7th August, 2023
A horrific and nightmarish 71st birthday it was as three hooded men from the underworld, self-styled hired assassins, armed with knives, cutlasses and axe burst into my bedroom, asking for $70,000—otherwise they would kill.
They switched off the light automatically and plunged everywhere into darkness as they started torturing me and my wife using their phone torchlight. They came when we were about watching 10 o’clock Channels News. Ironically, we became the real news. For seventy minutes they inflicted sorrow, tears and blood. They gave us dirty slaps, then gripped and twisted our necks US-police chokehold style making it difficult for us to breathe.
I could hear my wife’s SOS cry: “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” As she struggled for life, they said she was stubborn. So they battered her legs and thighs with an axe such that she can barely walk. On my part, they put a sharp, silvery knife around my neck and in the darkness, I mistook hot sweat running down my neck for blood.
They asked for dollars. We showed them where they could get money and they collected everything—including our ATM cards, credit cards and all our phones. They withdrew money from our accounts but what matters is life. As long as there is life, there is hope. That was why I could not read nor respond to the avalanche of birthday greetings from friends and well-wishers on a birthday that almost became our deathday.
Before they left, they tied our mouths with Cellotape, tied our legs and tied our hands Patrice Lumumba-like with ropes they brought, warning that we should not “try anything funny or you will regret.” Before they left, they asked which church we attend and we said Redeemed Church of God and they replied: “Pastor Adeboye is a good man.” They then told us in good English that it was “the situation in the country” that has turned them into criminals.
All through the ordeal, we prayed nervously to God and mercifully, God delivered us as He delivered Daniel from the lions’ den. But for God, those robbers from the pit of hell, smoking Indian hemp right inside our room would have killed us. It’s so sad watching your wife going through an ordeal and not being able to protect her as a man. I felt guilt-ridden but what can a man do in that deadly circumstance? The most painful part is the post-robbery depression. Every second, the nightmare keeps playing back in the mind and tormenting us in our sleep.
Psychologists talk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is “characterized by intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks related to the robbery. This can significantly impact daily functioning and well-being.”
Thank you all for your prayers, birthday wishes and your phone calls which couldn’t reach us because our phones were in the hands of robbers. Life indeed is an accident waiting to happen. I pray it will not happen to you. May you never meet such evil men bursting into the sanctity of your home and bedroom, inflicting pain and mayhem on you and your household.