Three of Cassava Republic Press' award-winning authors, Toni Kan (author of Nights of the Creaking Bed), Adaobi Nwaubani (I Do Not Come To You By Chance) and Sade Adeniran (Imagine This) were travelling from Lagos to Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife on the afternoon of Tuesday, 18th May for a book reading with the university community when their car slowed between Ibadan and Ife.
It quickly became clear to all that there was an armed robbery taking place ahead.
A few moments later, a robber with a gun passed in front of the car. He pointed the gun at the driver and demanded angrily that he stop. The driver quickly reversed and sped backwards, while the robber shot at them.
Luckily no one was hurt. The car waited for a while a few miles away with other parked cars. After a while, they decided it was better to move forward than to return to Lagos. They passed by where the incident had taken place. There were lots of cars and buses parked along the road, all empty. The passengers and drivers had fled into the bush.
The writers eventually reached OAU. Later that evening, they were hosted by OAU Alumni Society, reading from their work to an excited audience. Three Cassava Republic writers survived to tell the tale! Although, it is a traumatic experience, we are very grateful that no one was hurt and we hoped that the passengers of the robbed car were unhurt.
This incident highlights the continued insecurity of lives in the country and the fact that a simple road journey is potentially a death trap. We hope that the government will take security issues in the country very seriously as well as the underlining issues that has made armed robbery the only option opened to many of our unemployed and disenfranchised youths. It is totally unacceptable that nearly 50years after Independence the State is still unable to protect her citizens and provide them with a living wage that will allow people to live well and with dignity. The struggle for daily survival has made some people to feel they have no choice but to result to armed robbery and wrecking havoc on people’s lives.
We are very happy that the authors arrived in Ife safely, even if they were traumatised by events.