The celebrated Lagos police officer, Assistant Police Superintendent Sunday Erhabor, recounted some of his many encounters with cheerful members of the public, including how a woman slapped him in the presence of her husband while he was on duty.
The 53-year-old police officer recently became a sensation on social media due to his professional behavior and restraint when he was attacked on Saturday by traffic offender Victor Ebhomenyen in the Oniru area of Lagos.
In an exclusive interview with PUNCH, Erhabor, who joined the Nigerian police in 1992, recalled some of his worst days on duty.
Erhabor said, “I can’t remember everything, but there have been many such days. One thing happened while I was at Festac. We were on a skeletal duty of stopping and searching along the Okota road. I stopped the car, and the woman and her husband were sitting in the front seats. Then the woman came down and shouted, ‘Why are you stopping us?’ Then the next thing was that she slapped me in the face.
I was silent and approached the man and asked him, ‘Are you the husband of that woman?’ He said, “Yes.” Then I said, ‘The way this woman slapped me, I’m going to want her to slap you too if you’re actually a man.’
“It was just one of those meetings. I faced a lot of humiliating situations, but I always kept calm and did not unleash strength against such people. As a public servant, one has to face different situations, especially when you are on the field. “
Speaking about Saturday’s incident, a police officer, who was armed with an AK-47 rifle when he was attacked by Ebhomenyen, said he knew something was wrong with the civilian.
Erhabor recalled: “I was in the car when I blocked the guy. It even flashed to me to get out of the way. I asked him, ‘Sir, do you know you are on’ one way ‘?’ He answered and said, ‘And then? Is that why you’re blocking me? ‘From that moment on I knew it would cause trouble.
“My boys got out of our vehicle, but I told them to withdraw immediately because something was wrong with the man. The next thing was that the man angrily opened the door and pushed me to get out of his way. He said, ‘Did you forget #EndSARS?’ And I was surprised. So I told my guys to see the man. I also told them that no one should touch a man because something is wrong with him and he should not let him die in our hands. ”
Some Nigerians on Facebook raised over N700,000 as a gift to Erhabor for his professional behavior in the attack.
The governor of the state of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also greeted the police officer, while urging his colleagues to imitate his virtues.