This post is in no way meant to disrespect the hard working RPNGC commanders, I know personally or the men and women who serve with dedication and integrity every day.
It is a set of experiences that that unfolded as do many things in life – including Rambo type auxiliaries that need to be sacked and professional cops that need deserve the highest commendation.
So… still in Eastern Highlands, we had just reached to foot hills of Daulo Pass. For those who travel this route, you know there is always a ‘police’ roadblock the at foothills where the school is located.
It is always manned by a ragtag squad of elderly, partially uniformed auxiliary men. (Note I didn’t use the word police because they don’t deserve that name).
Anyway… let me vent.
So we come to the roadblock and always, they’re either drunk or looking to hitch a ride to Kundiawa or Goroka depending on where you are headed. This time they weren’t drunk.
For those who travel through, there’s always this one older guy with a beret who’s the active one.
He always has a story.
If you’re on the way to Goroka, he’ll tell you that there are no roadblocks up ahead and that the road is clear. If you’re travelling to Simbu, he’ll tell you that there’s a roadblock of some sort up ahead or that there are boys demanding money for clearing a landslip.
Point is, there is always a story about danger up ahead. I think he doesn’t like Simbus and he always wants to give them a bad name.
I’ve heard the stories countless times from the same guy. He just does not realize that he’s talking to me… the same guy every time we come through this checkpoint.
So this time, we come through and he stops us. Comes to the driver’s side and says in Tok Pisin… “Where are you headed?”
Well, Simbu first (obviously)… Then, Hagen, Mendi and Tari. IN THAT ORDER, I thought in my mind. But we just said Simbu so HE would understand, the poor guy.
He’s armed with a gas gun and says to us: “Can you take me up the road?”
We ask why and in so many words politely hinting for him to piss the hell off. He didn’t get the message so we asked him why he wanted to get on.
He says, quite dramatically, as if our lives depended on him… “There’s an armed roadblock up ahead and I want you to take me there.”
Us: “This is a company vehicle (We lied. It was a hire.). We can’t do that.”
And besides, we don’t want an auxiliary with a gas gun in our vehicle. We would prefer REAL cops with rifles IN THEIR OWN VEHICLE clearing the roadblock.
We didn’t tell him that.
Auxiliary guy goes on: “Oh… sorry… I wanted to hide in your vehicle and go and CLEAR the roadblock for you.”
It sounds all comical. But THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED on the 2nd of February, 2018 and Auxiliary Guy is NOT… I repeat… NOT a fictional character and I am not making this up.
So we finally, ditched Auxiliary guy… and headed for Simbu. The vehicle was quiet for a few minuets…
Then the laughter broke out.