#BounceExclusive: Are Daylight Robbers At Tombia Market Preparing For Baby Dedication?
Is it just hunger or share laziness? This is the kind of thing that could have motivated the Nigerian youths are lazy statement.
It was about 10:45:a.m local time when Bounce News walked into Tombia Market, at Etegwe area of Bayelsa State and as usual, traders and their customers were buying and selling.
There was need to get the prices of food stuff for update on what the inflation rate is truly saying, but that quest turned to a nightmare.
Everything turned around at about 11:00 a.m. when a group of young boys, over seven of them, arrived at the market.
Armed with machetes, small knives and axes, their presence created tension, as they went from one table after another, threatening traders and intimidating them.
At first traders were afraid they had come for money, but everyone became more relaxed when they began to make a different demand.
Really, it was a market place and no trader must have made tangible sales by 11:00 a.m.
This reality must have informed their decision to go after food stuffs.
Each trader was told to wrap a portion of whatever he or she sold and hand it over.
If the portion is small, they will hit the traders on the back with their weapon. Those who gave generously received a generous treatment from them.
When they got to the tables of butchers, trouble started.
A butcher vehemently refused to part with a piece of meat and two of the boys armed with small axes, lifted him up from his seat and forced him to sit on muddy floor.
They were about demanding for a pound of flesh when fellow butchers, 12 of them, agreed to contribute five pieces of meat each for his release.
At least 60 more pieces of meat were added to the loot bag.
They went round the market from one table to another, gathering food items - rice, beans, custard, buckets of garri, grounded pepper, onions, plastic bottles of red oil, fresh fishes, washing soap, cooking spices, vegetables and everything that could make cooking possible and chase away hunger for some time.
Even wraps of fufu were not left out in their demand list, leaving every eyewitness wondering if they were preparing for a party.
But one funny thing however, is that the traders appear to know who they were.
Some of them who spoke with Bounce News after the robbers left said it was a normal, daily forceful extortion which they could not escape.
An ice fish seller, Mrs Esther Suoyo, lamented that they had been suffering like that since
the beginning of 2018.
"They have collected two big fishes worth 1,400 Naira for free while the packet of seasoning cubes they took cost 350 Naira," she lamented.
Obele, the butcher that refused to be
intimidated explained that "they collect meat, as if they are using them for child dedication every day.
"After robbing us when we go to Swali market early in the morning to buy meat, they will come to forcefully collect the one l want to sell".
Ebibo Sambo, who hawked un-shelled periwinkle was not left out in the extortion.
Sobbing, she said: "Them don carry my periwinkle bucket go" [They have taken my bucket of periwinkle].
Most markets in Bayelsa State have security guards who are members of vigilante groups in town, but when such robberies occur, they disappear into thin air.
Bounce News met one of them after the robbery and he listed the setback they had in guarding the markets well.
Oga Ahmed Sanusi, is one of the market vigilantes and he says guarding the market when hoodlums come has become impossible for them.
"They have weapon, I have a stick. I can't fight them with a stick," he said.
While they robbed, a police van was stationed at Tombia Roundabout, with some officials occupying it, but their presence appear not to scare the criminals.
Some traffic wardens were at a road close to the market controlling traffic and their concern is not usually the market.
Police have not issued a statement on the robbery.
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