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The bus I travelled with last week on my way to Delta, stopped at Ore, their normal stop point for feeding when they are plying the Lagos Benin road. We all alighted from the bus and the driver locked up, each one of us fourteen passengers, parading and buying anything of interest. When we were ready to continue on our journey, we discovered that three passengers were missing. Three of them sat together at the back of the bus and were travelling together. We searched the place, sat and waited for another one hour, but they did not appear. A passenger noticed that a box they carried which was in front of them, wasn’t in the bus, meaning when we all got off the bus, they alighted with the box.

Another passenger said one of the three passengers- a guy, a talkative woman and a lady in her twenties- had said initially that when we arrived Ore, they would alight and return to Lagos, because the person they were going to see in Warri was on his way to Lagos. We all had our opinions, we thought they behaved wrong because they ought to have informed the driver to avoid the confusion we found ourselves in and avoid time wasting, since we still had a long journey before us.

The driver reported to his company supervisor who was stationed were we stopped, and we proceeded. On getting to our final destination, a woman carried her bag and was shocked that it was empty.

I thought the three missing passengers had mistaking taken her small carry bag, thinking it was theirs. But the woman said the bag she was holding was hers, because her face towel was left in the side pocket and the main zip was still locked with her padlock.

The only explanation was the three passengers were thieves, who didn’t mind paying the complete fare from Lagos because they had a mission. They must have had a master key to have robbed someone off her money and Holland wrappers. One of the thieves, the woman among them, was always on the phone with whoever discussing her good news – Yar ‘ Adua’s death. She was evidently happy about it. We all heard that morning at the park. She was apparently very noisy in the bus to distract others, while her colleagues opened bags that were under seats and on the walkway, while some passengers were sleeping. That must be why they took the back seat. That must be why they paid extra for an air conditioned bus. They must believe that their operation will be more productive in the AC bus compared to the ones that are not air conditioned.

Other passengers might have gotten home to discover some things missing from their bags, unlike the woman who discovered at the park because her bag was small and everything in it was taken.

Every time, thieves learn a new method of operating. It is only God that can save us.