It’s exactly a week since this incident happened and I really wanted to share my testimony with you guys. Grab a popcorn and drink cause it’s a long story, summarizing wouldn’t have done justice to it.
“Nono, are you not late for work?” called my cousin. I immediately jumped up, checked my phone for the time. Oh my God, it’s 6:30! I exclaimed. I messaged Juwon telling him I just woke up. The next thing I thought to do was get ready so I’ll leave the house at 7:00 and hopefully make it in time for work. But right before I got up, I had a nudge in my spirit to pray. “What’s this now? I really can’t, I’ll pray at work”, I thought to myself. Then like someone was speaking to my spirit, I heard again, “Pray no matter how short!” Arrrgghh, I’m late but I guess a short prayer wouldn’t be such a bad idea. In my head, I was like atleast I’ll get to commit my day into God’s hands and ask Him to help me get to work in time.
I hurriedly prepared after trying to guilt trip my mum and sister for not waking me up. I left my house hurriedly and almost ran to the bustop as I was walking as fast as my legs could carry me. I got to the bustop only to meet so many people waiting for bus too, in situations like that, I just murmur, “Holy Spirit help me”. After waiting for few minutes, a man from a car beckoned to me and I thought, oh maybe that’s someone I know. I hurriedly went to meet him only to find out he was carrying a woman in the front seat and I didn’t know him. But he went, “Nne, ke ebe I na ga (my dear, where are you going)? He spoke Igbo! Maybe he knew me and I didn’t know him, so I replied, “I’m going to Yaba”. He told me to hop in and I did. He went further to ask where exactly I was going and I told him I wanted to get a bus going to Obalende so we agreed he’ll drop me at Jibowu. He then asked me if I had change and I told him I had 1000naira and he said it wasn’t a problem. At this point, I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s one of those cabs”. Along the way he picked up some other man, this was okay cause I had already concluded it was a cab.
Few minutes later a conversation ensued:
Woman in front: Oga I’m going to Oyinbo
Driver: Oyinbo is 200 naira
Woman: No oh! It’s 100
Driver: Didn’t I tell you the price before you entered.
He stops the car abruptly in attempt to remove the woman’s load from the boot since she couldn’t pay the agreed sum but the woman kept calling him to come back. I could sense desperation in her voice.
Driver (after he had entered the car and driving off): Woman, what did you say was in that carton.
Woman: Baby shoes
Driver: So if police stops me that’s how I’ll say it’s baby shoe meanwhile I’m carrying that amount of money in my boot
At this point they had my attention, took a break from pressing my phone and looked up.
Man beside me: Driver, don’t be angry it’s probably for security reasons. She can’t possibly be telling everybody she’s carrying money about.
The driver then threatened to drop her saying he could not keep driving with a huge sum of money in his car boot. The woman started begging and decided to tell her story which went thus:
“I am a prostitute. I went for my usual work and the man left me in the hotel room for 4 days. When he returned, he came back with 2 white men, asked me to sleep with a dog while they record, I refused and he beat me mercilessly. When I had the chance I entered a room he had been preventing me from entering, saw a lot of money, took a carton and ran away. Now I’m on my way to my sister’s place.”
Her story sparked an emotional reaction from me, I started shaking and all I could say was, “Jesus, Jesus”.
The man beside me started making comments about how wicked this world is and how the lady needs to give her life to Jesus.
Driver: if you convert that money to naira how much will it be (the money was in dollars apparently)
Woman:——- million naira (I don’t remember the several millions she mentioned)
I thought to myself why could he be asking her that, it’s nobody’s business how much was in the carton.
Man beside me: Don’t drop her oh, let’s help her, you never know where your help will come from.
At this point, I was too shaken and couldn’t speak. The man beside me faced me and asked why I was awfully quiet, I didn’t reply him, for some reason (maybe fear) I couldn’t speak. The next thing I heard from the driver was: Madam how much will you give everybody in this car? She said she’ll give each person, 500 dollars.
My heart skipped again, I was more afraid, what has this world turned to! I thought to myself, why will anybody be interested in another person’s money and most importantly money they weren’t sure of the source? At that point all the messages our G.O used to preach started flooding back into my memory (I attend MFM by the way) and tis gave me chills.
