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BAMISE’S BUSINESS; Are women still safe in Nigerian society?

In the harsh realities of present-day Nigeria, fuel scarcity, inflation and ironically in the month of March, while celebrating women, the news of Bamise’s kidnapping and death has left us nothing but sadness, highlighting the dangers facing women and girls. face in a stereotypical community.

Sadness at the dwindling state of present-day Nigeria, sadness that the same authorities we have chosen to protect us have failed to do so, and finally, anger that they have yet to speak up or take action.

Like many Nigerians, 22-year-old Oluwabamise Ayanwole was on her way home from work on Saturday night, probably after a stressful day, when she boarded the Lagos State Bus Transport Service (BRT), and something seemed to be wrong as if she could see her dead.

For many of us, we didn’t know Bamise, and our paths might never have crossed, but when her friend @Mercy_McQuin tweeted, “a friend of mine is missing”, our hearts skipped a beat for this stranger, who could have been someone’s daughter, sister, aunt, niece or friend.

The story of Bamise

Bamise had unknowingly boarded a ‘reliable’ BRT at Chevron bound for Oshodi at 7pm. While her instincts sounded the alarm, she let her boyfriend know via Whatsapp VN that she noticed something was wrong with the bus. She wasn’t sure if the bus was on its way to Oshodi, because the driver of the five-passenger bus had changed routes along the way and took Ikorodu Road.

Her friend had unknowingly asked her to inform her when she got off the bus, and Bamise said ‘yes ma’, which unfortunately was the last time anyone heard from her.

Panic struck Sunday morning when her parents told her friends that Bamise had yet to come home.

A young Nigerian boy merely trying to earn a living had boarded a Lagos State transport vehicle and had suddenly disappeared. Her number was unreachable and when they contacted the service authorities, they received sheer incompetence and unflappable responses. In fact, the officials had told them they had no information about the driver. NO DATABASE? OR WAS THIS A COVER?

After some commotion at the Oshodi BRT park terminal 3, where they had been ordered by the careless BRT operators to wait for the driver, they went to the police station.

At the police station, they soon noticed that the driver no longer lived at the address and his number remained disabled. So they took to social media and shared details about the driver in the hope that someone recognized or knew him.

While many Nigerians sent their wishes and prayers, we received devastating news on Monday morning. Bamise’s body had been found and several vital organs were missing.

Seventy-two hours later, news reports say the driver has been arrested and taken into custody.

Bamise’s story opens up old wounds of women murdered in Nigerian society for rituals, and like her story, it is reminiscent of the 2021 incident of Hindy Umren, who went out hoping to get a job. And again, in this case, we’re still seeing the same down-to-earth approach by the authorities to deal with it.

Unfortunately, Bamise’s passing shows that much remains unchecked, even if there is no valid address of the driver who works with the BRT service. Bamise, even though there were four other passengers on the bus, must have boarded the bus with a sense of security that it is the ‘BRT’ and not the regular private transport. Where has her confidence left her? How can women and girls stay safe in Nigeria’s society? Now we know that Bamise wasn’t paranoid.

Lagos state government failed in Bamise, BRT failed in Bamise, Nigeria failed in Bamise.

Source: Guardian

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