In 1998, I travelled for the burial of my mother-in-law. My husband was not in the country so I left my children in the care of my younger sister. I boarded Young Shall Grow Motors from Lagos to Plateau. Unlike other occasions where the bus had about four escorts, this bus had only one. Little did we suspect that something would go wrong because the line had a track record for safety.
At about 1.00 a.m., the driver stopped at New Ife Road to pick up ‘attachments’ to fill the bus (for his own selfish gain). After 20 minutes, these fellows commanded everybody to close the windows and pull the curtains. I thought it was some kind of movie till I heard a heavy slap resound throughout the vehicle. The driver pushed the lever opening the door and some people jumped out. One of the hoodlums immediately crashed his way into the driver’s cabin, pulling him out and taking over the wheel. He made a turn back to the way we just came from. He drove as rough as possible and I placed my hand on chest for fear my heart would jump out of my chest. All of a sudden loud music blasted from the hidden speakers to ensure that no one outside heard the racket going on inside.
The other hoodlums started searching from seat to seat collecting phones and money into a sack. I was left with only N2000 after paying my transport fare. Since I was on my period, I put N500 under my panties using the sticker of my pad to hold the money in place. When they got to me, I dropped in N1500. My seat partner received a slap because they thought she had been singing when it was me all along. As she was a Corper, they made fun of her saying that the president would refund whatever money they collected from her.
I thought they were done till they came back for a second search. I submitted my dead phone to them and they started to crack jokes with me. He collected my handkerchief from me to dry my tears and said ‘God will provide’. I sniffed and then came the part where we all had to stand for the body search. As it came to my turn, the guy searching stepped back for another hoodlum that had been starring at me for a while. He pressed my bust so hard that I wimped. He went so low and actually started caressing me and I found my voice. ‘Haba!’
A shot rang out and a bullet hit my left arm. It did not dawn on me at first that I had been hit until I saw blood gushing out of my arm and then that was when the thieves started to argue. I do not remember anything else aside from the fact that the bus had stopped moving. The conductor had been beaten into a pulp, the driver had parked in a fuel station and he was going to remain there till daybreak, and my arm had been tied with someone’s torn clothing. My arm throbbed with unbearable pain but we would not have been able to get a taxi had I wanted to go to the hospital. Besides we needed a police report or else I would not be treated. I started to talk in my sleep out of delirium and I am sure I said lots of rubbish in my sleep. As early as 5.00 a.m., a Good Samaritan took me to the nearest police station and it took them more than an hour to get a police report for me and then I started to cry since I could no longer bear the pain. After an hour and thirty minutes, we finally left for the hospital. It was a bumpy ride and all I remember about the ride was the jarring pain I constantly felt.
The treatment commenced after all the protocol was done and by then, my family had been contacted. I told them all to stay and that one of my in-laws would come care for me. After the first day of treatment, I had lost so much blood and my arm had turned gangrenous. The result? They had to amputate. So after two weeks of intensive treatment, I was transferred to our family clinic in Lagos. I spent a month in the hospital to fully recuperate.
By this time, my husband had returned. However, I returned to my children and family as a one-handed mom.



  1. Too much to give for the dead..respect.
    Too much to get for oneself…greed
    And not much to be given for the atrocity…death


    1. I’ve tried repeatedly to decipher this and it eludes me. So with humility ȋ̝̊̅ ask you to please translate in lay ‘girls’ terms.
      True, we give respect for d dead&most are greedy. That, ȋ̝̊̅ can understand. Who should have died, the victim or the criminal who made sure she was maimed?


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