Man beside me; why aren’t you saying anything (he was referring to me, I had been quiet the whole time)
I’m sure by now you all will be wondering, didn’t I have work anymore? Wasn’t I late?
For some reason guys, I had forgotten all about that but most importantly they had me off my route and I didn’t notice.
Back to the conversation:
Me: I don’t have anything to say, I’m too shaken to speak. At this point, I messaged Juwon again, “Juwon, something is happening in this car, I can’t talk about it now but pray for me and the woman here too”. I didn’t know what advice to give so I messaged my unit in church, I knew my pastors will see it and know what advice to give, so I relayed the woman’s story to them.
Meanwhile, the man beside me was getting uncomfortable with me pressing my phone and started trying to read what I was typing.
Man: You should say something, advise her maybe but just don’t be quiet and pressing your phone
Me: I really don’t know what to say.
Man: You don’t need to tell everybody. Don’t be a whistle blower
Me: Jeez, I’m only talking to my pastor.
My response seemed to have shocked everybody in the car.
Driver: Young lady, we aren’t going in your direction anymore, you can get down now.
Me: What? After spending so long in this car? Anyway before I get down I have something to say.
The car sped off again.
Me to the woman: Hi, I’m a Christian and I’m not after your money. I’m really sorry about everything you’ve had to deal with but if you’re really carrying money you really shouldn’t tell many people else you’ll be exploited even the men in this car are probably trying to exploit you.
Everybody turned to face me and in my mind I’m thinking, “wrong move?” But I needed to say something before leaving this helpless woman. I then asked her to give me her number so I’ll call to pray with her when I get to work and be sure she’s safe but she said her phone was off. I wrote down mine on a sheet of paper (2 of them) and asked her to please give me a call and promised to pray for her once I get to work.
Woman: You’ll pray for me? What’s your name?
Me: Yes I will, my name is Nonye. Please be safe!
Woman: Thanks Nonye.
Me: Now I’m ready to come down
The car stops and I got down, still shaken up. I really couldn’t understand why I was so emotional. This wasn’t how I planned my Monday morning, this shouldn’t be my business but guilt wouldn’t let me be. I started to think, “Maybe I shouldn’t have left? Could I have done something more? How horrible a person am I for leaving her with those men?” Then I decided to pray to God to forgive me and keep her safe.
While all this was going on in my head, I was trying to get a bike to Unilag gate but for some reason no bike was going that direction. No keke (local tricycles) was going to that direction either. It made me wonder, am I not at chemist (a familiar bustop that I could easy get a bike going to gate from)? I then tried to retrace my steps back through the way the car had driven and with extra help from people around, I found my way to a familiar bustop, Pako. I got to Pako at 8am (my bustop to Pako is usually just 20mins but I had spent an hour), I checked my phone and I saw messages from a lot of people from my group, everybody texting to find out if I was alright.
At this point, everybody knew those guys were fraudsters except me. People started sharing their experiences with me and I was surprised at how many people had had such an experience. People said, thank God I wasn’t greedy but I couldn’t understand. Was anybody ever interested in random money? Stolen money from a prostitute to be precise?
The one I could understand was when Pastor Toyin said they do this to get your curiosity or emotional attention. So yeah their mention of several millions couldn’t get me (I’m not moved by money), their gist and asking me to add my mouth couldn’t get me (I don’t get involved in other people’s businesses, I could have a PhD in minding my business) but getting my emotional attention? Oh yes! I was moved by her story, I wanted her to be safe but thank God I left it to God. There really wasn’t much I could do and whenever things get to that point I usually just turn to God so that’s what I offered to do. Am I taking credit for my decisions, absolutely not! For a while I regretted not getting her an Uber, following her to her sister’s place to be sure she was fine, I cried for leaving her, I wanted her to be safe and most of all, find God!
I realized that my emotions went from pity to fear, this could have been something more! My mum had had a similar experience. I got to work at 10, I was fine but still wasn’t settled. I couldn’t get myself to work till 12, after I had asked God for strength to continue my day and cheered up by a friend.
Yeah, that’s my story. I’ve had so many testimonies this year. God has indeed been wonderful. Have a lovely week guys and please be safe! Writing has been a struggle but I’m working on a plan, thanks for your patience guys *kisses*