Weekly Trust: You were recently given a National Award. How did that make you feel?
Corporal Solomon Dauda: Very happy. More so because that the Inspector-General said I would be promoted to the rank of Inspector.
WT: Have you received any award before this?
Corporal Dauda: Yes, about nine.
WT: When did you become a traffic policeman?
Corporal Dauda: I joined the police in 2003, the same year I came to Abuja. I spent about two years attached to a patrol unit before becoming a traffic policeman. I knew a Constable who was already there and asked him to mentor me. I asked him specifically how they manage to control vehicles from all sides with just their hands and he taught me how to do the work practically.
Gradually, when I began to learn, I noticed that people enjoyed it. Motorists made comments like, ‘you are really good at your work,’ and some people even gave me gifts.
WT: What was childhood like?
Corporal Dauda: I’m from Gombe State and lived there with my parents while growing up. My parents were farmers, although my father is late now. My dream then was to become a soldier. When I rounded-off secondary school education, I became a mechanic because I was good with cars. This lasted for several years then I applied to the army as a recruit, but I was not successful. That was how I became involved with a number of people in the business of importing fabrics from Cameroon to sell in Nigeria. It was in 2003 that I decided to apply for the police force and passed the test. It was in 2011 that I was promoted to the rank of Corporal.
WT: You were given an MON for entertaining Abuja commuters with your gesticulations. Has the flat promised been given to you yet?
Corporal Dauda: Not yet.
WT: What do you intend to do with the flat?
Corporal Dauda: I would live in it with my family. There is no gain for me in selling it.
WT: How inspires you to do your work with so much passion?
Corporal Dauda: To me this work is simple, although some people see it as a stressful occupation. But being someone that lived in the village, to me this is easy work. There was a time even my colleagues laughed at me when I directed traffic in the rain and they said I was taking the job as though it belongs to my father. You know, when I was in the village I knew what hardship was, because I experienced it.
WT: What has happened to you in the line of duty that you would never forget?
Corporal Dauda: Sometimes motorists come at great speed as though they intend to sweep one off. There was a day a motorist became aggressive and drove off with me while I held unto his bonnet tightly from airport road to Area One. He swerved here and there, in an attempt to throw me off. This lasted for quite some time, but at Area One he was apprehended and taken to CID.