Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
I am on record for emphasizing I have no objection to law enforcement officials establishing securing provided personal problems are excluded from the duty.
I reiterated that position earlier this afternoon at a security check point.
Security operatives understood.
We cooperated to make each other’s job easier.
Theirs was to ensure I carried no arms or explosive materials.
Mine was to proceed on my business without having a high blood pressure!!!
The officials were cordial and alert.
My dressing – Hijab and Niqab – was a concern.
In order to reassure the official I was on a genuine mission, I suggested I could call the individual I was meeting on appointment.
I showed my purse and cell phone.
I promptly remembered I should not get too close as I could be a suicide bomber!!!
I was asked to remove my Niqab.
The bomb you seek is not on my face.
If there is a bomb, it is not on my face.
The official allowed me to proceed to the next check point.
Along the way, an officer inquired:
Who are you with your face covered?
Umm Sulaim, was my reply – a sort of tongue-out-at-you response!!!
I think the officer was wondering aloud. I doubt a response from me was intended.
Never mind perceptions of the Niqab, I have identified myself as a human being whose name is Umm Sulaim!!!
At each point, I was asked questions and I provided answers.
At the final stop, someone of a particular ethnicity insisted on dragging me back.
Give me two minutes, was the repeated explanation.
As soon as it was obvious I was being taken to the exit, I halted and moved forward no further.
Why are you dragging me around as if I am a tramp?
Eventually, the person I had gone to visit picked my call and I made a u-turn, with the difficult individual accompanying.
A female staff was asked to frisk me, which is what should have happened instead of taking me back to the gate.
Even if I had passed 100 security checks and one still wishes to affirm my security clearance, all that is needed is to have a female security operative present search me.
In any case, I had a rewarding interaction with the hierarchy, one of whom identified as Hausa-Fulani.
I am still in shock.
In fact, I stopped short of questioning its veracity.
Well, it is a pleasure to associate with Hausa-Fulanis who think.
There are Nigerians who understand that power is not to be abused.
There is an egregious gap between respect for the views of others and respect for only own opinions.
I completed my meeting and departed for another high security centre.
All was well until an individual of the same ethnicity accosted a staff to protest my presence.
Despite reassurance of my patronage, he insisted on asking the lady whether she knows me.
Say: Yes, I encouraged her.
I love this nation.
As shameless as he was, he walked away and I advised the lady to do her best to identify me should “they” send someone to impersonate me.
She later approached me with her details and I gave her mine.
Yes, she is a Christian.
And, yes, he is a Muslim.
Today is the first day of my interacting with the woman, yet her confidence in me was such that she put herself on the line to protect me.