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THAT CHRISTMAS DAY ROBBERY SCARE

A Night of Terror: Robbery Strikes the Housing Estate

The Housing Estate where I live had hired a Security Company that guards the entire Estate every night.

The Shocking Break-In: Robbers Enter Unmanned Rear Border

At the rear border of this Estate is a stream that meanders its way down from Owerri in Imo State of Nigeria to the Port Harcourt side of the Atlantic Ocean. The security guards adequately take care of the front and two sides of the Estate, leaving the rear un-manned, apparently regarding the stream as enough protection, because nobody expects that any group of robbers would like to venture entry to the estate from the rear.

To everyone’s surprise, the unexpected happened two weeks before Christmas day: A group of armed robbers gained entry from the rear and attacked some houses in the estate on that faithful night. The security guards, having been taken by surprise, left the residents at the mercy of the marauders. They moved from house to house in the middle of the night robbing with glee and unchallenged.

Residents in Disbelief: Aftermath of the Robbery

The next morning residents gathered in clusters discussing with disbelief what had happened the previous night. The security officers had no explanation to give, as they remained in shock over what had happened, and how they were out-smarted by the invading robbers.

Christmas Day Returns: An Uneasy Feeling in the Estate

Two weeks later was the Christmas day. I decided to pay visits to a few friends and to my parents who also happen to be living in Owerri city.

Startling Gunshots: Fear and Panic Grip the Residents

At the end of the day, I came back to my residence in the Estate, feeling tired. I threw myself on one of the seats in the sitting room and switched on the television to watch one of my favourite movies. Before long, I felt sleepy and simply walked into the visitor’s room next to the sitting room and just lay on the bed there intending to have a little sleep and would later go upstairs to sleep in the master’s bedroom. As I lay in the visitor’s bedroom sleeping, I was awakened by a loud gunshot. It sounded so loud that I concluded immediately that another robbery had visited us at the estate, two weeks after the previous one I described at the beginning of this script.

I sat up on my bed almost frozen with fear. My heart pounded inside me like the drum beat of a musical bandstand.

Prayers and Panic: Desperate Moments in the Visitor’s Room

“Gbuum!!” came the sound of another gunshot. This one sounded so close that I concluded that the robbers had already entered the very compound where I lived. Our blend has four duplexes and I am occupying one of them. “The robbers must have been robbing the inhabitants of the other duplexes, while I slept, and now it was my turn to be robbed” I mused.

I started saying my usual ejaculatory prayer: “JESUS MARY I LOVE YOU, SAVE SOULS” repeatedly.

Seeking Refuge: Hiding Under the Staircase

I continued repeating this ejaculatory prayer in silent whispers, as I gum-shoed out from the room intending to look for some obscure corner I could hide before the robbers would break the door with bullets and confront me. With my whole body now trembling like a mass of jelly, and bent like an athlete set to take off on a race, I quietly moved under the staircase and hid myself, still praying to God to save me.

The Intruders’ Voices: A Terrifying Encounter

The next thing I heard was a deep voice saying softly: “ I know you are there, don’t do anything funny” “Has he seen me through the window” I feared.

At this voice, sweat came all over me. Another voice different from the one I heard muttered something I could not make out. Next came another voice different from these two. At this my fear increased, having heard three different voices, and I began to wonder how many they must be in number. “Perhaps there might be many more others, all about to attack me” I mused again. Suddenly, I started hearing the sound of music. Surprise! “How can armed robbers be playing music while carrying out robbery operations?” I questioned in my mind.

Lessons Learned: Security Measures and Preparedness

As I thought this through, I immediately realized that the music was actually coming from my television, which I failed to switch off before I went to sleep, and the gunshots I heard came from the movie I was watching and my whole body recovered from the fear and tension I had thrown myself into. The robbery was unreal after all.            

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