I went to Lagos on November 10, 2014 for an interview. I was to leave Lagos on the 13th of November, 2014 back to Abuja. Lagos to Abuja, being a distant journey, I left my place of stay very early that fateful day.
Arriving under the bridge at Jibowu, I alighted from the ?yellow painted danfo bus?. I am not very familiar with Lagos area, so being in dilemma, I stood upright for a short moment, looking on the wooden curved square boxes placed on the top of buses to see the bus company of my interest. I actually had ?The Young Shall Grow Motors Ltd.? or ?Ifesinachi Mass Transit (IMT) in mind.
Suddenly, I saw a group of boys which quickly surrounded me. They are using all kinds of foul languages and slangs. One quickly placed his hand in my pocket.
Thank God I did not have any money there and my mobile phone is firmly held in my hand. I later noted the group to be touts (agberos). Those guys are interested in making passengers enter a particular bus against their wish or choice, especially a bus that is want of passengers.
But I was astounded that a company like ?Teile Express Motors Nig. Ltd.? could be involved in such heinous crime. Teile Express Motors Nig. Ltd. set up those agberos to drag people and their luggage. They force, push, humiliate, suppress, terrify, threaten and even rob the passengers.
To them (i.e. the touts), it is either you enter that very particular bus by force or they must rob you of your phone, money or any other belongings. They might end up beating and injuring you. You have no choice. You either choose one. Yet, the manager of that station pretends not to be aware of what is happening.
Where now dwells the fundamental rights of Nigerian in our constitution?
Right to life
Right to dignity of human persons
Right to personal liberty
Right to movement
Right to freedom of thought and conscience etc.eile Express Motors Nig. Ltd. deprived me and other passengers of all these rights.
This is the condition I found myself in Lagos. But, surprisingly, police officers, military personnel and men and women (both civil and business people) will just be by-passing without any of them coming to your aid and rescue. If you like, shout down heaven, you are on your own.
It is either you win them or they win you. But how can a single individual prevail over such a number of touts?
Now, I have come to understand that ?Teile Express Motors Nig. Ltd.? do collude with touts (agberos) to be perpetrating evil and crime in the city of Lagos and nobody is speaking out.
Out of 15 passengers except three that filled the bus, the others were cajoled into the bus against their wish. My laptop?s hand bag was torn. Others belongings got spoilt. Some aged women (mothers) were injured and gripped with fear; wish I believe must increase anxiety and HBP in some.
Everything I have said here is nothing but the truth. If you demand for the bus manifest for that day (13/11/14) where every passenger?s data were entered before the voyage and ask the passengers to tell their ordeals, you will hear exactly or even more of all I have said here.
In essence, you may persuade and convince people about your business. Give them cogent reasons why you are the best and why they should patronize you, but not to terrify, threaten and force them against their wish.
All these events happened in the morning, around 7am. If such could happen at such a time, I guess what could happen in the night.
I therefore, call on Lagos government to help tighten up security around parks to avoid touts molesting innocent people. Police should be keen to their tasks and protect the citizens. They should do their work with seriousness and shun bribery.
Meaningful and peace-loving Nigerians should be apt to respond to the cry of a fellow citizen, especially one in danger. And of most importantly, ?Teile Express Motors Nig. Ltd.? should desist from such heinous crime.
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