May God help Port Harcourt and its residence.. Deep into the night b/w Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st December, was nasty and bloody.. Every evil you can think of took place that night along Stadium road, Elekahia road to Garrison axis.. Just after the closing ceremony of Carniriv 2014.
ThaUkwuBenda was not just a witness but was in the peak of the heat that very moment. Its not a pleasant experience but ThaUkwuBenda would try to bend this out as precise as he witnessed.
It was a lovely and fun night at the Carniriv Village (Liberation stadium) just after the GARDEN CITY FREESTYLE PARADE comes the WORLD PEACE CONCERT (WPC) in which TIMAYA was our quest artist.
So many PHCity entertainers: Mr 2kay, Lamili, Rockanana, Body Language, Smith G, Kalif D Cypher, Cash Krop etc all performed and thrilled the crowed so well and Basorge Jnr. anchored the event keeping the audience bumping and grooving to the sound selections from the Djs on the deck.
The tempo and the moment was placed high as the crowd called up for TIMAYA. When He entered, everything changed.
It was almost time for performance to wrap up just as he gave he’s fans “SANKO”… ThaUkwuBenda and he’s Colleagues (Phcity Bloggers the official Carnirv Media Partners) had to leave the stadium a bit earlier to avoid stampede, but fortunately ThaUkwuBenda and he’s colleagues wasn’t the only ones who thought the same lol.
On getting to the main road by 3:10am there was very limited cab (taxi) and the sharp ones were rushing up to them so the others had to walk home from the stadium or to a better place to get a cab as usual.
ThaUkwuBenda and he’s colleagues walked passed the Star Carnival event still going on at the time along Elekahia road, we were having a fun chat and laughter b4 we had some boys shouting and throwing bottles on the street.. We noticed it was coming far behind us, they were seriously chasing a couple of guys in their numbers. We felt it was
Just some hoodlums fighting over a mere issue, it got so serious when the bottles were flying all around and they starting chanting some words in codes and then they tied white cloths around their heads.
People along Elekahia road starting running away from the scene.. One of the boys been chased had to cross over to the left hand flank of the road while the hit was on the right hand flank. That was when the chaos began, every1 coming from the stadium at the time, took to their heels in a random formation.
ThaUkwuBenda took off the road with he’s colleagues just to stay away from the hit. The next thing a security Patrol van passed in a rush without stopping to handle the matter. Everyone lost hope and fuelled themselves for a proper take off.
People were making calls to find their partners, girlfriends, hommies, friends that came out with them and was temporarily lost at the time. The next thing, some Kèkè (Tri-cycle motor) drove into the street filled with some boys chanting and shouting, they started fighting with the other boys that had white cloth on their head, ThaUkwuBenda was vigilant enough to notice the action also hiding and moving forward at the same time… The boys with the Keke brought machetes, bottles and sticks to battle.. In the midst of this, the innocent ones became victims.
It resulted to snatching of gadgets, jewellerys, money and if anyone resisted they get stabbed or cut with machete. People were screaming bitterly. Some of us had to divert into another street to cut off the main road so as to exit in front but as late as it was we didn’t know where we were heading to when we got to a rail way track, we had to pause and ask about our exist from the person we saw hanging around. But finally we decided to follow a street that leads to the main road not too far from the hit zone and not the railway track cause we never could tell who was at the other end, and if we had to run backwards we might end up hurting ourselves in the process.
At this moment ThaUkwuBenda had to put a call through to he’s friends that were heading through stadium road to Mummy B. junction just to be sure they were safe. Connecting with a friend who sounded tensed and was panting said its hell let loose on the street, and that boys were trouping out from various exits with Kêkê and on foot, beating people up with machetes and seizing their phones.
ThaUkwuBenda had to end the call just after telling he’s friend to be careful with the others and try to stay away from the scene. ThaUkwuBenda now knows this was outright chaos he heads forward and kept he’s mind focus on the task at hand (Heading Home no matter what).
ThaUkwuBenda then suggested to he’s colleagues that its better they all keep on moving forward towards Garrison junction through the Nwaja Bridge so that they don’t get pinned down behind by the hoodlums/Cultist, so they set out to the main road marching forward as planned.
Suddenly some dudes came out from no where and asked everyone in front of ThaUkwuBenda for their phones that was the moment ThaUkwuBenda lost sight of he’s colleagues cause they had to run off the scene as fast as possible. ThaUkwuBenda had to watch closely at the dudes and noticed they had nothing (weapons) on them, they try to calm every1 around them saying they shouldn’t run, they should feel free and walk together in group to avoid been harassed. So everyone was a bit calm, walking together as a group with contemplating minds. Some other persons had to join the group but was still having shaky feet..
As the group kept moving towards the Nwaja Bridge, the streets was rowdy with people running here and there for different and similar reasons. A girl was stabbed for probably not letting her phone go. Some girls were been pulled to the side to be raped as their cloths were ripped off from them, all ThaUkwuBenda heard was screams from the dark. These hoodlums/Cultist were getting furious by the minute, they butchered some boys badly and left them for dead, so much blood at some corners of the street.
The group had to double up pace to leave the scene fast cause it was a horrible sight. The other rival fought back with sticks and bottle, chanting all over the street, at this time ThaUkwuBenda lost track of he’s colleagues, and wondered “what sort of a night is this?, Is this how the fun and beautiful Carniriv has to end?”.
On getting to the Nwaja Bridge… A lifeless body of a young man was found lying on the ground just at the bridge with he’s body all sucked up in blood.. It wasn’t a pleasant sight, the ladies screamed and switched lanes to the opposite flank
And then Suddenly there comes another squad of hoodlums/cultist chatting with weapons at the cross junction and scaring the people who made it to the bridge, some of this boys were coming from the Ahia-makara axis, some from the Nkpogwu axis and this was another phase on it own.. The group had to split as they ran in their various direction just to be heading to their destination. ThaUkwuBenda had to do some bending at this point to dash out to the Garrison junction asap.
Now there comes a call on he’s phone, guess who?…….
One of he’s colleagues called to ask were he was and that both of them (out of four) was already out of the street madness safely and waiting at he’s house already. The caller also said he spoke to one other of our colleague and he’s still pinned down back in the street. ThaUkwuBenda was surprised and happy that the two were out safely.
ThaUkwuBenda suddenly got another call, guess who?….. Its the colleague that was pinned down, he said he was still held back and was caught by the hoodlums, he was beaten and asked to lye down, but with God by he’s side, the vigilante group came into the scene and saved him. So many ill things happened to him back there. ThaUkwuBenda then advised for him to stay back with the vigilante till its day break or better still hit the road if he feels its safe enough.
The fourth colleague was in contact on phone and he was also out of the chaos safely. And later the third colleague got out also and every1 was happy and thankful to God that every1 got out finally.
ThaUkwuBenda was lucky to have bent he’s way off all these and still witnessed the whole act. Thanks to God Almighty for he’s infinite mercy and love shown to ThaUkwuBenda and so many others who got home safe.
May the souls of the fallen ones Rest In Peace.
ThaUkwuBenda still wonders what actually happened between 3:15am to 5:00am and how come the chaos became viral around that axis (Stadium road, Rumu-omasi / Elekahia road – Garrison). Was a spell cast into the air? Or was this a planned battle/attack?
The big question still remains ▸ WHAT CAUSED ALL THIS?
“OLUWA NA YOUR LEG I DEY OOH! SO MANY PEOPLE DEY YOUR HAND OOH!” (In Minima’s voice)