Thursday, September 03, 2009

Policemen at the Barrier Part 2: House-Call from the Boys in Blue

Kotoka International Airport (KIA)

I seem to be having lots of run-ins with the "boys in blue" aka Ghana's finest aka Ghana Police Service. Our last encounter was at the airport 3 days ago when they supposedly caught me on a traffic violation. Much to their irritation, I refused to acknowledge I was in the wrong and argued with them for about 30 minutes. Of course, in the end one must obey The Law.

Anyway, two days ago, there was yet another interaction with the upholders of the law but luckily I was not home. My mother was just about to enjoy a lovely morning bath when she was told that 3 gentlemen from the Ghana Police Service had arrived looking to have a word. When I heard the story I had assumed that my belligerent encounters of late had been entered into their nifty database and they had used geographic information systems (GIS) and satellite-mapping to pin-point my location. Okay, maybe that is just my paranoia talking.

Anyway, my mother was a little concerned about the visit and since she was just about to step into the bath, asked the house-help to find out what the problem was.
The officers declared that they were the delightful public servants who had been at the neighbourhood barrier for the past 3 months and had served and protected the community from thieves. Alas, they were now on their way and so were bidding the 'hood farewell through house-calls. I wish I was there for that moment. Madonna's I'll Remember must have been playing in the background or some such song lamenting the sadness of a parting.

Through the house-help, my mother asked them to kindly hold on while she finished bathing. Fortunately for us, the boys in blue calculated:

Unnecessarily delays (UD) => are inversely proportional to the number of houses to visit (NHV) => which are also directly related to the volume of expressions of gratitude (EG) likely to be received. The equations can be simplified to:

UD =1/EG

Having done rapid mathematics, our visitors abandoned waiting and left abruptly in a huff.

Personally, I'm hardly shocked by the shameless house-call by law enforcement officers to guilt-trip individuals into providing gifts of gratitude for them doing their job. Not shocked but amused, disturbed and slightly saddened.


Denise said...

Hmm, and here I was worried that they would only harass people during the now seemingly routine road blocks that spring up in varying places every-night. The conversations that start with ' my sister' or 'my auntie' - that usually depends on where they figure their age is in comparison to mine - leaves me feeling not quite threatened, but yes, also very sad. Will try to remember your equation in future.

Abena said...

@Denise: scary to think that the search for gifts is now being extended to house-calls! That is so funny yet true about the conversations that start with 'my sister'/'my auntie'...
I'm beginning to think I'm going to start a police fund to prevent the constant quest for gifts.

posekyere said...

Lol. What do these people think they are? Volunteers?
Why should ordinary citizens be made to feel like we are obligated to reward our police officers for doing their jobs.
This is pure manipulation: another form of bribery.

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

hahaha...this is comfy house call. they really meant business...if mountain wouldn't go the Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.

novisi said...

i like the photo of the satellite! GIS in photography for real. Ghana police is sophisticated now more than ever!

B.O.N.T.I said...

LOl... wow house-calls dats a new one. looks lyk they are not getting much on the roads these days so they have started visiting..

@denise my favourite intro is when they say
" Something Small for your boys " lol!!!!

Faf said...

someone should have gone out there and said "mo, mo ayɛ adiɛ" and leave it at that.

i remember once last year at the Neoplan station I'd bought me some meat pie and a coke/malt.. cant be sure... but then had a sudden urge to use the toilets.

i obviously couled take my food in, so asked a dude sitting outside a stall to look after it for me. he started out by asking me for something.

i got so pissed off and started telling him off about people not doing anythnig and expecting a simple thank you. after about 15 seconds... he turned around and said he was only kidding.

of course things are a bit different if you've been caught breaking some sort of law then noko fioo could save your skin... but walking to your house and begging for alms should be met with pure contempt. as diplomatically as possible :p

Abena said...

@Posekyere: A form of bribery coming straight into the comfort of home!

@Nana F-A: That is precisely the expression I was trying to recall! Muhammed will go the mountain indeed.

@Novisi: Glad you like it! Once GPS uses and GPS, pigs will fly and will be mapped using GIS!

@Bonti: Maybe it is a new policy directive; if the roads are dry move to the homes??

@Faf:Hehehehe! So did you end up leaving the food with the guy near the toilets? I shudder to think about what he could have done to your food while you were away.

Faf said...

Oh I did leave the food with him and thanked him on my way out.

I'm still alive so I guess he didn't do anything to it. Plus I probably would have known because it was just a packet of biscuits and an unopened can of malt

Abena said...

Hehehehe! Faf, the least you know the better!

kekeli said...

Ithink the Ghana Police Service needs competition. Whats with the "give me,give me" mentality? And then they're surprised that nobody respects them. Who's joining me in setting up a "I-don't-beg-because-I-get-paid" police academy? lol

Abena said...

LOL, Kekeli, I absolutely love the sound of the academy!