Posted by By Tony Erhariefe on
When Mr. Felix Uduh left his Festac Town, Lagos home on the night of December 22, 2004 for work at the DHL Corporate Head office, he was full of hopes for a safe passage to Abuja and a happy Christmas season.
When Mr. Felix Uduh left his Festac Town, Lagos home on the night of December 22, 2004 for work at the DHL Corporate Head office, he was full of hopes for a safe passage to Abuja and a happy Christmas season. But little did he know that he was about to fall into the hands of bandits and there new gambit popularly known as one chance or catch in the air.
According to the Transport Manager of Spread Out Cargo Nigeria Ltd, a cargo/freight company, he had no premonition whatsoever he was about to come face to face with armed robbers: "I was looking forward to a peaceful journey to Abuja. I had always heard about one chance but I often treated it with levity. Little did I know that it was my turn."
His ordeal began after he boarded a bus at the Festac Town first gate: "It was a 14 sitter bus. I had no idea that they were armed robbers because there were women also in the bus."
As they ascended the Mile 2 bridge and entered Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, their captors swung into action in what Felix described as Mafia style: "In a flash, the guy at the extreme position behind the driver made as though he wanted to get down so the driver hit the brakes bringing the bus to a halt. Mechanically, we all made way for him to get down but to our astonishment, as soon as he got to the door, he whipped a pistol out of his wind breaker and screamed: "WE ARE SECURITY OPERATIVES, YOU ARE ALL UNDER ARREST! It was like a movie," Says Felix. "The only problem is that I was starring in it and there were no film trick. One false move and I could lose my life! One of the ladies behind me tried to scream and got a whacking behind the head from one of the hoodlums who sat beside her, she collapsed in fright pleading blood of Jesus! A third, sitting on the last row waved a pistol menacingly over all of us. They had completely hijacked the bus."
While all looked calm from the outside as the bus sped down the expressway, the robbers perfected their dastardly act. They proceeded to rob them blind.
As they were cleaning out the second row, a man suddenly screamed and they pounced on him for refusing to part with N20,000, a loan he had just collected. Another lady on the last row began to scream: " There was commotion. I feared they would take lives if they could not get their way."
As if on cue, the driver gave the instruction that any body failing to comply should be killed!
That was all he needed to swing into action: "I screamed at the top of my voice and waved my hands, I pleaded and preached to them (passengers) that we must co-operate with this people or risk losing our lives. I told them to thank God that they were not ritualists. I pleaded with them to give them (armed robbers) whatever they demanded."
However despite his statement, he wept in his heart, he had lost all his contacts on his SIM card and he knew that it was unheard of that armed robbers returned SIM cards. It was then the unexpected happened: "Suddenly, at Sanya bus stop, on Apapa – Oshodi Expressway, they stopped and ordered us to come down. Their leader gave me a pat on the shoulder and smiled at me saying Na better man be this, na you make our work easy, take your SIM card back."
I couldn’t believe it, they actually gave me back my SIM card. Though they took my N15,000. I remain very grateful to them."
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