DEATH BY WHISKERS - Weekly Security Dashboard for October 24 - 29, 2021
Mr Dickson is an epitome of hard work, who can tell the contours of almost all the roads in the neighbourhood from the tip of his fingers. The nature of his work keeps him virtually on the road. Coupled with his constant radiance, glow and unusual stamina, day & night were hardly distinct for him. He never missed a work call and he was always on time and ready to dash out when the need arose. Having engaged in this routine for almost a lifetime, it was unfathomable that he could ever be rattled.
Just like every other day, he woke up to the sweet chants of the birds and the glowing brightness that had just ushered in a new day. Feeding his obsession for designer wears; he quickly draped into a well-fitted Kaftan & dashed off for the day's duties. Despite being late for his appointment, the snarling traffic did little to alter his ever beaming smiles, until he met them.
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Looking more monstrous than even the beast, six daredevils of the underworld surrounded his car & instructed him to oblige their request. Boxed in-between standstill traffic and surrounded by armed men, whom poverty and unemployment may have deprived of human sympathy, he could only think of his young family and his journey's end in the mid-forties.
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However, as soon as those thoughts hit him, the hitherto traffic miraculously cleared. Applying the element of intuition, he matched the accelerator and managed to meander his way into escape by the whiskers.
In the same vein, Shehu Sani had narrated his ordeal of how he escaped from these daredevils armed men by hairs breath during a recent bomb attack on a train track.
However, while some have been fortunate enough to tell the narrative of how they escaped, others may not have lived to tell their stories or are still held as captives in different kidnappers’ dens.
During the reviewing month, a lady in Akure, Ondo State had her two children kidnapped as she briefly stepped out to open the gate.
Not done with the litany of woes encountered while commuting from one end to another within the country, some Corps members posted to Zamfara State who was ambushed and kidnapped by bandits, would also not forget their ordeal in the kidnappers' den in a hurry. Though, another prospective Corps member, one of the Benue State (BSU) graduates kidnapped on his way managed to escape by the whiskers on Sunday, October 24 to tell the tale.
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Commuting inter- or intra-state within Nigeria has become a case of either succumbing to death in the cruellest manner or a miraculous escape. In both scenarios, the harrowing experience leaves a traumatic, indelible mark on either the traveller or members of the traveller's family, who would stay glued to the phone for the announcement of safe arrival.
The daily horrific incidents of incessant attacks by bandits, herdsmen & gunmen or even the unapologetic death traps in the form of gullies and unmanned trail tracks witnessed on both road and rail transportation have had many either preferring to use the airports or keep meetings virtual.
Among those running to the airports are the elites with the wherewithal for the exorbitant fares and some middle-class citizens, whose shock absorbers have been weakened by the mere fact that they are Nigerians.
The above outcome has become a stretch on the airlines resulting in scheduled flights delayed for as long as six to seven hours, where a 4pm flight can unapologetically depart by as late as 11pm/12pm.
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Since, laws are seemingly existent only on papers, with no penalty for lackadaisical attitudes, intending passengers end up paying exorbitantly for uncertainty & risk of late trips which they erstwhile planned to avoid.
The interrelatedness of mayhem in commuting inter- or intra-state in Nigeria lately has completely removed the shine from road travels. This has also naturally had its toll on commerce and commercial activities. This has furthermore pauperized an already poor society where more than forty percent live below a dollar a day.