Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Its been a while but things kept getting better by the day. I read an article about two months ago.It touched me so much that i started seeing things in a different light. It has been on my mind for about a week to share the same with all my readers.Sit back and enjoy.
I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work. Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don't want to be bothered. This was one of those "don't want to be bothered times."
"I hope he doesn't ask me for any money," I thought. He didn't.
He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn't look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus. After a few minutes he spoke. "That's a very pretty car," he said. He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly blond beard keep more than his face warm.
I said, "thanks," and continued wiping off my car.
He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened something inside said, "ask him if he needs any help." I was sure that he would say "yes" but I held true to the inner voice. "Do you need any help?" I asked.
He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the three words that shook me.
"Don't we all?" he said.
I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun. Don't we all? I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it's just a compliment, you can give that.
You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on you to give them what they don't have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see. Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves. Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum, then said, "go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help."
Don't we all?
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
The issue of security in Lagos state is becoming a major concern, i mean what will you call the consistent harassment and robbery at gun point around Allen junction almost every day and no one including Men of the Nigeria police force has been able to tackle it. I was robbed at gun point at Allen junction and they even threatened to shoot me,despite that i didn't struggle with them.
I believe the next project of the Lagos state government after the beautification or better still while the beautification is going on is to ensure security of life and properties, but we cannot rely on the men of the police force. We need to revisit the issue of community policing or vigilante. I was robbed twice in a month and i was shocked at the level at which things were happening because the stories kept coming in on how people fell victims everyday.
I will use this avenue to talk about what happened to me and a few of the antics i have heard about so that we can be careful and conscious of what is going on around us:
The first one happened on 10th February around 8pm,i was on my way home and i stood at Allen junction bus stop to pick a bike.I got one and i boarded it. Just about 2 metres move,he told me he wasn't going that i should come down.Before i could say a thing,they rushed out with guns (Not locally made) and within 1 minute, everything i was carrying was gone.I reported at Alausa police station immediately.All they did was to congratulate me that i didn't struggle and they told me many gist's about the number of people killed recently around Ikeja. Though by divine intervention i got back one of my phones which was abandoned in a taxi and my international passport dropped on the road somewhere in Ikeja GRA.
The second one i cannot even classify it whether it was an act of God or carelessness. It happened after Ogudu bus stop. I was coming from Lagos island around 9pm and my car stopped on top speed and i started pushing it with my wife,behind wheels. After pushing for like 30 minutes with no help in sight, 4 men came out of the bush to attack us. Policemen came as soon as they finished robbing us, they didn't even stop to offer any help they sped pass us until we got to a comfortable place to run to. People told us that we are the fifth set of people to be robbed on the same spot that same night and that they always strike when police move away from their spot to patrol. what a timing! I was really convinced that police is actually my 'friend'.
Lolu Daniels a colleague of mine was robbed at first bank bus-stop on Allen, David Ugonna was also robbed at Allen junction. Angela an NYSC member serving in the same office was also robbed in the same manner. Paul a banker friend was almost shot, he missed death just by a whisker.All this within a circle, how many more that i don't even know about. The first one that happened to me was reported,of course they ask for money for paper, the second time i did not even bothered.
Here are the few way i have gathered they operate for readers to read and learn.
1) Their most consistent way is using bike popularly know as Okada.Be careful the kind of bike you fly at night and early in the morning, 3 of the victims was robbed on a bike.
2) The other one is for them to follow your car with a bike till they get to a comfortable place to strike.Whenever you are driving late,drive smartly and be vigilante.
3) Another amusing way i heard about is for them to hit your car, your normal reaction will be to rush out to see the extent of the damage, then they will jump down to perform what they know best to do. If someone should hit your car when and where you know it is not safe.Please don't bother to check it just move on.
4) Another antics is to rob people inside traffic log jam, be careful and wind up your car windows in traffic,in case you notice robbery while you are in traffic don't attempt to run either with your cars or abandoning it, many have lost their lives and so many women rapped.
5) The one i considered most creative is for them to pretend their vehicle broke down on a narrow road ahead of a number of cars,then they will jump out to rob unsuspecting cars trailing them behind. For this one am lost at what you can do, but always pray to God for protection.
Armed robbers are on rampage and Government is at loss of what to do or how to tackle them. For how long will this continue to happen?
God help Nigeria! we desire a change.
It is well!!!