I’ve never really had an encounter with armed robbers… Seriously, I don’t wish to have one. The first experience I would have gotten with them was when they robbed my neighbourhood while I was in my final year in school. Over forty of them, armed and brutal, came. People who had no money or valuables to give them were seriously injured. Luckily for me, I was on a 3 days evangelical trip with my fellowship. I escaped, with them leaving my abode untouched (God knows I would have been beaten mercilessly, because I had no money on me).
My second encounter was still same final year in school. This time I was at home, but I was fast asleep: I’ve had some sleepless nights in some series of rehearsals and events in school; hence I was deeply sleeping till the robber cut my window net and picked my phone. (Well, the window had no burglary proof) But luckily for me the robber only took my two phones and left my two SIM cards. I was grateful! I never thought a robber could be so merciful. I thought he may probably be a black Robin Hood who only robbed me to feed some poorer folks. People even said it was a miracle!
Just few days ago, a colleague of mine at work was robbed, and his own was much more dramatic. The robbers pretended to be commercial bus operators and he got on their bus. Of all the passengers in the bus, only two of them were not in the robbery gang. Huge sum of money was taken from him, including his phone. His other victim was not that lucky, they only got a phone and they beat the hell out of him.
The following day, my colleague, in dare need of some numbers on his SIM decided to call his phone line. Strangely, the robbers picked. “Please I need some numbers on the phone. Kindly give me the SIM” He dared. “… Well, you are lucky, my wife advised me to drop the phone for you because we took a lot of money from you. Come and pick your phone at ***” Would you believe that he went to the exact location and got his phone? They just dropped it somewhere and told him the place, warning him that if he didn’t get there on time it was his own luck.
Now some of you may think his phone might be a very old phone, but I’m telling you the truth-the phone is not a bad one. It’s the kind of phone that you can take to the market and still sell for the amount of some new “old school phones.”
It got me thinking, could this be the result of unemployment? With the recent ban of okada (commercial motor cycle) riders from major highways in Lagos, I find it easier to think those robbers might just be some grown desperate men trying to feed their families. While not condoning what they are doing, I use this medium to state that if our governments formulate policies without creating alternative to cater for the adverse effect on the masses, we should expect nothing less. The only problem is that they have high security; they will not experience the kind of incidence my colleague experienced. I also use this medium to tell you to watch out, Christmas is just around the corner, and some people might do extreme things just to enjoy their Christmas. “Watch out for strange movements around your neighbourhood, and look before you leap into any commercial vehicle!”
May God protect us.