Hello Guys, thanks again for taking out time to stop by. I had received interesting responses on my first poem on this blog, published here last week. In response to popular demand, here is my account of the armed robbery attack that inspired the poem; Deep in the dark. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
My groggy eyes fluttered at the intrusion of the morning rays. As I surveyed my surroundings, I was taken aback by the unfamiliarity of the room. I pulled down my legs from the bed and looked again, in an attempt to unlock my clouded mind. My eyes strayed to the mirror hanging beside the wardrobe. The image that I encountered was strikingly familiar, but marred with the plasters that covered portions of the head and face. Then I began to recall the chilling events of the night before.
As I drove into my residence at Ifako, Gbagada that Friday night, the cacophony of the competing generators and the putrid air combined to torment my senses. I was home alone as my wife had traveled to Abuja in the morning for a meeting. I parked my car, put on my own generator and relaxed in the living room to watch some television programs before retiring for the day. About 12.30a.m, I put off the generator and went to my bedroom to sleep.
I dozed off almost immediately and was snapped out of my sleep about an hour later by faint noises of people fiddling with the door to my bedroom. I got up in the pitch darkness and it dawned on me that I was under attack. As I was still coming to terms with the stark reality of the situation, I saw the blade of a dagger pierce through the wooden door to my room as my assailants attempted to cut through the door.
This couldn’t be happening to me. Armed robbery attacks were common place in Lagos then, but I never imagined that I could be attacked. The building was on a major street and I was living on the flat on the ground floor. It was an easy target and they had gained access by jumping the wall fencing the building and cutting the padlock locking the metal barrier on the back door. I had however lived in this same building for over two years and apart from instances where gun shots were heard as robbers snatched cars, it had been a peaceful stay. I thought of calling for help, but my neighbor was a woman and lived with her aged mother and two young children. I wondered what my fate would be if those guys gained access to my room and could only get five thousand Naira from me. You see, I did some shopping the day before and had spent most of the cash I had on me… my options were few and bleak.
I instinctively reacted by praying in other tongues as loud as I could. I was hedged in… as the windows were all sealed with metal barriers as was customary in Lagos and I needed help that no man could offer. I heard the voices of my assailants commanding me to shut up or risk incurring their wrath. Of course I didn’t relent… I was buoyed up in my spirit and wouldn’t entertain any other thoughts. Suddenly the door came crashing in and the men, menacingly brandishing their matchets and daggers tried to get in. The brightness of the light from their torch lights was blinding but I quickly shrugged off the effect and kept declaring that I was born again, filled with the Holy Ghost and that the life of God courses through my veins.
The gang leader pushed through the door and attempted to assault me, with his matchet raised high. I imagined the headlines of the Lagos tabloids the next day and made up my mind not to go down without a fight… only a tree stands watching in the midst of an imminent threat to fell it. I summoned all my strength to repel the attack… I had the advantage as I knew the layout of the room. It was vital that I didn’t let those robbers gain access to my room. I lunged at him with my 85 kg frame, knocking off his weapon and pushing him right back unto other members of his gang and into the corridor.
I did not contemplate death neither did I entertain any fear as I stood up against those five vicious men. An attempt to explain what transpired that night would only demean the miracle that took place, for the Holy Ghost rose up mightily on my behalf and put the wicked men to flight. As I wrestled him down in the darkness, the flashing daggers came cutting. I felt the pangs as I received cuts on my back, face and head and heard their leader’s gut-wrenching scream as he received cuts also, in the ensuing melee. There was apparent panic in their midst, they had not bargained for such a firm resistance from an unarmed man. The loud bang of the refrigerator as it hit the floor, when it was upturned by one of them in the tussle, was enough to activate their survival instincts and they fled in alarm. These armed men had come up against one man and in a matter of minutes, abandoned their weapons and ran away terrified. My angels surely dismayed them.
It was after their escape that I realised I was bleeding profusely. The adrenalin rush had effectively shielded me from the pain. It was another miracle that I had enough strength and clarity of thought to dress, pick up my wallet, phone and car keys and still drive myself to the nearby R-Jolad hospital for treatment.
The last time I had slept in a hospital was some six years before then, when I had surgery. I wasn’t a frequent visitor to hospitals and was impressed with the level of service I received from the personnel, considering that I had no prior relationship with them. I thanked God that despite all the challenges in the Nigerian health sector, some patriots were still persevering and bridging the gaps by providing quality healthcare to the teeming populace. The gallant efforts of the two Doctors that attended to me that night, had helped save my life.
I stepped down from the hospital bed and appraised myself properly. I wasn’t looking bad for one who just came out of the lion’s den. It couldn’t have been a coincidence that my wife had traveled that day. The events were likely to have played out differently if she was around. I quickly took note to put a call across to her and alert her of what had happened.
When the police visited the scene later in the day, they were not satisfied till they had come to the hospital to behold the wonder that prevailed against those robbers. They confirmed there had been recent reports of such attacks in the neighborhood and some had resulted in the death of the victims. The matchets and daggers abandoned on that gory scene and the blood stains all over the house were telltale signs of the horror of that fateful night. But in that hopeless and desperate situation, I prevailed through Christ, my source of strength.
I am a living proof that Jesus Christ is alive today.
The scars of the past, an ever present reminder that even deep in the dark, faith’s steel held sway.
Photo Credit: www.standard.co.uk