By Jennifer Ugwueke
Eighteen-year-old Segun Bakare, an auto mechanic apprentice, left his Showunmi, Mushin, Lagos abode about 9 am, on August 19, 2021, for his master’s workshop located in the heart of the densely populated Mushin area, bidding his mother goodbye. This has been his practice for three years.
But an incident that changed the entire course of the day for his mother who sells noodles at the bus stop close to their house, occurred, following a telephone call she received about 3 pm, with the stranger informing that Segun was found in Ore, Ondo state.
Findings revealed that a man suspected to be a ritualist handed his bag to Segun at Daleko.
Immediately, Segun lost consciousness and sheepishly followed the orders of the stranger.
He boarded a commercial bus with the stranger from Iyana-Isolo, on the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, to Oshodi, from where they boarded another inter-state bus to Ondo state.
In this interview with Crime Guard, Mrs Rashidat Bakare who is yet to come to terms with the reality of what happened to her son kept singing songs of praise to God, for sparing his life.
She said, “ I received a call from Segun’s number about 3 pm that fateful day. The caller told me to call back. But I didn’t have airtime on my phone, so I rushed to buy it.
“When I called back, the voice on the other side said he was an official of Amotekun and that they found my son, Segun at Ore.
“I asked where Ore was, he said it was in Ondo state. They asked me to come immediately to Ondo and take him. I was shocked and scared at the same time. I called my husband’s elder brother, and other relatives to inform them of what had happened”.
“By the time we were able to raise money for the journey, it was late. I left for Ore, Ondo state about 5 am the next day, accompanied by my brother-in-law.
“We arrived there about 2 pm. We met the Amotekun officials. They asked me to provide proof of being Segun’s mother. When they were convinced I was, they sent us back to their headquarters where we met their boss.
“I was subjected to another round of questioning, at the end of which they allowed me to go with my son without collecting a dime from us.
“I have been hearing news about people getting missing. I have watched it in Nigerian movies but I didn’t believe it was real until it happened to my son.”.
“I can’t thank God enough for what he has done for me. Even though I am still in shock, sometimes it is as if it is a dream.
“I have not been feeling too well since we returned on Saturday. Sometimes I would be imagining what would have happened had God not intervened.
“Questions like what if his abductor had succeeded in taking him to his destination, or if he was not found, kept ringing in my head. How would I have coped if I did not see him ?”
“Segun is traumatized. He is still in shock. But he is not behaving abnormally. He came back with his body complete. For now, I am still monitoring him, I don’t allow him to go out.
“Their father has been outside the country for 11 years. This has saddled me with the responsibility of taking care of Segun and his three siblings.
“He is the only boy. My joy knows no bound”
On his part, Segun explained that a man approached him around Daleko road, identifying himself as a Muslim cleric, popularly called Alfa. He said the man told him he saw a vision concerning him and would want to reveal it to him.
According to Segun, “ The elderly man wore a native buba and sokoto. He beckoned me to come, I walked up to him, immediately I got close to him, he held my hand”.
“As soon as he held my hand, he gave me his bag. I don’t know what happened thereafter. I just saw myself following him.
“I became a bit conscious of my environment when we got to Ore. That was when we alighted from the vehicle.
“The man took his bag from me. We were about to board another vehicle when I asked where I was.
“‘I started acting strangely and was shouting that I was on my way to work in Lagos. I didn’t know how I found myself there’.
“While I was demanding to know how I got there, one man hit me on the chest. But I kept shouting Lagos!, Lagos!.
“By then people had gathered. They asked if the man with me was my father, I said no.
“I told them I could only remember speaking with him at Isolo in Lagos. That was when the commercial motorcycle operators and other people got interested.
“They called the operatives of Amotekun, who took us to their office from where my mother was contacted”.