safe). We arrived for the appointment in time but had to wait for her to finish up before heading home.
It was quite a long wait. The police man, Sergeant Femi was hanging around, quiet, so I decided to start a conversation to make things a bit less awkward…and to find out more about him. I asked about what he thinks about his position as a police officer, the Nigerian Police Force, the rankings etc. He was well spoken, answered calmly and told me he had a daughter, a baby girl and a bit more about his background. I asked if I could see his gun and he agreed.
He told me it was an AK47 and showed me around the butt, receiver, trigger, safety and so on. He showed how it was loaded (his gun was fully loaded with 30 bullets). He was very kind to share some safety ethics on handling the gun then handed it to me. It was quite heavy but not too heavy. To be very fair, I just wanted to hold it for the feeling hahaha! I asked him if I could take a picture with it and he was kind to help take the pictures.
I asked if he has ever had to use his gun and he expressed that most scenarios using it have been in defending a robbery situation. In that case, any accident would be called a “lawful homicide”.
One thing he shared though, was how he was hoping to have been at a higher rank after his twelve years of service with the Nigerian Police Force. It confirmed a thought I’ve always had that; maybe if our police officers were held with higher regards by the government, the Nigerian Police force will be more efficient than it currently is.
He shared his desire to pursue a master degree and I shared some tips on choosing a school, applying, getting a scholarship and so on. I cannot lie that it was exciting getting to know more about the Nigerian Police Force and seeing things from the perspective of a police officer.
A big appreciation to all members of the armed forces that put their lives on the line for our safety, however, I don’t think I would ever consider being a police officer.