Monday, August 28, 2017

The Perfect Lagosian by Osagie Robert.

Human traffic was heavy on this fateful Friday evening. It was one of the busiest bus-stops on the Lagos Badagry express way. I had alighted from a bus to board another one that would take me to my destination.

Tired of standing at a spot, I decided to move forward a little closer to where the road leads to Egbeda. I was at Iyanaba to be precise. A bedraggled young man was in the crowd. He had a criminal look on his face. That caught my interest. He was tagging along with a woman with his eyes on her purse. He had a dirty handkerchief in one hand to conceal the activity of the other hand working on the woman's bag. The bag was half opened revealing things that should not be to the public. From my angle, I saw a few one thousand naira notes. They were not crispy like biscuits fresh from the oven but they were spendable.

To cut the long story short, the thief succeeded in picking a few notes- maybe three or four. He quickly tucked them inside his wretched pocket and turned round to observe if he was being watched. As he turned to go, he saw me and knew I saw what he had done. He flashed a menacing smile at me and uttered some words and waved in acknowledgment. Revealing his teeth suffering from malocclusion and urgently needed the attention of a dentist. At that very moment, I returned an exaggerated smile and muttered, "My guy your cup go soon full!". I had been a perfect Lagosian by minding my own business but I went home feeling sorry.

That night, I could not sleep. My mind kept on replaying the incident and I felt like an accomplice in that petty crime. I was caught up in the middle of two unpleasant situations. She was careless and her loss could make her more careful tomorrow. That is if she learns her lesson. And I hope she does. On the other hand, if the young man had been caught courtesy of me and had probably been killed by mob action, I would never be able to forgive myself. I protected a thief and allowed the lesser evil to be punished. I hope someday he would heed the few words I spoke to him and leave the trade before my prophesy comes to pass.

Women are the victims of this kind of activity. Some of them are not mindful of how they carry their bags. Most women are not security conscious. How would one person tail you from somewhere for about five minutes and get your bag opened without you noticing? That to me is the height of carelessness. I will never walk for two minutes even in a crowd without looking back to observe those around me.

What the eyes don't see, the heart does not grieve after. Be security conscious.

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