Inspector Jumai is phenomenal at the Maryland Roundabout, Lagos. She is always seen during rush hours, treating motorists cheerfully while she controls traffic.
As a police traffic warden with meagre salary, one would have expected her to show some dissatisfaction while doing her duties, but she would always do her best under the sun or in the rain to keep traffic flowing at the ever-busy Maryland roundabout.
However, Tuesday September 10, was a turning point in Jumai’s life as she was rewarded with a special gift by the officer in charge of Lagos State Traffic, CSP Oriyomi Titilayo Oluwasanmi.
While Jumai was controlling traffic in her usual cheerful way, a police patrol van stopped abruptly and her superior, CSP Oluwasanmi, alighted, asked her to step aside and took over the control of the traffic. Jumai said she was scared whether her superior had come to register some displeasure on her incompetence.
Oluwasanmi after about two hours of controlling traffic called Jumai to come closer and shocked her by telling her that she had dedicated the day for her.
She said: “Inspector Jumai, my entourage and I have come to appreciate you. We decided to come at the peak of traffic, to give you respite so that you can have a little rest. I have been observing you since I took over as the State Traffic Officer. You have shown serious commitment in your duty. You have been seen every day looking cheerful under the rain and in the sun. You are so dedicated that motorists call daily to commend you.
“I have come with a small gift to show you that we in the traffic section, the Nigeria Police and good citizens of Nigeria loves you. You are a pride to the police. As you put smiles on people’s faces, may you continue to experience joy. You are a leading example, don’t bring us down. Keep on doing what you are doing. To whom much is given, much is expected.
“I have decided to bless you today with a token as a motivation to many others. I will also reward others who are doing the same thing you are doing.
I paid you a surprise visit, the same way, I will pay others who are doing good a visit. I know that one day, Nigerians who are speaking well of you will also show appreciation to you. My visit today is also to let you know that the members of the public are watching us. If you are not performing, they will equally notice you and still call me to complain.
“I also want to use this opportunity to warn those who are not ready to do the work to wait for the wrath of our workaholic Commissioner of Police, who you know that is an epitome of excellence. He has vowed to show lazy and corrupt officers way out of the service while he has promised to reward the good ones. In line with his philosophy of rewarding good officers who do their duties creditably well, I am rewarding Jumai”.
Jumai who was full of joy, said she was not expecting reward from her superior: “I am surprised with what madam is doing. I did not know that she was watching me. I was shocked when she asked me to step outside and took over the control of traffic. I thought she has come to reprimand me or teach me the perfect way of doing the job, but while she was doing the traffic control, I was saying that I used to do it the way she was doing it even though she was more professional. I was anxious to hear her. I was on top of the world when she started showering encomiums on me. I was just doing my job without expecting any reward from anybody, but I love my job and I love doing anything I am doing to the very best I can.
“I thank madam for appreciating me. It is not an easy thing to appreciate people. For appreciating me and telling me that the members of the public are also calling her to show appreciation, I will do more and be more dedicated. My advice to my colleagues is to know that the members of the public are watching them.