You know how they often say that; “When it rains, it really pours”?
Its like I recently opened one of Pandora’s boxes, because I really don’t know how to explain the events of the past three weeks. Today makes it the second time I am narrowly escaping scammers, and the third time I am entering a “one chance” vehicle, all within the space of three weeks.
What’s new about that? You ask.
After all, I’m a Nigerian living in Nigeria. But then I thought that these sort of things were more rampant in places like Lagos and that Abuja is relatively safer.
I remember how I said I didn’t believe that such things happen in the FCT when my friend told me about how her bag was snatched from her at Berger, in broad daylight whilst she was waiting for a cab going to Kubwa. Before she could turn and shout “Ole” or even pursue the thief, he had dived into the little bush right behind the bus stop.
Wawu! It sounded so ……(insert appropriate adjective here)
Little did I know that I’d soon get what was coming to me.
Let me give y’all the load down of my last two experiences.
Three Fridays ago, I left Kubwa for Asokoro around 7:45pm. Usually, I’d have taken a cab, but a girl’s broke, and so to save the little money I didn’t even have in the first place, I entered a public cab heading towards Maraba, Nyanya. The plan was to alight at AYA, and then take a cab to Asokoro, thereby saving a thousand Naira or more in the process.
I was the first passenger to enter the vehicle, so I sat in front with the driver. I was joined by two other guys at the back.
It was a pretty smooth journey, up until one of the guys at the back told the driver that he wanted to get down.
“For here? You no dey go AYA again?” the driver asked.
“Na here I dey go” the guy snapped.
We were at the express, right after Katampe junction, between AA Rano Oil and Shema Oil filling stations. I looked out of the window, wondering why he would want to alight at that point, seeing as we had just passed the bus stop and there was no bus stop ahead. All I saw as I looked out of the window was bush.
“Hmmmm….dis one wey wan come down for dis kain deserted place, make e no be say na armed robber and hin gang dey wait to come attack us for here.” I mused.
“Ha ha! Para no ia! Solape! You sabi think bad bad thoughts sha!” I chided myself.
Ashey, ami ara lo n soro fun mi.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I had not quite finished formulating this conversation I was having with myself when this guy dived my phone and made away with it.
No, let me give you the details.
The guy, after alighting from the cab, came to my side of the window, leaned in and gave the driver a 500 naira note as his fare. While pretending to be waiting for his change, dude snatched the phone I was holding, crossed the kerb to the other side and disappeared into the bush.
Even as I shouted “Ole, Ole,Ole, thief, thief” and attempted to give him a run for it, I knew it was an effort in futility. It was a lonely road.
Now, I can’t say for sure if it was a planned attack between the driver and the guy, but the driver made no attempt to stop him or even drive off while he was struggling with me to get the phone. Neither did the other passenger.
Na so my phone take waka go so that day o.
When it rains, it really pours. Then just this morning, I went to pick up a parcel my mom sent to me from Lagos somewhere in Lugbe.
Again, girl is broke and money must be managed. If I hear you say “Ijebu girl”, I will just dehin mo e ni.
From Lugbe, I entered an along cab heading towards Wuse. There was a lady and two guys asides the driver when I entered the cab. Given my previous experience, I was paranoid and extra security conscious. My new phone was tucked securely in the pocket of the pant trouse I was wearing and I was basically enjoying the ride when suddenly, one of the guys told the driver to stop for him to get down.
We had just passed a bus stop.
“Ha ha! Se won se gbogbo yin ki e ma ma bole ni bus stop ni?” I thought to myself.
Na so this driver and hin passenger begin to dey act this drama o.
Driver: Abeg, na who get 100 naira change?
No one answered at first. Then I remembered I had two hundred naira notes in my bag, so I brought it out and gave it to the driver.
Passenger: Oya, come open your boot. I wan carry my bag.
Driver: Wait, na you get that bag? Ah! I don carry am give dose women wey come na. I think say na their own.
Guy: Eh! How you go carry my bag give dem na?
Driver: (shouting) Madam, I no go drop this man for here o. I go first go drop wuna for Wuse before I go drop this man. Federal government don tell us say if we carry person wey carry load, make we dey ask am wetin dey inside the bag. I ask dis man wen I carry am say wetin hin carry for bag, hin say na books and clothes.
As I chuck hand for inside hin bag when I drop those women wey I carry, na dollars I see inside hin bag.
Immediately I heard Dollars, ori mi ko laago. Different types of alarm bells began ringing in my head.
Ghen Ghen Ghen Ghen Ghen Ghen🎤🎤🎤**Insert nollywood danger tone**
Woman: Dollars, Kwa?
Driver: Na wetin full the bag be dat o.
Passenger 2: Say God! Oga where you see dat kain money?
Driver: Make we first commot for road. No be here we go stay dey ask am dat kain question.
Woman: Na true. Make we dey go police station
Me: (In my mind) Weyrey la won eleyii sha!
Passenger: Abeg, I go settle all of wuna…… ……
Then I noticed the driver trying to press the central lock, bi mo shey yara mi ni brain niyen o.
If you see the speed with which I ran out of the cab ehn, I swear Usain Bolt got nothing on me.
Woman: Aunty, why you dey run now? No be Wuse you say you dey go?
Me: Wuse Khoor, Dutse ni.
Driver: Leave am, leave am, leave am, na bad market.
Me:100 naira ….. ….. . …
I was gonna tell them to use my 100 naira to buy bottle water for the guy with the “bag full of dollars”, so that he’d stop hiccupping. But they zoomed off.
This happened at about sevenish this morning. Just imagine, laaro kutuu kutuu Monday, when everyone is heading out to work or to look for a job, this driver and his cohorts are out looking for gullible people to scam. Ki Olorun saanu🙏🙏
My darlings, You know what country you live in. Its December already, we are counting down to Christmas. Times are hard. This country is hard for loads of people. To make matters even worse, those elements who did not bother to hustle from January to November, are out looking for unsuspecting victim to rip of their hard-earned money. Please, I beg You🙏🙏. Don’t fall victim.
Avoid going out late at night, especially if you are going to use a public cab. Be extra security conscious and alert. Trust your instincts. Don’t dismiss any signs or red flags. It is better to be safe and tagged paranoid.
And most importantly, carry something for self-defense if you can. Ko oju o ma ri ibi, gbogbo ara bayii logun e. Desperate times call for desperate measures.