Popular television sitcom, Professor Johnbull, sponsored by telecommunications company, Globacom, has focused on the attitude of uniformed workers who intimidate drivers when asked to pay agreed fares in commercial vehicles.
The sitcom charges security agencies and paramilitary authorities to educate their personnel on acceptable civil conduct while in public transport as their uniform should not exempt them from paying agreed bus fares.
“Rather than pay like every other commuter, the men in uniform, including private security guards, show off their uniforms and ranks to the drivers and simply respond, “Staff” (in the South-West) and “Award” (in the Eastern parts)”,Globacom noted in the episode entitled Staff and Award.
While condemning the trend, the company said it was a social malady that should be condemned by well-meaning Nigerians.
Law and social order almost break down when Samson (Ogus Baba) and Professor Johnbull’s new household member, Jeroboam, a.k.a. Boam (Osita Iheme), claim Award in a commercial vehicle where a Forest Guard and a security guard, had earlier claimed to be Staff.
The driver and his conductor who were miffed by the development decide to abduct and illegally detain them until the fares were paid.
While Boam manages to escape, the conscience of the sitcom, Professor Johnbull (Kanayo O. Kanayo) intervenes to secure the release of the other uniformed personnel.
The episode goes a step further by inviting a senior police officer to shed light on the Staff and Award syndrome. The officer declares that the trend is illegal saying that anyone in uniform who refuses to pay for any service he or she has enjoyed should be viewed as a lawbreaker.
The officer subsequently alerts the populace that the Lagos Police Command recently issued a public statement banning its personnel from refusing to pay when they board public transport.
Staff and Award also exposes Abadnego (Martins Nebo) who has a love proposition for Elizabeth (Queen Nwokoye), Professor Johnbull’s daughter, who wastes no time in flaying Abadnego’s audacity which she threatens to report to her father, the erudite scholar.
The episode is scheduled for 8.30 p.m. on Tuesday on NTA Network, NTA International on DSTV Chanel 251 and NTA on StarTimes, with a repeat broadcast on Friday at 8.30 p.m. on the same channels.