By Uchenna Odo
The high rate of stealing of phones at Garriki, Enugu, calls for concerns.
In recent times, there were a lot of people that lost their phones in the busy suburb.
Adadareporters looked for some of those that have had the ugly experiences in the area.
One of them is Chidera Onyeji, a graduate of mass communication from University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
She said, “It was on a Sunday afternoon earlier this year. I was coming back from church. It was at a filling station opposite the route that enters Garriki market. One young man asked me why I stamped on his toes. While the argument was ongoing, two other persons got so close to me. I thought they were sympathising with me.
“It was the time I entered a barber’s shop to have a hair-cut that I discovered that my phone was no longer with me. I remembered what happened, and couldn’t get myself throughout the week.
“I was surprised that such could happen to me. I was born and brought up in Garriki. Garriki houses social miscreants.”
Uchenna Nwobodo said, “I was travelling from Old Garriki to New Garriki Cattle Market inside Keke. I didn’t know that such a criminal was in the Keke.
“At the MTD, he started coughing. I was pitying him. I didnt know that it was a strategy. When he wanted to spew out saliva, I adjusted. He used the opportunity to steal my phone.
“Immediately we reached Garriki, I don’t know whether he disappeared or not. It was when I wanted to bring out money to pay the keke rider that I discovered that my phone was no longer with me.
“Not only that they took my phone, they used it to trace my account, and withdrew the whole money in my account. It was like the whole world had come to an end for me.”
The same story was narrated by a woman who preferred not to mention her name. The same gang that stole her phone traced her account and withdrew her N500,000.
When asked why such ugly things are happening in the area, a barber, known as Ejima, said it is because capital punishment has not been meted to any of the arrested ones.
He said, “People are lenient to them. If it were in Onitshia or Aba, immediately they are caught, they are set ablaze.
“I advise people around here to keep their phones secured. Don’t talk to somebody who deliberately begins unsolicited talks.
“They are professionals in that. When they see you, they will know that you are a new person in the area. If eventually you fall into their hands, rush and block your line. They know how to trace people’s accounts and withdraw money.”