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Feature: Thursday the 13th
From: Farida Shaibu          Published On: February 14, 2013, 9:42 GMT
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Feature: Thursday the 13th

Faridatu Shaibu

If I were to ever answer a question about my greatest phobia in this world, I’d probably have given a vague response till now. Never did I envisage that my greatest trepidation would be borne out of the accusation of being called a thief- a phone thief for that matter.

The above date used to be one of the ordinary days on the annual chart for me but I guess I will now have to mark it on my calendar, write it in my diary and inscribe it on my wall in surrogate to the legendary “Friday the 13th” which by myth is believed to be an evil day for dire happenings around the world.

So many questions raced through my mind that momentous evening while I sat in the bus I boarded from the Kasoa station brooding over what would have made the headlines to my family that fateful night.

I didn’t reflect on the incident as one that could have sent me to an early grave till I began having flashbacks and finally came to terms with the number of souls that have experienced the wrath of angry mob leading to their sudden demise at the Circle, Kaneshie and Odorkor lorry stations.

Would I have also been disgraced, molested and lynched just because I had allegedly stolen a phone? What would have been my punishment if I wasn’t bold enough to rebuke this presumed six-year old trained liar?

Possibly, things would have been awful if she had accused me by the roadside where I stood in wait of a bus to Odorkor and pick another to Awoshie because anyone would have believed her.

It was around 8pm and the lights were out but as I waited edgily for a bus, I heard a driver’s mate shouts “Awoshie, Ablekuma! Awoshie, Ablekuma!!” from the station and I immediately headed in the direction and approached him to lead me to the bus.

In fact, I can’t recall the path where she came from but a few steps into the “troski”, I felt a tap behind me and there she stood- my little angel of death, in tattered clothing wiping off herself as if she had indeed survived from a stampede.

“Sister! Give me the phone you just took from me when I fell down running” she demanded in Akan. And as if I knew all about the plan to get me a beating that night, I turned, yelled at her and warned her to go back and tell her accomplices that their plans failed to work on me.

“Phone? Get lost before I spank you! Don’t ever think you can use one of those tricks on me, thief!” I scolded her in the common language and sat in the bus.

Before any of the passengers could apprehend what was really happening, this little girl had already jumped in the half-full bus with teary eyes and demanded I gave her the phone.

The puzzled passengers looked on as they took a quick glance at the little brat and immediately started some sort of cross examination. Standing right in front of me, this petite fraudster claimed the supposed phone was given to her by her mother minutes before I picked it up from the ground where she fell.

Apparently, that imaginary mother is her trainer fraudsters lurking somewhere in the station waiting to descend on me immediately they hear any accusing tantrums of a phone theft.

Only God knows if I would by then be allowed a few seconds to even vindicate myself if I wasn’t seated in the bus already. Certainly they would have made away with my own phone and other belongings after giving me the beating of my life.

I was bowled over, left in a state of shock and disbelief as passengers kept questioning the girl about the type of phone and the number of the said phone in order to verify the authenticity of her accusation.

Within minutes, she ran out of words and swiftly dashed out of the bus threatening to go and call her mother.

When I fully regained consciousness from all that was happening around me, I searched my ladies’ bag to be sure nothing of that sought had been slipped into it or taken out by any magical means. I realized I still had my laptop, purse and Samsung Ch@t GT E2222 which obviously would have been taken away.

I showed commuters my phone and explained that this was clearly a new scheme of engaging little children in the act of robbery and indeed there was no iota of truth in the little girl’s claims. Whoever is the master planner of this new format must certainly be a genius.

Of course, children are vulnerable and will attract more sympathizers to enable them complete such dubious mission with ease. Anyone would have believed such skilled lass especially around that time.

Several minutes passed by and already the bus was filled with passengers yet there was no sign of this baby thief and her supposed mother. No one even saw where she went in the dark and it became patent that she was on a mission.

“Their medicine didn’t work today, you are very lucky sister!” yelled a nosy bread seller as the bus moved out of the station.

Now can you imagine the number of innocent lives that are being chased out of this world each day? Some of whom we play a part by pointing accusing fingers at. Others we insult, lynch and even burn to ashes.

Usually, we cannot tell who is innocent and who is guilty but such lives could have been saved if they were at least given the chance of a fair trial.

Yes, there are a lot of swindlers out there depriving people of their valuables every minute of the day but is mob justice the best solution to curb this canker? Think about this and ask yourself.

What would you have done if you were the victim in this case and perhaps if you weren’t as fortunate as I had been?

I am sure you wouldn’t be reading this if God hadn’t intervened because my body would have either been lying helpless in the hospital or buried 6ft deep in the soil.

Let’s just say I wasn’t destined to depart this way- in the hands of aggravated mob.

Remember! There are many agents out there always devising different techniques to steal, kill and destroy so let’s all be very CAREFUL and VIGILANT.

Perhaps the next time I find myself in such a fix, I will immediately look for the nearest police officer or any person willing to hear my side of the story before an angry mob descend on me. What would you do?

Farida Shaibu

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