An audio recording of an unnamed woman’s recollection of a nervy escape from kidnappers in Lagos was sent to Safety Record Newspaper by a security expert. The exact date of the incident could not be ascertained, but there is a lesson for everyone. Excerpt.
Good morning, sisters.
I want to share my experience with you guys so you can also learn from it and be more careful. There is no doubt (that) times are hard; the rate of crime and robbery has increased to a very large extent. Yesterday, I left the house in the morning. I went to Census Market (in Surulere, Lagos) I, Wura and Lara. On leaving the market, I drove a bit. Kunle was calling me so I decided to clear off the road. Just after the bend, I cleared off, I put on my hazard light and I was trying to call Kunle.
A bike just came from behind, from nowhere and blocked me in front. And a man came down from the bike in mufti. He approached me, knocked on my window and said, “Madam, wind down. Why are you parked here? I am from the Nigerian Police.” And he was trying to show me an ID card. So, I just wound down calmly and I said, “Good morning, sir.” He didn’t say anything. He just said, “Can I see your driver’s license?”
When I was busy trying to get my driver’s license out, he ordered Wura to move to the backseat. He put his hand inside, opened the car door and entered the car. When he entered the car and sat down, he took a close look at me. When he looked at me, I turned around and looked at him. And something just told me, “ID, you are in trouble again; this is not the police.”
I noticed he had a gun. He put his hand in his pocket and brought out the gun. He pointed it at me and said, “Madam, start driving! Drive fast fast until I tell you to stop.” At that point, I knew he was either an armed robber or he was a kidnapper, and I was thinking a million and one things in my head. I started the car and I knew the road was free.
I didn’t want him to take me anywhere so I started fidgeting with the car like it won’t start. And then when I noticed there were cars coming behind me I started and zoomed off immediately. I crossed the road and blocked the road. Other cars started screaming, “Madam, what kind of driving is this?” “Pam! Pam! Pam!” they were horning. “Madam, leave the road! Leave the road.”
The man now told me, “Madam, what rubbish is this? Don’t you know you are on the road? Leave the road!”I said, “Oga, I am confused. I don’t even know how to drive. Maybe I should come down so that you can drive.” I removed my seatbelt and he put his gun back in his jeans and he said to me, “Madam, clear off the road.” I was still struggling and said, “Sir, please, I don’t know what to do.” Next thing he just looked at me and said, “God save you. Next time don’t try me again.”
He opened the car door, came down, walked towards his bike and came back again. In all of these, the bike man was waiting for him. I now noticed that the bike man had worn a cap and covered his face. He didn’t even turn around. The man came back to me and said, “I can’t let you go just like that. You have to give me money. I now said, “I don’t have money.” I opened my purse and brought out 300 naira. He collected it. At this point, cars behind had already started screaming, shouting; you know, there was a lot of traffic. And the guy just mounted the bike and zoomed off.
What am I saying in essence? Maybe by this morning we would have been looking for 100 million as ransom. God forbid, maybe he would have robbed me. But what can he possibly take from me – I was coming from the market.
I came back home, parked the car and I just knelt down and said, “Though it looks as if a lot is happening with me, I still give God thanks. I know that God is not done with me.” But in all of this testimony, I just want to say we should be careful. Be careful with the people that stop us on the road. It was after then that I started hearing a lot of people say that they have also had experiences lately in Surulere, in Aguda (Lagos) where people in mufti will just stop you and say they want to search your car or they will tell you that they are Nigerian Police (officers) and they are robbers in broad daylight. This happened by 11 o’clock yesterday morning.
You know, a colleague of mine was talking to me yesterday morning and said that’s how they stopped him and told him they wanted to search his car. And next thing, they brought out a gun from his car that he did not know where it came from, and they said to him that, “Look, he’s a criminal and he had a gun in his car.” They took him to the police station. That one was even staged by policemen. And they locked him up. He had to pay N900, 000 to bail himself from police custody for keeping a gun in his car, a gun he did not know where it came from.
Please, sisters, let’s be vigilant and very careful. God bless you all.
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