Two days later, as I was driving home, tired and exhausted, a traffic cop signaled me to halt. Once I stopped, he immediately turned into a beggar. It was really annoying to listen to him muttering. This time, however, I was not as agitated as I was last time, so I reached out to the drawer to give him some money, and in return, he gave me a salute–a gesture of respect– as if I were his superior!!!!!!!!! Authority of law should not respect money in that brutal manner. This remembers me the Somali adage, though in different context, which says: “ Muxuu nasabadda(dawladnimada) ka fogaaday”!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One more time, this time it was much more vexatious. a traffic cop, corpulent and tall , blew a whistle. But the question is to whom? There were so many cars around, and I think, whistle blowing is obsolete method that disappeared in the world long time ago. Apparently, it was me whom he meant and I came to a holt. I could not imagine what he would say to me. To my astonishment, he asked me for car documents. I handed all documents straightforwardly to him and it looked presumably as if though he would had been happier if I decline to show the documents. Having seen that nothing is wrong with my car, he smiled, but again, ironically, asked me for some money mumbling…. as usual.
Uncertainty is the hell that human can’t bear. Dear reader, shall I stop next time if they tell me to do so? I wonder what they would do : shall they ask for a lift, or money, or documents? Human beings endeavor to eliminate unpredictability elements in their life. The only horror that we can’t deal with. Unpredictable factors that influence our life but lie outside our control are so many and formidable.
That is why we–human race– are weak, and Allah is great. For example, you never know when, how and where you would die (the biggest unpredictability). On the other hand, the smallest unpredictability like for example, unreliable internet we are having in Hargeisa—you never know when NET ceases to work– as well as the biggest uncertainty as to where and when you would die is threat to human life in different degree. However, let me not digress far from the topic.
In general perspective, what is wrong with the traffic police unit is microcosm of our larger picture. The harder part is rehabilitation (values and discipline), the easier part is provision of good salaries and the necessary training, tools and equipments; for example in the case of traffic unit, giving them special cars and proper training that would enable them to patrol roads better.
Albeit, There are two things that without them, nothing can be done to the core problem we are having in all areas of life; that is, awareness or getting to know the essence of the problem by our policy makers. The other thing is political will; that is, determination and commitment from the part of the authority.
In nutshell, awareness, political will, rehabilitation and mobilization of necessary resources for any area –not only traffic police unit –are the four elements required for putting things back to their normalcy. Two are non monetary issues while the other two are pecuniary or money related matter. Which do you think is the harder part? You may rush to say the money part is, but believe me, Dear reader, the non-money part is much harder!!!
By Abdi Ali Jama
Professor at Hargeisa University
Posted by Sa'ad Ibrahim (Hargeisa)