Lagos Journalist Escapes One-Chance Robbery by a Whisker

“I was shaking badly and couldn’t believe what I had just escaped. I was narrating the experience to my colleagues today and they said I really did not know what God had done for me.”

These were the words of a Lagos-based journalist who narrowly escaped one-chance robbers in Opebi on Wednesday afternoon.

The journalist, who does not want to be named, told this news platform that she was going to Ojota, where she would board a vehicle to Ikorodu that Wednesday.

When she could not get a commercial tricycle that was heading to Ojota on time, she boarded a private car at the Opebi roundabout.

“The time was past 1 pm, and it was drizzling. I would usually board a keke from that point, but they were not going my way,” she said.

“After waiting for several minutes, I saw this car that stopped in front of me and called Ojota. In my mind, I was like, ‘Ojota is not far,’ and also, I had seen two women in there minus the driver. So, I entered. Mind you, as a personal rule, I do not enter private cars. Yesterday (Wednesday) was just an exception. Also, when I do enter one, I ensure I call at least one person who will know I am in a private car.

“When I wanted to step foot in, I saw something I thought was dog fur and stepped back. I looked again and saw it was the car carpet and then entered. As soon as I entered, this man said Ojota was N200. I said okay. He then asked if I was going to Ikorodu, and I said yes.”

The journalist said she confirmed that she was going to Ikorodu because she hated the stress of getting a bus from Ojota. Also, it would save her a lot of energy and time since she was running late for her meeting.

“He told me he would take me to Ikorodu for N1,000. I told him N700, and he agreed. Almost immediately, he requested for money. In my mind, I was like ‘we haven’t even got anywhere and you’re already demanding money’. Well, I told myself maybe he wanted to buy fuel. So, I was expecting him to alight to get it, but what followed was an argument I later realised was staged.

“I wanted to relax to call my sister that I was inside a private car when the woman sitting next to me said she wanted to alight. The driver stopped, and she said she had a bag in his boot.

“The man said he had dropped the bag belonging to one of the women in Maryland with another imaginary passenger they had carried before me.

“The woman asked the driver why he did such a thing. Later, he asked what was in the bag and the woman said bags and shoes. The man said she was lying as what she had in the bag was money.

“Immediately I heard this, my head went off. I had read dozens of stories on X about how people were robbed and kidnapped this way. The alarms in my head went off, and I reached for the car door.

She said she had initially opened the door so she could step down but she felt she might be overthinking and closed the door. However, when she noticed the driver stretching his hand towards the door, as if to lock the car, she promptly opened the car door and stepped out.

“As I stepped down from the car with speed, I stretched my hand to ask the man for my money, but he ignored me and zoomed off.”

We had reported the experiences of one-chance robbery victims several times. Months after her experience, Aisha, one of the victims whose stories were reported, still felt anxious and unsafe whenever she had to take a public bus.