Commuters have raised the alarm of an increasing rate of kidnapping and the activities of ‘one chance’ criminals across the city of Lagos.
‘One Chance’ is the colloquial expression for a type of robbery staged by criminals using commercial vehicles with colluding passengers and bus conductors. The conductor convinces unsuspecting passenger and potential victims that only one space is left on the bus. The passenger is then taken away from where they got in the vehicle, robbed, and pushed out of the vehicle without stopping.
These criminals use commercial buses, popularly known as danfo, with at least five passengers to kidnap unsuspecting commuters and they operate mostly along the Gbagada area of Lagos, some public transport users said.
Some of the victims took to their X to narrate their experiences. They also warned other commuters to be wary, as they accused the criminals of using the opportunity to rob their victims of their personal belongings.
Ayowande Adalemo with @wandyvirus said on his X handle, “Kidnappers are on a rampage on the Gbagada expressway. They are using the ‘once chance’ model to kidnap unsuspecting commuters. They are using a Danfo with five people. We just thwarted a kidnapping. I have warned all commuters along that route to note the vehicle.”
Narrating her experience, one of the victims of ‘One Chance’ with the name Selah @Selah_presh said she was a victim recently and that she boarded a bus at Anthony bus stop without knowing that the bus was being operated by criminals, who kidnapped her and robbed her.
“I was a victim of this incident yesterday. I boarded a bus from Anthony (Newcastle) going to Ikoyi around 6:45 am thereabout. We were kidnapped and they started taking us towards the Oshodi-Mile 2 axis. They wiped all the money from my account and took my phone, my work laptop, and my ATM,” she said in the tweet on Wednesday.
According to her, “They took everything else in my bag. They also demanded ransom from my family before I was released and that wasn’t enough; they put Aboniki balm inside my eyes before dropping me off. Please, everyone taking this route should be very vigilant; those men are evil.”
Farouk Deco, another X user @faroukdeco, claimed a colleague of his experienced a similar ordeal in the Maryland area of Lagos.
“A colleague of mine went through the same ordeal while heading to VI from Maryland. She said she couldn’t sleep for two to three days because her eyes weren’t closing. The experience felt truly traumatising; I’m so sorry you went through all that,” Farouk said.
Another person, Onyams @Onyams1, said, “The same thing happened to my friend at Ifako; she was looking for a vehicle to take her to Lekki.”
Also, El Bruzieee, @bruzieee, said, “The crime going on undetected in Lagos is numerous. One chance being one of the deadliest because, after obtaining their victims, they still push them out of a moving vehicle.”
Meanwhile, Collins WeGlobe, @icapcorn, said, “I pray for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hoping that God grants strength and wisdom to our law enforcement agencies, enabling them to act wisely and promptly.”