‘And here we are, 15 missed calls each and a royal summons to appear before you in record time.’ Maryam joked, as soon as I opened my front door to let them in.
‘Assalamu alaikum’ I said, smiling and embracing the two of them in a group hug. ‘You are welcome dear sisters. I’m sorry it sounded like a royal summons, but when things are this bad one has to act with the greatest urgency.’ I explained, leading them into the house.
‘Yes, but we can’t see anything here that remotely resembles an urgent situation.’ Asabe chipped in, the moment she took a seat in the parlour.
‘Most desperate situations aren’t written on the walls Asabe, you have to hear them to know they exist.’ I replied, walking towards the fridge to bring them something to drink. ‘I’m sure that by now you have all heard the new, incredible directive from the Nigeria police. I have been unable to think about anything else since I read it. And that was when I said to myself this isn’t the the time to agonise, what we need to do is to organise an appropriate response. We have to rise against this onset of evil.’ I said, handing each of them a glass of fruit juice.
‘What police directive are you talking about?’ Asabe asked, ‘I mean is there anything new apart from the usual “be extra vigilant during the festive season etc, etc, the police is your friend”?’
‘Indeed there is something new and also awful, and by the time you hear it, you’ll know that the police isn’t your friend anymore.’ I answered. Then looking over at Maryam I said, ‘You already know what I’m talking about I’m sure. You better let her know too.’ I directed, gesturing towards Asabe.
‘How will I know what you are talking about when you haven’t told me.’ Maryam protested.
‘But it’s all over the papers. In fact it was on social media since yesterday. And today the hard copies published it. How could you have missed it?’ I asked in despair.
‘Well, we have missed it obviously, so please tell us what this is all about and let’s judge for ourselves whether we want to continue believing the police is our friend or not.’ Asabe requested.
‘Ok, as hard as it is for me to say, the police have decreed that having sexual relations in a car, in a public place is not a crime. And whoever is harassed for doing such is encouraged to report to them for enforcement of his human rights. Additionally the only requirement for people to convert their vehicles to their bedrooms, in a public place, is not that they are legally married, no, the requirements are that they are 18 years of age or above, are doing it consensually, and are of the opposite sex.’ I narrated.
‘But surely you are not talking about the Nigeria police here. You must be quoting the Sheriff in a Las Vegas Police department. I mean it takes a town like that to decree an immorality of this magnitude.’ Maryam responded in disbelief.
‘Yes Bint, even in the US, I think respectable cities like New York or Washington cannot back an indecency of this nature. Maryam is right, it will take only a gambling and red lighted zone like Las Vegas to issue a directive like this.’ Asabe agreed.
‘Believe me sisters, I am talking about the Nigerian police here. Just read it yourself’ I offered, handing them the newspaper page where the story appeared. Read it and let’s decide here and now if we will sit idly by and let some nitwits-in-uniform decide the fate of our teeming generation of youths. I mean, it’s bad enough that young people are bombarded by this thing everywhere they turn, on TV, on their phones, laptops, ipads, in fact on all kind of modern gadgets, except for those who resolutely keep away. Must we now give them the licence to practice, by telling them its ok to do it in the car, you don’t need a house, or a hotel room. It’s ok without marriage because all you need is to be 18, it’s ok that you’re not even betrothed, all you need is for it be consensual and that no one is being forced. What kind of a world is the Nigeria police trying to push our children?’ I demanded.
‘Can you believe this?’ Maryam said, shaking her head and reading the story. ‘Is the Inspector-general even aware of this? I mean the man talking here is one Abayomi Shogunle, an ACP in charge of the Nigerian Police public complaints response unit, and he announced it on his Twitter page. Is he talking with the blessings of the IG? How can such a step with gargantuan moral repercussions be left to the discretion of an ordinary Assistant Commissioner of Police? What is the top hierarchy of the force doing that they will condone such a call to sin and immorality?’ Maryam exploded.
‘That’s the big question really and the man has the guts to say that whoever is “threatened with an arrest over this should please contact the police”. Is he for real? Where does this man come from? And what are his superiors doing that he can go to town with this and no one has heard a disclaimer or a denial from them?’ Asabe queried.
‘I’m glad you finally know why I called you here. Now I’ll tell you why we do not need to wait for the highest echelon of the police to react before we take action. It isn’t only our youths that are being handed a license to immorality, it is also their younger ones that will be exposed to such adult actions, in amusement parks and other public places, whenever they accidentally get near a car occupied by amorous adventurers. We have to act now.’ I declared.