38-year-old Kabiru Bala alias ‘Kabiru Dan wayan’ who sells motorcycles at Muda Lawal Market in Bauchi was last Friday robbed of the sum of N1.6 million after being shot by the robbers in a broad daylight. In an interview with NAJIB SANI, he recounts how it all happened.
My name is Kabiru Bala but people call me Kabiru Dan Wayan. I am a motorcycle dealer at Muda Lawal Market and I hail from Bauchi local government area.
Tell us what happened to you
My business partner sent me the sum of N1.6m today. I went to the bank to withdraw the money after I closed my shop not knowing that evil people would trail me. The money was given to me in N250, 000 bunches which I kept in a leather bag. I came out, entered my car and was stopped by some people in a car who parked in front of me along Makera Street in the Bauchi metropolis near Shafa’s shop where they sell tyres. They were four in number. They abused and asked me where the money was. Already, the money was inside a leather bag and I suspected that they saw it when I was entering my car. I refused to alight from the car having heard what they said. So, they used force to open my car by doing some inconceivable things. I however held the leather containing the money firmly but that infuriated them the more. As a result of this, they brought out a gun and shot me on the lap after which I screamed and released the money. My yelling attracted the attention of the people who now sensed that robbery was going on. They headed to the place and the robbers shot the car door again thereby dispersing them. They then fled the scene immediately and vanished within short time. I think they drove through Gombe road. I could remember that the car in which they drove was a Toyota Corolla golden color.
Did you disclose to anyone that you were going to the bank?
To the best of my knowledge, no one knew that I was going there. I was only with my sales boy when I got the alert and my son who stays with me went to Friday mosque to observe Friday prayer when I went to the bank. I wanted to withdraw the money to settle my boss in the business as I was owing him some money.
Did you report the incident to police?
Yes, I did. The DPO of Central Market Police Station, that is the township police station close to the scene, visited me in this hospital when he heard about the incident. He said that the robbers while crossing the central market round-about shot severally in the air which drew the attention of the police.
Has there been any such robbery in broad daylight around that area in the past?
To the best of my knowledge, I never heard of such a thing at Makera in all my life.
Could it be that the robbers were following you from the bank?
No. I never knew that some people were trailing me and I didn’t stop at anywhere until they blocked me there.
How can you rate the level of security at banks in the city?
There is no security in our banks. This is because they allow everyone to be there even if the person is not depositing or withdrawing money. Evil people take the advantage to target unsuspecting people.
Is it that the security personnel in the banks do not search people’s pockets and bags to detect if they carry weapons?
They do, but that is not enough. The fact is that people who have no business should not be allowed to stay there.
What time did you go to the bank?
Can we say that the incident occurred because many people went to Friday mosques and streets were almost empty?
To be candid, the sound of gunshot people heard when the robbers shot my thigh was what scared people and prevented them from bringing succour to me. After the robbers fled, many people there recognised me as several of them are my business partners, friends or brother’s friends.
Were they wearing any face mask?
No. They were not. They were plain which, to me, suggests that they were bold. At least, it was inconceivable for such a thing to happen in broad daylight without any cover or mask.
Can you recognsie any if you can see them?
I cannot. And I don’t know which tribes they are because they spoke in both English and Hausa. They first of all spoke in English before they later code-switched to Hausa language and abused me when they realised I was not willing to handover the money to them. They could be Bauchi state citizens or strangers, I cannot know.
How do you feel now?
The doctors said there are bullets in my leg and that I have a fracture. That is why they admitted me at the emergency unit of this hospital.
What is your advice to security operatives in the state?
I call on them to ensure that anyone entering banks must be asked whether he or she is there to withdraw or deposit money. If that person has no business there, such should be asked to leave. This is because there are miscreants who move around banks to target customers.