Akinbiyi Gbolahan, a software engineer, has told the story of how he escaped from ‘one chance’ bus criminals.
The man who had an encounter with ‘one chance’ bus criminals, said he has yet to get over the traumatic encounter which happened on Saturday, June 11, 2022.
He was still soaked in the experience when he spoke with The PUNCH correspondent.
He explained that the day was work-filled and he was stressed, adding that he left his office located at Ikeja, Lagos, at 11 pm that day.
Akinbiyi stated, “Regularly, a colleague of mine drops me off at Fadeyi Bus stop whenever we close late at work. Then he drives to Jibowu to link Yaba using the Jibowu under bridge and on my part, I take a bus or cab heading to Ojuelegba where I reside.
“That day, we got to Fadeyi at about 11.27 pm. I alighted and my colleague left. Like I used to do, I stood by the roadside to get a bus but for the next 15 to 20 minutes, I could not get any bus, only private vehicles who would not pick up a stranger at that time of the night.”
Gbolahan noted that it was his usual route so he was not scared because he had taken buses along that route many times.
He added that he was becoming restless when a minibus approached and he felt relieved, unaware that it was a ‘one chance’ bus.
He said, “I didn’t suspect anything or who the passengers were. A passenger alighted and the bus driver shouted “Ojuelegba.” I didn’t know that it was a ploy. He asked me to enter with my exact fare but I told him I had N1, 000. He still told me to enter. I was not suspicious especially as a woman was the passenger who alighted and another lady sat beside the driver at the front, scrolling her phone.’’
He narrated that apart from the lady who sat beside the driver, there were two other passengers who sat in the last row. Gbolahan said that he entered gently with his bag pack behind his back since he envisaged that he would alight in a few minutes.
He stated, “Those familiar with the Jibowu Bridge linking Fadeyi and Ojuelegba will know that one cannot spend five minutes on a minibus especially as the road is always free at such a period.
“I sat on the empty first row close to the entrance because I envisaged that I would soon alight. Then, one of the men at the back row told me to move in a bit because he would soon alight. The bus was close to where he described as his bus stop and I moved inside at the front row. As I did that, the driver requested my fare. I opened my purse and handed him a N1000 note and he gave me N900 balance. I kept the money.’’
He further narrated that as he rested his back to settle in, the other man who moved from the back rested a pistol gently beside him and ordered him to drop his purse. He told Saturday PUNCH that he did without hesitation as it would be foolhardy to confirm if the gun was loaded or not.
According to him, since he speaks Hausa, he pleaded with him in Hausa which probably confused him.
Adebiyi added, “At that moment, the man told the driver in Yoruba that they should allow me to go. As he spoke with the driver, I summoned courage and pushed him away. I jumped out of the bus and my trousers got torn. I sustained injuries. I thought of the N423, 000 laptop I bought barely three months earlier and my phone which contained some important office files.
“After jumping out, I ran towards Fadeyi till I got to Jibowu Underbridge. I took the middle of houses until I got to the rail line linking Yaba and Oshodi while I maneuvered my ways till I got to the underbridge of the road leading to Ojuelegba. I trekked and walked as fast as I could because I felt they were still around because it was the axis they were headed.”
Gbolahan stated that when he finally got home, he realised that his phone had been broken, his laptop scratched and his left leg was wounded.
He said that the impact at which he jumped out of the bus was obviously responsible. “It was a sad experience,” he told our correspondent.