With all the stories of kidnap, ritual killings and rape all around us, what is the wisdom in sending a 15-old girl to Lagos all by herself?
This question tugged at my heart just recently following an encounter with Favour Aliu, who was just put in a Lagos-bound vehicle by relatives in Auchi Edo state.
This was on January 5, via Cliffosa Motors transport, and Favour had neither phone no a guardian for the long and obviously risky journey.
All one could learn was that Mr Paul Afes, favours guardian who brought her to the motor park, just liaised with the driver to drop the girl off at Berger.
Further enquiry by this writer revealed that Favour is Mr Afes maid, but was being handed over to his daughter Mary Afes in Magodo area of Lagos.
The plan is for her to stay with the lady and continue with her education.
You needed to see Favour on the day in question – she was a mixture of naivety and anxiety, because it was the first time she was travelling out of her constituency – Okpella in Estako East Local Government Area of the state, without a known guide.
On the relationship existing between her and the supposed guide, Favour said her mother and Mr Afe’s wife were friends, and that her father was old and not strong enough again to work and take care of the family.
It was therefore like a lifeline which despite fraught with danger could not be resisted.
You could then understand the mild dramas that played out in the course of the journey. At Ore where the bus had a stopover for example, Favour was stuck in her position, while other passengers were refreshing, stretching and emptying their bladders having sat for such a long time.
Yet, it was obvious she was not very comfortable. She opted to try managing her discomfort until her unease attracted an elderly man, who remonstrated her to get up and go to ease herself.
He was equally furious with the guardians that they could just put such a vulnerable girl on a long journey accompanied.
At Berger bus stop, the driver had put through a call to someone who was supposed to await Favour’s arrival, but lo and behold, he had not arrived the spot, meaning either the vehicle waits, or the driver drops off Favour.
In fact, he was livid with anger and resolved to taking Favour to Mile 2!
-As to what happened next, keep a date with this column.