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Home Breaking News 8 ways not to fall victim to one-chance

8 ways not to fall victim to one-chance

There are many unforeseen dangers on the roads, and there are distinct concerns for private vehicle owners and those who board commercial vehicles.

For people who use public transportation, who are in the majority, one old menace that seems to have resurfaced is what is popularly known as ‘one-chance’.

It’s the criminal act by miscreants who rob, molest and/or kidnap passengers. They pretend, to be normal drivers and passengers, but they are a syndicate, and once they have lured innocent passengers to board their vehicle, they unveil their real intention as soon as the vehicle moves.

A security expert and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Consulting Limited, Dr Kabir Adamu, described the perpetrators as criminals who pose with vehicles as commercial motorists and their targets are individuals who usually don’t have a vehicle or for one reason or the other decide to use commercial vehicles to move from point A to point B. “What are the incentives or benefits the perpetrators intend to get? These range from financial benefits to harvesting of body parts, because embedded in one chance is the possibility of abduction for ritual purposes. Once people know this, preventing it is very easy,” he added.

Most times, they operate outside designated bus stops, and some pick up passengers randomly on the road. One of the things central to their operation is cheap fares, which helps them to attract more unsuspecting passengers.

Recently, an Abuja-based lawyer, Opeyemi Adewale, narrated her ordeal in the hands of a one-chance syndicate. She said she boarded a 14-seater bus one evening at a park in Lugbe and that the bus kept driving around the city, while she was forced to contact family members to raise the ransom for her release.

A security consultant and fellow at, the Institute of Security, Nigeria, Mr Chigozie Ubani, described one-chance as a security challenge arising from the government’s inaction on improving public transportation security. He concluded that in the absence of security measures in place, there was little people could do except vigilance following instinct.

Below are some points to note so as not to be a victim:

Be informed

According to Ubani, people who board commercial vehicles or even tricycles have to be informed of the different modes of operation of the miscreants. Indeed, examples abound of how they operate. In the past, there were notorious spots where people easily ran into them. Ubani stated, “They make use of different types of vehicles like, 14-seater buses, space buses like Toyota Sienna, sport utility vehicles, motorcycles, and even minibuses to carry out their criminal acts. Environmental awareness and consciousness in and around the neighborhood are important. Without the government doing its bit, it is almost a helpless and quite perilous situation for the victims. There must be a conscious effort to deter the predator and get them punished when apprehended.”

Be alert to your safety

A security expert, Oladele Fajana, advised that people should have it in mind that they are potential targets for the one-chance miscreants, and that by so doing, they would be more watchful and careful not to jump into just any vehicle or tricycle. Fajana stated that the same way someone putting on expensive pieces of jewelry or holding an expensive phone is a potential victim of a robbery is the same way every decent-looking passenger could fall into the trap of one-chance miscreants.

Remain vigilant

Fajana advised that people should be vigilant at bus stops or parks, so they could notice any strange looks or abnormal behavior before entering vehicles. He added, “If you are at a park, be vigilant. And if you find yourself in a one-chance vehicle, try not to panic. Just be calm and look out for places and gatherings of people so you can create awareness about your situation. You can also take pictures of the vehicle and number plate even before you enter just to notify them that you are aware of your surroundings.”

Enter registered, licensed commercial vehicles only

Due to weak regulation and enforcement of certain laws, some vehicles carry passengers without number plates, some use foreign number plates while some cover their number plates. In many states, there are designated colors for commercial vehicles.

According to experts, these are signals to pay attention to. Adamu noted, “Using the crime triangle, we can identify the perpetrators and go after them. As an example, ensuring that there are no unregistered commercial vehicles in the parks reduces the space for one chance to operate.

It is noteworthy that it is easier to track registered vehicles. Even if the number plate wasn’t for the vehicle, tracing the person, on whose name the number was registered, could provide a link, in case something untoward happens.

Use designated motor parks

As stated earlier, many of the criminals who do one-chance operate outside designated bus parks. Some operate near the bus stops, to give an impression that they are genuine, but it’s said not to be enough. Thus, Adamu advised that people should only use registered parks. “Make sure the parks you use are registered,” he stated. Also, Fajana pointed out that one-chance vehicles are usually different from normal commercial vehicles. He added, “One-chance drivers don’t stay in the park because they know the real commercial motorists don’t recognize them. However, those people who usually go to work or other places early in the morning or at night, need to use registered bus stops. Don’t board vehicles outside the park to avoid entering a one-chance or kidnappers’ vehicles. Don’t enter vehicles along the road.”

Anticipate an attack and remain calm

Fajana advised that people should anticipate being a victim of one-chance, so as not to be caught off-guard. However, in case it happens, he advised that people should endeavor to be calm so as not to get hurt or be killed. There have been instances where people were killed and their remains dropped by the roadside. He added, “Always anticipate being a victim of one chance, kidnappers or even pickpockets, this will help you to remain conscious of your belongings and valuables. Also, if you want to board a vehicle, you should always secure your belongings properly, and if you find yourself in a one-chance vehicle, remain calm and wait until you find a group of people or security operatives so you can make a noise. Make sure the environment is not isolated because making a noise or calling for help can put you in trouble and make the situation worse.”

Consult security experts

Fajana further advised that people could always contact security experts, especially when they want to travel, so they can advise on routes to avoid. He added, “Always consult your security experts so they can give you situation reports on the current happenings on the routes you want to ply across, roads to avoid, and advise on how to best complete the journey without falling victim to harmful circumstances. Security experts know the hot zones and spots to avoid when traveling.”

The government has roles to play

While people are advised to exercise caution and refrain from displaying valuables, Adamu noted that the government also has roles to play, like mandating law enforcement agencies to ensure that only registered commercial motorists pick up passengers.

The government should also make enough commercial vehicles available for the people, including options like functional and safe rail service. According to Ubani, there should be public awareness to help people understand the dangers around them, and possibly certain hotspots to be wary of. He said security agents also need to do better.

He added, “An effective public awareness campaign should follow through radio and social media ads, to inform the public on why commuters should avoid the use of unregistered or unlicensed commercial vehicles for their journeys.

The solution lies in the government’s will to strictly regulate both intra-city and inter-city transportation systems, by ensuring that only registered companies and/or individuals operate commercial buses and taxis.”

Adamu, however added, “Working with the victims, advocacy, sensitization on what to do to identify potential vehicles that could be used for one-chance, making sure that they use only board commercial vehicles at registered parks would help.” He called for the strengthening of the police and improved intelligence gathering.

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