In dark Nigeria, life is nasty, short, brutal and brutish. It is appalling how easy it is to lose his life for absolutely no fault of his own, despite taking all natural and reasonable precautions.

The recently reported robbery of multiple banks in Festac, Lagos in which close to fifty robbers invaded a bank and successfully carted away sackfuls of money is unnerving. Here is an account from ChannelsTv.

Jean Ebere Ndirika, female aged 39 and her 14-month-old daughter, Nmesoma Ndirika were killed by stray bullet from the robbers whilst in their home at House 8 Flat 13, 4th Avenue, Festac Town.

It is reminiscent of this other daring bank robbery at Ikorodu Lagos three months ago, and several similar others where innocent peoples’ lives are put at risk while carrying out their normal activities. Lives are almost always lost in these operations.

Trust Nigerians to always look for someone to immediately blame whenever things like this happens.

Someone responded to the news of this attack by saying this is attributable to the ineptitude of, and lackadaisical attitude to governance of the current Governor of Lagos State. He is of the opinion that rampant robbery attacks were alien during the era of the last Governor, BabaTunde Raji Fashola.

There may be some truth, but my response was:

This is simply scary. This may not be a direct result of “bad governance” per se, but more a reflection of the signs of the times. This could easily have happened in the best governed state in Nigeria right now. The economy is parlous, people are losing jobs, livelihoods being eliminated and social security /support non existent. It is a complete recipe for increased criminality

Like the issue of terrorism and kidnapping, armed robberies are symptoms of societal malaise and attacking the symptoms would not prevent the sporadic manifestation of the illness. Are w our brothers keepers

They say, when you want coal, go to Newcastle . Obviously banks would be a prime target for any gang of armed robbers because that is where money is kept. Thus, security measures should be topnotch in banks. So, how come most bank robberies succeed in Nigeria? Laxity on the part of the security strategies implemented by our banks?

However, that’s not the thrust of this article, and is a story for another day. The focus of this article is to highlight how easy it is to lose your life even while taking all precautions.

Some months ago, we also heard of an
articulated vehicle falling off a bridge, landing on a car underneath and killing all the innocent occupants immediately. That was in Ojuelegba area of Lagos. The crushed car passengers could have been anybody. Practically anybody.

Actually two recorded cases happened in October 2015 alone.

Now, containers falling off long articulated vehicles is very common in the Apapa Wharf area of Lagos. And these monsters having brake failures, crushing people to death, is something witnessed intermittently.

Would we stop going to banks, to avoid being in the wrong place at the right time? Would we stop driving in certain areas (for fear of getting crushed) if we have legitimate / compelling (business / social) activities in those areas?

Government would do its bit. Corporate organizations like banks would play their own role. But what can we, the citizens do to avoid the likelihood of getting our lives cut short abruptly in this Jungle we live in?

We can make crime less lucrative, but there would always be crime in any society. It is the comparative prevalence that would vary.

How can we avoid (as much as possible) falling victim to kidnapping, dying prematurely in a bank robbery attack, or getting suddenly crushed to death from falling missiles while driving on a federal road? We have not even mentioned the unending dastardly and murderous Boko Haram rampaging attacks.

My strategy is to be an “Andrew- I am checking out, and emigrate to a safe(r) and saner place like Melbourne, Australia”. Facebook has shown me that ninety something percent of my old schools mates have taken the Andrew Option.

I can’t shout, but you can sneer!

How about you?

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