Opinion/Feature | 25 October 2014 22:48 CET


By Reginald Chukwu

It's so portentous to observe that the transportation system in Lagos State has been hijacked by some dared-devil humans in what is referred to as “One Chance'' otherwise known as “Catch in the air,” just as terrorists do to airplanes overseas.

Buses which were once easy and safe means of transportation have become a haven for criminals to carry out their horrendous activities. I wonder why these animals in human form trample upon the right of citizens with this horrific act they put up in buses. Imagine boarding a bus to a particular destination bubbling with joy only for you to realize that you have fallen prey to the dared-devil humans, what would you do? You would really be sorry for your life I guess.

The ugly side of this act is not that they just rob their victims of their belongings; the treatment meted out on them in the cause of the robbery makes it a monstrous act. Many commuters have lost their lives to the ''One Chance'' Operators.

There are cases where commuters were thrown out of the moving vehicle after they were robbed of their belongings. Tell me, how could a right thinking person ignore the dictate of his conscience and act in such manner?

This ugly trend is more predominant along the Apapa- Oshodi-Express way, Ikorodu Road and Badagry Road.

In the wake of this bestial act, not many commuters knew about it and many of them have fallen victims to the dared-devil humans. With the spate of the crime, almost all commuters have become aware of it and do not easily fall prey like some did in time past.

It is appalling to observe that confidence has been totally lost in the state's transport system.

Everyone boarding a bus now does so with a “One Chance” pandemic in mind. There is a psychological disfigurement this loathsome act has left in the mind of every commuter. Everyone who boards a bus now nurses fear of being robbed by ''One Chance''; their confidence is only restored the moment they alight safely at their Bus Stops.
There was actually a case where a lady boarded a bus I was in, the moment she got in and realized it was mostly men, and some of the men looked suspicious in the way they were dressed, she started shivering, thinking she had entered “One Chance” bus. The conductor added to her fright the moment he demanded for money in their usual terrible voice, ''owo da'', meaning, where is your money?

The lady's foreboding disposition became overwrought such that she could not hold it back but burst into tears, an act which got the commuters brooding what could be wrong with her. I sat close to her, I noticed her feelings and I knew what her problem was. I pacified her, assuring her that she was safe, not the ''One Chance'' bus she entered. As soon as she heard that, she heaved a sigh of relief. This is how bad the scar the “One Chance” pandemic has caused commuters in Lagos.

The trend these days has shifted from mere robbery and throwing commuters out of a moving vehicle to kidnapping and using them for ritual purposes. Occultists now see buses as an easy means of getting human beings to use for their ritualistic activities. A case was reported recently by one of the survivors' of ''One Chance'', who miraculously escaped death in the hands of some occultists. According to her, “I boarded a bus along the Apapa- Oshodi express way, unknown to me that I had boarded a ''One Chance'' bus.

While the car was still driving, some of the people who pretended to be passengers brought out guns and machetes and asked us not to say a word; the driver drove straight to a bush where we were all asked to come down. As soon as we alighted from the vehicle, the head of the occultist emerged from the bush with a long machete and started beheading the commuters.

As soon as he got to my side, he stopped and asked how I got to the place; he couldn't keep sight of me as he confessed there was smoke oozing out of my head. He immediately gave me N500, and instructed me to leave the place immediately. That was how I miraculously escaped death in the hands of those occultists.” The lady, who spoke in anonymity, lamented.

The Lagos State Government needs to take a drastic step in curbing the menace of the ''One Chance'' pandemic. The government must investigate and bring to justice those responsible for this dastardly act. This is the only way commuters of buses in Lagos State could be guaranteed their safety.

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