i-Report, i-Dead

As a way to save costs and increase profits, CNN decided to reduce the number of field journalists.  They cleverly and ostensibly developed a segment to cover the absent stories, i-Report.  Unlike the journalists who have a magnanimous insurance cover and hefty hardship allowances as they report in dangerous countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, the amateur reporters are only covered by the grace of God.  So when a twit filming an armed robbery, with his mobile phone, is shot dead you ask yourself what the *&^% was he thinking?

On Friday, Anthony and I went for lunch and received a call from our MD’s assistant, ‘The streets are hot, the streets are hot.’  Of course Anthony didn’t understand and formulated his own understanding of the message, so we proceeded to see Apprentice Africa contestant Michelle who we has a long chat with.  This act may have just saved our lives.

Getting back to the office we meet an ominous mood and a much panicked assistant. 

‘There was gunshots…armed robbers were here…I took cover under that table, locked the door, switched off the lights and run back under the table.  I was calling you to tell you not to come back because the streets were hot.’

There had been a bank robbery at 2 banks across our office, the robbers didn’t enter our building but his fear as he described how he heard bullets and his reaction to the situation was as if they were in the corridor.

‘Ooooh, so that is what you meant by the streets are hot.  The next time it happens, use proper English!’  Anthony told him.

Bank robberies are a frequent affair in Lagos.  I was informed that Lagos banks paid a total of $5 million to the police as they were losing more per year.  One would think that the crazy Lagos traffic, crowded streets, well armed police or the banks internal security measures would deter armed robbers from their trade, but not in Lagos.  The robbers use very sophisticated weapons and shoot to kill anyone who stands in their way or is visible during the robbery.

‘They shoot you.  Even if you are just walking in the street, they kill you.  These robbers are bad people.  When you hear gunshots you run and hide!’  He said in a very strong Naija accent.

As the afternoon went on we got to learn that there had been 4 robberies and 5 unnecessary deaths.  They had hit one of our branches and an i-Reporter wannabe was killed. 

A call was made that a man’s paper bag containing a bundle of money had been snatched by a man on an okada (motorbike taxi) minutes after the UBA robbery near our office.  The police, wanting to show how effective they are rushed to the bank and begun to open fire.  What they were shooting at, only they know as the man responsible had long disappeared.  One of the officers however spotted a man recording the action using his mobile phone and opened fire, killing him instantly.  His premise; he must have been one of the robbers, the reason he was filming the whole thing. 


 In Nigeria, the police and military personnel have full control.  They drive on the wrong side of the road, harass citizens with impunity and can go so far as make false allegations against you.  Once heard that they arrest you on streets, send you to jail and replace you with a murderer or armed robber who has paid them off.  They have been known to kill anyone who questions them or challenges their actions.  People here live in fear of the police but not armed robbers.   

December is a notorious month for robbery; we even got notification from the Kenyan High Commission to be vigilant and comply if attacked.  But when you hear the modus operandi of Naija robbers, especially bank robbers you get very scared.

‘What are you talking about, in Oweri state they wrote a note to the UBA branch manager and told him we are coming on Tuesday, make sure there is plenty of money and no police, otherwise you go die!’  Unfortunately the manager didn’t follow any of the instructions.  He informed the police and they placed 5 officers at the bank. 

’40 people walked in with guns and shot all 6 police officers, the manger and some staff members.’

Why, why, why would you kill staff?  Why not just take the money and leave I asked, why kill?

‘Eddie, these people don’t care about life, they just want money and to instill fear they kill people.  They don’t acre.  They just shoot people randomly.’

He was right; that afternoon 2 UBA staff members were killed at the branch opposite our office, because there wasn’t enough money in the vault and 3 were killed in the Lekki branch for God knows what stupid reason.

The disregard for human life by both cops and robbers in Nigeria is sad.  Unfortunately no one cares enough to do anything about it or speak out against it because as stated in the Naija’s Achilles Heel post, no one wants to die.




~ by jagedin9ja on November 24, 2008.

2 Responses to “i-Report, i-Dead”

  1. waaaaaaaaa thats…..sina words to explain this

  2. Ati the streets are hot. Hahhahahahahahahaha

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