By Ebele Orakpo

“Are you sure this one is not a member of the Boko Haram sect?” asked a commuter by name, David, in the CMS-bound commuter bus as he watched the unfolding drama before him. A young, slim, dark-complexioned motorcyclist, popularly called Okada rider, had just zoomed past the vehicle and was almost hit by a trailer as he tried to overtake the heavy duty vehicle.

“Boko Haram members in Lagos? Please spare us. These are young Hausa men who came to Lagos like any other person, to seek greener pastures,” said Sam.

“I wonder when we will wake up from our lethargy. Sometimes it seems our senses have been completely numbed, so much so that we see danger lurking by the corner and yet carry on as if everything is perfectly normal,” said David. Continuing he said: “Can’t you see that these men are on suicide mission? There are thousands of them in Lagos right now, all okada riders.

And have you taken time to watch the way they carry on, as if they have a spare life safely tucked away somewhere. They ride on express roads, jump in front of moving vehicles, they just do some stupid things that a normal person will not do.”

Said Funmi: “Somebody told me that they were sent here on a mission: to kill as many people as possible through okada accidents”.

“No, no, no. I don’t believe that. Many of them die in the process, not just the passengers. So it is not true,” countered Yinka.

“Well, in as much as that may not be true, but remember, a person with a mission will do anything to accomplish his mission. After all, a suicide bomber while accepting the contract knows that he is not going to live to tell the story,” noted Mike.

“All I am saying is that our government and security agencies should get their acts together before it’s too late. Many of these boys and men are not Hausas. They are not even Nigerians. Many are from Niger and Chad.

Some people somewhere bring them into the country, arm them and buy them motorcycles to ride in Lagos while waiting for the right time to strike,” said David.

“You may be right. Many of them don’t understand a word in Hausa. I advise the government and security agencies to open their eyes wide and root out these people and their sponsors before they root out everybody,” stated Mercy.

Said John: “It’s annoying when they want to compare themselves with the Niger-Delta guys. Those ones have a genuine grouse because due to oil exploration and exploitation, their sources of livelihood – water and farmlands – were destroyed and the money used to develop other parts of the country, completely leaving them out, giving difficult terrain as an excuse.

Unfortunately, criminals infiltrated their ranks and started mischief,” lectured David, to which Sam retorted thus: “Boko Haram has a grouse also.”

“What is their grouse? That they don’t want Western education? Fine. Nobody is forcing it on them but you want to force others to join you? No way! It’s not done! Even God recognises that man is a free moral agent with the right of choice,” said John.

“They are all hypocrites as far as I’m concerned,” stated Luka. They don’t want Western education yet they use products like radio, tv, bombs, cars, motorcycles etc. Who is deceiving who?”

“BRF should keep his eyes wide open oo,” concluded Sam.


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