Never in a million years would I have thought that’s I’d be a witness and victim of violence unleashed by public servants (custom officers to be exact)
It was on the 20th of February 2012, my day had started out so beautifully and later that evening some friends came over and we decided to go and visit another friend of ours in Utako. Myself, my 2 friends and a foreign exchange intern showed up at our friends house to have dinner and catch up on each others lives , I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my evening.
Dinner ended on a happy note and we made to leave. Our friend offered to escort us to the gate and we took our leave.
We stopped a cab just outside the estate and as we were negotiating tfare, some dude drove up behind us partially drunk and started yelling and screaming at the cab guy. The cab zoomed off wiv my friends and left me standing on the curb, then dropped off my friends and ran away, the man who had been yelling then faced me and my friends saying we weren’t meant to stand outside the gate of Custom Quarters (Barracks) we had no idea, we thought it was an estate.
He continued to yell and scream and then took hold of the friend we came to see threatening to lock him in the guard room. I was in shock and furious as some of my friends followed to plead with him ,before I could think, a security guard came towards me and started pushing me and a friend of mine and I screamed ‘Don’t touch me, why are u pushing me?’
The guy slapped me hard across the face, then took off his boot and slammed it into my eye. Immediately I became dizzy, my head started swimming. My friend tried to protect me from the beating but got beaten up too.
It was terrible, a lawyer driving by managed to stop the beating and all hell broke loose. I had started throwing up on the corner, my friend also injured, was crying and all I kept thinking about was my swollen eye.
After a lot of screaming I was taken home, to be treated. In the next morning people were running helter skelter to care for me and seek for some kind of justice for my misfortune and somehow we ended up at the police station to report the case. The police were ready to arrest the guy but the politics of the nigerian public service got in the way, apparently the drunkard that had stopped us was the PRO for customs and the person we were supposed to complain to, in order to save himself he claimed we were boko-haram terrorists and had started threatening the father of our friend whom we’d gone to visit because of course he was above him in rank and he didn’t want the matter to get to higher authorities .Despite all my attempts, my attacker went free and I was left to nurse a swollen and sore eye for three and a half weeks.
The Nigerian public service isn’t here to protect us in this country they’re here to bully us, force us to bribe them and beat us as they deem fit, God help us all.
(Excuse my poor telling of the tale, I hate writing narratives, *shrug*)
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