Posted by Henry UMAHI (firstname.lastname@example.org) on
For years, Emmanuel (surname withheld), alias Ologbo, and his gang terrorized different parts of the country, particularly the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State.
For years, Emmanuel (surname withheld), alias Ologbo, and his gang terrorized different parts of the country, particularly the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State. By his own account, his five-man gang brought untold hardship, tears and sorrow to many families in the course of their evil enterprise. Needless to recount the unquantifiable blood they left in their wake.
Today, Ologbo is singing redemption song, saying that old things have passed away and he is a new creature.
In a chance meeting with Saturday Sun, he narrated his escapades in the world of crime, asserting that some parents inadvertently goad their children into anti-social activities. He also offered security tips to travellers and Nigerians in general on how to escape further victimization when encountered by robbers.
"Parents should be blamed for some of the young people who indulge in anti-social activities such as robbery and prostitution. This is because sometimes they show partial love to some of their children than others, spoiling those ones at the end of the day.
"Iím a perfect example of what Iím talking about. As a young boy, my mother loved me more than her other children and showed it in all ways and manners. While my siblings were compelled to do house chores I would not and my mother wouldnít do anything. In fact, she approved of my every action and defended me at all times. If I picked quarrel with a neighbourís son, she would go to fight for me. Having noticed that she would never scold me, I began to misbehave. Likewise, I hated my father because he used to rebuke me.
Journey into crime
I started stealing money at home and my mother would accuse my siblings of the theft. From there, I started playing truancy at school and my mother would not take any definite action. Then I joined somebody boys who were smoking Igbo (Indian hemp); we started picking pockets, graduating into robbery. I moved from one gang to another until I formed my own gang. Along the line, my father went to a police station at Onitsha and disowned me.
We literally seized Onitsha and its environ by the throat for years. We were also robbing in other parts of the country. Today, I am the only surveying member of the gang, the other fast died in the last operation we had but I escaped with gunshot injuries. That was when I stopped and I blame my mother for my misadventure into robbery. If only she had not spoilt me silly, I would have lived a positive life".
Ologboís advice to travellers are: "When travelling, avoid getting into intimate discussion or confrontation with a stranger you just met in the vehicle. I will give an example to illustrate what I mean. One day I was travelling to Lagos to relax after a successful operation in Onitsha. I bought the ticket and found a seat for myself by the window inside the luxury bus. After a while I left my things on my seat and went down but when I came back a woman had taken my seat.
"I pleaded with her to vacate the seat but she refused. Then she started calling me names. She said I was an ordinary pick-pocket going to Lagos to constitute a nuisance. That moment made me really mad. She called a professional like me a mere pickpocket. So I decided to teach her a very big lesson. When the bus got to Jibowu in Lagos, she alighted and I followed her. She took a cab and I asked an okada man to trail her. When she got to her house and I was satisfied she lived there, I left four days later, my gang and I paid her a visit. When the woman saw me in my real element that night, she crumbled. Well, the rest is history as they say.
"On the other hand, if you get too intimate with someone just like that, you might end up being drugged. Some bad girls even rub some stuff on their breasts and they will encourage you to suck such breasts and if you fall for these baits you will sleep so much that every valuable thing on you will be taken away.
"Also, some beautiful girls are planted in the buses by criminals. If you take such girls home, they will invite their gangs to raid you if she thinks you are worth the trouble.
"If you are travelling with a cheque, bank draft or ATM card, hide it very well because if an armed robber sees any of these things with you without reasonable amount of cash, you are in soup.
"If you are travelling with a camera or camera phone, keep it in your bag because if it is seen during operation, no one would know if you had taken any shots or not. That means plenty trouble.
"If the boys are operating and they ask for money, give all you have because most of them have charms that indicate that someone has money on him or her.
So, if you try to be smart, you are taking a big risk. Also, donít look the guys in the face because if any of them recognizes you, you a goner for real.
"Watch what you buy. There was a day we hid a gun inside a loaf of bread and gave it to one of the hawkers. The boy mistakenly sold that particular loaf. Now, what happens if the person who bought the bread gave it to somebody like a neighbour or his step mother? It is better imagined.
Ologbo urged young people to shun crime because it does not pay. Again, using himself as an example, he says:" "I made so much money from armed robbery but I squandered all. Such money you cannot use to do anything meaningful because it is cursed. All the money I made was spent in hotels, on women. I could waste one million naira in three weeks on frivolities.
"Itís a shame really. Sometimes, I would go to a higher institution, pick a girl and bring her to my hotel room. Then I would order her to undress, you know, some of these girls have beautiful faces but you would be disappointed if you see their naked bodies. So, if I carry one with sagging breast or stretch marks, I will just give her about N20,000 and chase her out without even poking a finger at her. Then I would go and bring another one.
That was how I wasted all the money I made in robbery.
"We caused pain, anguish and sorrow to many people. Today, Iím living in pains too. Iím limping with bullets lodged in my right leg. Iíve asked my father to forgive me for being a black sheep in the family. Even some of my victims I know, Iíve approached them for forgiveness.
The name, Ologbo
"Ologbo is a Yoruba word. It means cat. I was nicked named Ologbo by my associates because of the way I operated. I looked harmless but I was slippery, my appearance deceptive".