One of the most consistent advocates in the Bring Back Our Girls movement, Bukky Shonibare, has narrated a frightening experience she suffered on Friday, March 4th, in Abuja the federal capital. She shared the details of the incident on her Facebook page. Read below:
Near death experience…
From 8.20pm, Friday, March 4!
I just had a near-death experience. Gunmen were on the Airport Road, around Lugbe FHA, Abuja.
Some armed guys waved down motorists and stopped right in front of my car; stopping mine and all other vehicles behind me. They placed stones on the road and ordered us to return.
The fiercely looking armed guys were directly in front of my car, causing road blocks. They walked through the cars and asked us to either turn back or stop. Then, I started hearing sporadic shootings around, people screaming and running for cover. Then one man came, with a big gun stripped around his neck. He was screaming and saying some things in a language I don’t understand, holding his gun as though he’d shoot. He stood directly in front of car. I couldn’t drive forward and I couldn’t return. I was transfixed.
Then, the man walked away from the front of my car and went through other cars behind me. It was then I hurriedly switched off my car ignition, took my phone, left my bag, and ran off. Some did same. Others stayed. At this time, my shoe had spoilt, I limped on through the stony ground, managed to enter a big gutter, and stayed there. But the shootings became more leaving the place deserted. Realizing none of the other motorists stayed in the gutter, I hopped out, and started running again.
After some seconds of running, tear gas was released in the air. I don’t know by who. It was so peppery on my face and eyes. I kept coughing. Water dropping off my eyes. I couldn’t see well. Still the shootings continued and I still managed to run. The road was filled with armed guys, some empty cars, mine in front.
Then, a luxurious bus came and ran through all the stones, sticks, and other objects used to block the road. That paved way. Shooting continued with people running helter-skelter. Then, motorists started running back into their cars. I did same.
At this time, the armed guys had started returning to the main road, and had gotten to the sides of the road shooting. But because I was the last to enter my car, they almost caught up with me. While trying to drive off, they threw big heavy stones at my tyres but, by God’s grace, I manoeuvred through unstopped and unhurt. Till I got home, I kept looking back thinking I was being followed.
Though my face still feels peppery, my chest aches badly, my eyes hitch… I am grateful to God. So VERY grateful!
I don’t know what went down there or who those armed guys were, but one thing is sure, it’s the scariest near-death experience I’ve ever had.
I hope penning this helps me recover from the shock; and that relevant authorities would look into this, not just for tonight, but afterwards.
Forgive my incoherence.