Lagos state for several years now has been one of the most flourishing states in Nigeria. A lot of people are in Lagos already and more people are still making plans to move over there in quest for a better life.
Due to the nature of the state and the population of people in the state; it attracts a lot of things both good and bad.
Aside the heavy traffic, strange characters, bizarre experiences and so on, there is still another problem that gives most commuters sleepless night – being attacked by robbers. This is an experience most people hope and wish not to experience. Even you wouldn’t want such.
If eventually you fall into the hands of these wicked traffic robbers, there are things we would suggest you do to remain safe. Your properties matter though, but life should always come first.
1, Be calm:
One of the first things these traffic robbers do is to scare you. How do they do this? They can start by showing you their weapon; this is their calm approach, they can as well come in more violent way by smashing your windows. Whichever approach they take, try as much as you can to be calm as much as you can. In most cases, if you raise alarm, people around are likely not to meddle in your business with the robbers for their own safety. Staying calm tends to reduce the risk of much violence.
2. Don’t attack the robber(s):
Attacking the robber is one of the worst steps you can take when in this situation. You don’t know how sophisticated the traffic robbers are. Attacking them might catalyze them to take the more violence approach. Unless you’re Jack Bauer or have a very strategic backup, don’t engage the robbers please.
3. Avoid making direct eye contact:
From onset, making a direct eye contact with robbers has never been a good thing. It has cost some people their lives.
No matter how low-class the robber may look or seem, behave deferentially. Avoid looking him directly in the eye as that might irritate him. Don’t stare either, as this would be perceived as threatening to the offender. Keep your eyes down and look at the chin of the offender and use your peripheral vision to obtain details. This is less threatening to the offender. Address him as ‘Sir’ or ‘oga’, whichever you find more comfortable. Most robbers have low self-esteem and a little bit of respect might calm them down or even deter them.
Unless your car is bullet and hammer-proof, do not argue with the armed robber. Cooperate. Ensure you first inform the robber in clear terms that you are willing to cooperate, and then respond quickly to their demands to whatever instructions they give. Speak only if you need to answer the offender and always reply honestly. Do not try any form of heroics.
5. Speak clearly and with simple language:
There is no gain in impressing an armed robber with good grammar. Do not try to confuse him with a foreign language, heavy/polished accent or big grammar. Respond in the simplest English you know. If you are fluent in pidgin or local dialect, whichever the robber starts communication with, continue with it. Trying to sound too polished might give them the notion that you have more than you are giving to them and that would aggravate them, and possibly encourage them inflict harm on you. Also, try not to add to much detail or say anything that is unnecessary as that could increase the pressure, cause a breakdown in confidence and lead to panic. Keep your answers short, precise and positive using simple words and phrases.
6. Take the robber seriously:
While strong-armed robberies can also occur without a weapon- just the threat of physical violence or an actual beating followed by the demand for moneys, it is always important to assume the offender is armed. Whether you see the armed robber’s weapon or not, you can never be too sure. Be cautious, ensure you observe all his movements and listen to every word his utters. Do not underestimate his actions. Stay alert.
Some points in this article is an idea of a Nairalander with the moniker Jovago.