Vanguard Crime Editor, Emmanuel Nnadozie, escaped being lynched by over 100 Commercial motorcyclists, popularly called ‘Okada’ riders at Apple Junction area in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area (LGA) of Lagos State.
Newsbreak.ng reports that Nnadozie was driving towards the 2nd Rainbow bus stop, at about 7.30 p.m. at the weekend, when two motorcyclists rammed into each other on the lane directly beside him.
The impact of the collision flung one of the riders headlong, towards Nnadozie’s moving car, causing the rider to land on his head, directly under his left front tyre.
He swerved to his right side on impulse, clutching the steering wheel tightly, and narrowly avoided crushing the rider’s head. But the rider’s motorcycle crashed into the car’s floodlight, damaging it.
The route is one of the areas the Lagos State government banned the operation of commercial motorcyclists.
Narrating how he narrowly escaped being lynched by motorcyclists that clustered around him, Nnadozie, who is still traumatised by the incident, explained: “Other Okada riders arrived, as if on queue.
“Swiftly, one after the other, they blocked my car. In a flash, no fewer than 20 dirty cravens surrounded me. From all sides, accusing fingers furiously directed angst at me.
“I hastily stepped out of the vehicle and attempted to explain the incident by recapturing the scenes.
“My explanations fell on deaf ears. More riders joined the mob. Their rough statues formed a thick iron circle around my car, accusing me of being responsible for the incident.
“To drive their point home, one of them, a lean dark fellow, yanked off his hot exhaust pipe and used the steaming metal to etch a mark on my lower leg. A quick cloud of pain settled around my head.
“At this instant, I knew that my life was in grave danger. There is no mistaking this mob for normal commercial motorcyclists, yet, none of them witnessed the crash. None could give an account of how the incident took place.
“Most surprising was that none cared to help their wounded brothers, still lying on the road. They were only eager for a lone motorist’s blood. And to deal ruthlessly with other motorists found around the scene.
“Confusion enveloped the long evening. I reached for the cross I always tucked inside my dress pocket before driving out. Silent prayers poured out from the inner recesses of my being.
“As I was shouting myself hoarse with one hand, explaining that I did not cause the accident, a young male bystander raised his voice from the pedestrian walkway. He explained how the accident occurred in two quick sentences. He also yelled at them that I was a victim. He raised his voice, explaining that I was not responsible for the accident, that I was a victim.
“He mustered the guts and approached the dagger-wielding mob, quietly repeating his explanation to as many as his brave heart encouraged him to come close enough to.
“Miraculously, two or three of them peered intently into my eyes in disbelief but still anticipated ‘bloody’ action.
“With bated breath, I kept on shouting, pleading my innocence. At this stage, one of the riders that was blocking the front side of my car gave way slightly. He drove away through the side of my car.
“While this was going on, more and more of the riders were still congregating around us. Obviously from the face and body language, with a clear intent to attack at the least signal.
“I seized the opportunity created by the biker that drove off and zoomed off without blinking an eyelid.”