Days like this…………..
I am sitting down in front of my PC wearing a T-Shirt that is most inappropriate for my mood this morning (I am wearing a Nigeria Rocks T-Shirt). Before you start wondering what I am talking about, I had a near terrible experience yesterday. Before I narrate that experience, it will be good to go with me on a journey to my past encounters with hoodlums in Lagos.
Last year around June, I was coming from the office on a Saturday and my phone (A small Phillips) was stolen in a bus. I got the line back sometimes in July and exactly a week after getting a new Nokia phone; I closed late (8.20 p.m) and I was robbed by a gang of three. My office then was in Anthony Oke, near TREM, I was devastated because they used force and showed me a gun, they even got some blood from my mouth and my shoe was spoilt as a result of the initial struggle I had before seeing the gun.
That day, I hated Nigeria so much and wondered why I was still in the country at that moment.
In April of this year, I had another stint with the big boys. I was coming from a friend’s birthday and left the place late (7.30 p.m) because it was a reunion of sort where I met friends from the past. I waited for bus for a long time and eventually the one I saw was going to Oshodi Express. I stay in Ilupeju and it was natural for me to enter the bus, what I did not know was that Oshodi Express will take me to almost opposite NAFDAC office, a very dangerous spot at night.
As soon as I crossed to the other side, I sensed I was being followed. I was gently asked to remain calm or face the consequences. I did not struggle and really cooperated with them and this got them so happy with me that they said I can take my laptop, digital camera and phone; I should just give them the money on me. I gave them 1,000 and they wanted to change their mind about my gentleman nature, so I gave them 4,500 that was with me and they said it was enough to pay for my life (Na wa o), they even told me that I should organise a thanksgiving ceremony when I reach home because as they told me, they kill a lot of their victims (uhnnnnnnn)! After this incidence, I started asking myself if this is a country worth staying, I canâ€™t even go to complain to the police.
Now to the present. I got off my staff bus at around 7.45 p.m yesterday and crossed the pedestrian bridge at Palmgrove. I was about to take a bike when a rough looking idiot accused me of stepping on him. I was stunned as the guy actually stepped on me and not the other way round. He moved close to me and asked if I wanted to fight him, I was stunned and could just manage to tell him that I saw no reason for doing that. I eventually climbed an Okada and as we moved, I noticed that one of my phones was gone! Again! And the phone is barely 1 month old, plus the fact that it is beautiful and contains a sim card that is not the usual type.
I told the Okada man to turn back and as we approached Palmgrove, we saw the guy chasing us on another bike. We stopped and he came to return the phone back. He said I should take my phone back and he was looking very sober. He then begged me to give him anything; I gave him 200 naira and he said more blessings! Men, I got home and I was like – why? I am luckier this time around but that does not erase the fact that these are bad times in Lagos. Money rituals, one chance, phone thieves, armed robbers, police, area boysâ€¦â€¦ the list is endless. It is now insensible to move at night in Lagos and if you know Palmgrove well enough, you will agree with me that it is supposed to be a safe place at 7.45 p.m.
I am scared and emotionally hurt, but that will not stop me from believing in Nigeria, despite all these distractions and pains; I know that we still have hope and that E go better! I just pray that God should shield me from these occurrences. NIGERIA ROCKS!