Checkpoint | Ope Olum’degun

It took longer to figure it out than the driver had to bring the bus to a full stop. The shortest of them, one of the others would later call him Mopol, approached with a limp. I shifted in my seat behind the driver as the headlights made out his innocent boyish face, which could well have broken into the dimpled smile of a selfless waiter. The other nine, once spread across the breath of the narrow bumpy highway, now swarmed in on the slowing bus. All were wearing black hats, well pressed khaki pants, healthy looking shoes and the very familiar POLICE emblazoned in neon across their bullet proof vests. And their guns were not Kalashnikovs. These definitely weren’t cops!

I emptied my pockets into a hole behind the driver’s seat. Someone yelled at the driver to turn off the headlights. Another threw a wad of cash into the dustbin hanging close to the door. The woman sitting next to me grabbed her two daughters and began a torrent of frantic whispering: “Jesus! Jesus!” But only the approaching men seemed to be answering. They moved in noiselessly – with just enough pep to suggest any urgency – MP5s swinging carelessly in their hands like bags of candy. Mopol stopped about five feet from the driver, brandished his gun and let off a few rounds.

Yes, no they weren’t cops.

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