By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”A driver with Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Humphrey Nnamdi, escaped death byÂ the whiskers in the early hours of yesterday on Beninâ€“Warri road, as he was attacked at Oghara by men of the underworld on his way to deliver Tuesdayâ€™s edition of the paper to Port-Harcourt.
He was dealt two machete cuts by the bandits who demanded money from him and seized his GSM handset, even when he told them he was only a newspaper driver, taking the paperâ€™s publication to Port-Harcourt.
Narrating his ordeal, which occurred at aboutÂ 4.50 am, Mr. Nnamdi ,who was carrying a bandaged head, said:Â Â â€œAs I approached the bend near the rubber plantation, after Oghara junction, I noticed that two trailers blocked the road. I slowed down and sensed it was armed robbersâ€™ trap. I decided to reverse but a volley of gunshots was released behind me followed by a warning shout of ‘stop there.’
â€œI came down and decided to head for the bush but they (robbers) pointed their torch and roared, ‘If you move an inch, you will be dead.’ I laid my hands on my head as they swooped on me.â€
He was with a co-driver, Godspower, and the bandits asked both of them to lay down, roaring, â€œwhere is your money.â€
In the words of Nnamdi:Â Â â€œI replied that I have no money and that I am carrying newspapers. They asked where my phone was and took it. They searched me, thereafter, and collected the N2, 000 that I was having.
â€œOne of them retorted, â€˜na only dis money you get? He then used his machete and cut my head, I started bleeding seriously. They later used their gun butt to hit Godspower on the head but he used his hand to block it but it affected his fore-finger.
â€œAfter about five minutes, they threatened to set the bus on fire but I pleaded that they should leave it.Â Angered by this, their leader cut my head again, this time in the middle, and I laid down weeping.
â€œThen, in a swift of maddening craze,Â as if possessed by demons, they started breaking the windshield and side mirror of the bus.
â€œHaving finished with their orgy of violence, they ordered that we (trailer drivers, Godspower and I)Â evacuate the woods (barriers with which they blocked the road) so that we can go.
â€œLike slaves, we went about this involuntary task with all agility and they ran into the nearby bush.
â€œWhen I got to Effurun roundabout, a good citizen gave me water to wash my wounds.”