Everybody loves and wants to hear me talk about how I managed to win a local Government award, and nominated for the state award with my personal CDS project…… of course it’s a good tale to tell. But the success story will never be complete, if I fail to mention some of the challenges I faced in the course of the project. Espeecially the day i escaped kidnapping.
pleases don’t forget i said it in my earlier post, that if you will like to win an award with your CDS project, make sure the project is a tangible and life-touching one.
In case you missed that post, u can see it here: >>> What award-winning personal CDS can i do as a corper?
One of the challenges I will never forget in the course of my project was the day God helped me escaped from the hands of kidnappers.
Though I was posted to the commercial city of Aba in Abia state, I was doing my project with some groups of farmers in two villages that is about 3 hours drive from Aba. I specifically chose those villages because of the nature of the CDS project.
I have being in these villages more than 5 times because it’s important i go there to see that the whole thing turns to a success story with songs of praise. So that night wasn’t my first time of going to the village.
But on that fateful day, I left Aba, my place of primary assignment, a little bit latter than normal; I left around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, going to have a meeting with the king and his chiefs. I got to the village around 5pm, so we couldn’t have more than two hours meeting again because it’s getting late and I need to return to Aba that same night.
I have promised never to sleep elsewere but my home through-out my service year. Thats obviously not my fault. But what can you do in such a state that has an history of cooking and eating human flesh for supper than to just make your home your safe haven.
Since am not ready yet to be found in the pot of a strange man, i knew i have to get bus to Aba that night. But unfortunately, there is no available bus going from the village to Aba again, since nobody will be ever thought of traveling on such road at that time of the day. But for me, it’s a must I return to Aba that night.
I waited by the road side to see if i will be lucky to find any car going to Aba at that time. Perhaps someone returning to his family and home too.
As fate would have it, after waiting for almost two hours without any luck, I finally found a bus. And at that time, it was now 9:45p.m.
Seeing a bus was a great relief for me, so I couldn’t wait to be thinking if i should join the bus or not. Its getting late and cold, and i have to return home. I quickly hopped into the vehycle and secured a place for myself at the front seat. It was when i am already sitted, that i discovered there was nobody in the bus I just entered; it was only me and the driver.
I quickly consoled myself that since its just the two of us, no cause for allarm. So i sat back to enjoy the late trip as everything seems normal.
In not more than 100 meters drive, another huge and agile man stopped the bus and joined me at the front of the bus, putting me in between the new man and the driver. At this point, my mind has already being telling me things are no longer normal.
We kept moving, and it was now around 10:25p.m when the driver suddenly decided to change course and refuse to take the normal route I always know that leads to Aba from the village. He claimed he knew another shorter road that can take us home faster, since it’s already late.
I objected to the decision, but I can do no much, since the other passengers had already agreed with the driver. And I must tell you, at that time we are now five in the bus because the driver had picked up two other men on the way.
Now i know am in trouble ……… “wahala dey”. They need no prophet to tell them that am a stranger. Because even the Nysc khaki jacket on me could state clearly that am a complete otondo corper in the area.
I begin to pray within me, that God should please save me from the danger I just found myself. Not quite long, the bus stopped in the middle of a lonely and quite road as the driver claimed he wanted to ease himself. Trust me, at this point, my heart was almost ripping out of my chest and all the terrible scenes I had ever washed in movies begin to crawl my mind. I begin to wish i could fly and fight like Jet-li or cunny and acrobatic like Jackie. But all of them are mere wishes; am just a skinny microbiology trained Yoruba boy and knows nothing about Karate.
The driver came back alone, contrary to my expectation of seeing him come out of the dark bush with company of armed men, probably to slice and cut me open in a half. “But who knows what has taken place while he ease himsel”, my mind mutters to me.
So we entered into the bus again and continue the mysterious journey until we reached a comparatively big village.
Nevertheless, when the driver returned from where he went to ease himself, i noticed there was a complete change in the atmosphere as all the men and the driver no longer speak in the common ‘pigin english’ they have beeing speaking from inception. They started speaking in Igbo language.
Am a Yoruba man, i don’t understand igbo language save the small translation of “go” and “come”, and nothing more at that time. That lit a big fire of fear in me. And i transcend into another realm completely overwhelm with fear.
When we got to this big village along the road, i suddenly came up with a plan that probably saved my life. I just shouted in the midst of my strange company;
… “STOP…. STOP the bus!!! Am no longer going!!”
They were amazed and were asking me the reason for the sudden change of mind. But I kept shouting till the bus stopped. I was able to do this because I knew if anything wants to happen, I may be rescued by the villagers. And I believed that was also part of why they stopped the bus.
As the bus stopped, I quickly dashed to the front of the bus, straight to the plate number and began to type the number on the plate to my phone and saying aloud as i type…
“ I no dey understand wettin you guys dey do again. But I must tell you i no be ordinary person o. So no joke with me at all…” After taking the number, I told them we can now continue.
As we were going, I was calling my friends, speaking to them in my native dialect, that am about to be kidnapped and they should just listen as the next statements I will be saying in English is to scare away the kidnappers.
I begin to say something like….
“Yes. I will send the plate no of the bus to you….. so help me track the person that registered it and store the information you got, in case anything happened to me”
“Pls switch on the retro-monitor to track and monitor where I am right now, and inform Dad about everything…” (
even when i know there is nothing like ‘retro-monitor’ nor any father in the military to be informed about my journey….really funny)
As I continued those calls, I notice a sense of fear in their conversation and my heart leaped for relief; it seemed my trick was working. All of a sudden the driver said he just remembered that the road we are treading is under construction and won’t be good we proceed along the road. So he had to turn back completely to where he switched the road at first.
I laughed inside of me and also gave thanks to God for the salvation He just granted me.
Thanks to God, my little trick worked and we arrived Aba safely at the early hours of the following morning.
It may look simple or perhaps funny, but trust me, i nearly wet my pants in the midst of it all.
But Thanks be to God for at the end, i was able to sing the success song over the Nysc personal CDS project that almost claimed my life. I eventually got an award for it.
Do rejoice with me. Thanks