While the gaze of the world was set firmly on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and its implication on the globe tragedy struck at home.
Twenty-two-year-old Oluwabamise Ayanwole who went missing after boarding a BRT bus from Ajah was reportedly found dead in Lagos Island with some of her body parts missing on Monday, 7 March 2022.
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The deceased, who was a fashion designer in Ajah had cautiously sent some voice notes to a friend when she developed suspicions of the BRT bus she had boarded. Clips of this voice note were circulated around the internet prompting a statewide search for the late Bamise.
A few moments after the deceased body was found, the driver of the BRT bus Mr. Andrew Nice was arrested. The 47-year-old driver tried to exonerate himself from the tragedy, explaining that he had no connection with Bamise’s death but was only following directions of her abductors who held him and the young lady hostage on the bus.
The average commuter in Lagos employs ninja levels of suspicion when boarding transport systems in the city. The threat of kidnappers, ritualists, and “one chancers” has gripped Lagosians with fear for decades.
This is one of the major reasons, the Bus Rapid Transit system was widely celebrated when it was introduced on March 17, 2008. It was meant to be a symbol of order and safety, so you can imagine the mass shock of Lagosians at the unfortunate news.
There seems to be no victory in sight to this war against insecurity.
This fatal occurrence may make minds wander to another form of warfare, which is the Federal Government’s perceived passive aggression towards social and new media platforms. One cannot be quick to forget the head-scratching lengthy ban the Government placed on Twitter in the middle of 2021.
Where traditional forms of information dissemination have been limited, social media has stepped in to massively disseminate information and spread awareness. Social media once again gallantly generated public outrage and awareness for Oluwabamise, in the same manner, it did for Vera Uwaila Omozuwa in 2020 and Sylvester Oromoni in 2021.
It is very disheartening that such an effective tool of social justice is at the whim of unfavorable government policies.
Just like the fuel scarcity, ASUU strike, corruption, and internal insecurities all our wars and battles are internal and self-afflicted, while we watch Ukraine in the distance fight for its survival.
In the words of American billionaire rapper, Kanye West “We at war, we at war with terrorism, racism, but most of all we at war with ourselves”.