Monday, October 20, 2008

How is the crime rate in Nigeria now?

Question: What about the crime rate, do you think its increasing or decreasing?


I try not think about the crime rate in Nigeria because I don’t want to live in fear. Crime is the bane of city life anywhere, but Nigerian cities take it to a different level. I hear the stories of armed robbery in people’s homes, on the streets, in cars and even in the workplace and at restaurants—the tales all make me very afraid!

One particular day we were coming back from a function and driving along airport road around midnight and escaped robbers just by a hair—at least that’s what we believe. A car that was driving in front of us pulled over and the driver abruptly steps out as we approach. My mom tells my dad to step on it! As we get closer, the guy seems to be holding what looks like a pistol. Instinctively my mom yells “gun” and puts her head down. I follow suit. After we were at a safe distance, I look behind and notice that the few cars that were driving hehind us on the highway are no longer there. Too close for comfort. My folks get into a hilarious argument over whether my dad accelerated fast enough or not.

For at least 2 months after that, any time I was on a road at night, my heart would be in my mouth. I couldn't hold conversations in the car because my eyes would be busy scanning other cars or pedestrians for crooks-in-disguise.

One particular night, I was driving home, with my mom in the passenger seat. I saw a car blocking the highway and some wood in the middle of the road. I immediately stepped on my accelerator and veered to my right to avoid the obstructing car and flee what I believed was an armed robbery trap. The cars in front of me were slowing down, but I just thought them foolish drivers who I needed to bypass. It was until my mother cautioned me to slow down and avoid the accident did I come back to my senses. A car had run into one of the trees and spun back onto the highway.

Believe me, the real thief is fear. It will torment you if you don’t kill it. I think you have to decide that if you want to live in Nigeria, you will not be robbed of your peace. I also realize that in terms of personal security, there isn’t much one can do beyond what we’re already doing here. Homes are barricaded in estates, cars have alarms and trackers and we’re down right rude to strangers who are “asking for help.” Most private and public buildings have security personnel watching over the property but these guards are not armed, so they are no match for the armed robber. Sometimes it’s the gateman that even tips off the robbers! The truth is that “except the Lord watches over a house, the watchman watches in vain.”

So in answer to your question, because they say perception is reality, I’d say yes the crime rate is decreasing.

14 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. your site has been a wonderful help and knowledge bank for me and with prospects of going back to naija, i would always visit your blog. please always keep us posted as u hav been a WONDERFUL HELP to me in particular. than

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  3. umm this is very promising. Thanks yet again.

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  4. I would keep ya in my prayers. The though of arm robbery is scary. I fear Naija when it comes to that. Be safe always.

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  5. I think you've said it all with "the real thief is fear".

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  6. perception isnt real o.at least i dont agree, i was of ur opinion until colleagues, family, friends started reliving their horror stories. i dont think crime is decreasing o, its just decreasing as concerns me.as in no real threat.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this. Though what with the SSS arresting bloggers, I can't help but wonder...

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  8. -Ssydelle, SSS is arresting bloggers in America or Nigeria? I don't get it??

    -miz-cynic, if you ask different people, you'll get different stories and different opinions, that's why one person's reality is different from another person's reality.

    -rita, that's been my experience!

    -yankeenaijababe, thanks for the prayers hon! we could all use 'em

    -temite, you're welcome ;)

    -9ja's ot--glad to be of help!

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  9. i know the fear of armed robbery and crime can be very real to som epple. It is for my parents and my sister...they were the ones at home when popc first came back from south africa and robbers came to the house. Me, i no dey dey house when that kain tin dey happen. Just my luck. I am glad i wasnt too cos they could have seen me as a threat and get hostile and shit.
    Anyways, like you said, except GOD keeps a house, they watch in vain that guard the place jare. I cant shout!

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  10. ahh sick! Sick blog.. vlady

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  11. Armed robbery is a constant in Naija. Just like NEPA abi na Power Holding, armed robbery fluctuates and could be bad in some places and worse in some others. http://streamsong.blogspot.com

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  12. Only God can give peace. if u are a true christian u wont worry about whether its the country u r in that will give peace. Many people get killed worldwide on a daily. naija is rough no doubt but with God we will b fine. u r right, u cant live in fear every minute, every day

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  13. Crime is decreasing in Nigeria? Yeah, right! It's ironic that residents of that country don't actually know what's going on over there. Don't tell me that what I know to be true is not the case cause I have all the information on my finger tips. If that's one of those new image making that Nigerian government is trying to push, they have failed. I've heard enough already. Whatever!

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