Awaji was on her way home from Woji road where she worked as a bar attendant. The blue cab she boarded just opposite her workplace to drop her off at GRA junction took a turn for the worse. The driver pulled out a gun just after Genesis complex and robbed her of her belongings.
Awaji said that she still feels traumatic about the incident and had grown weary of boarding cabs ever since.
Gloria, a nurse is another victim whom a cab driver robbed at gunpoint just before the Airforce base bridge. She tells me that such fates had equally befallen two of her colleagues in the past one month and in each case like hers, they robbed them of their belongings and subsequently withdrew every penny that was in their bank accounts.
The incidents of taxi robberies are a growing one in Port Harcourt as criminals pose as taxi drivers to rob their unsuspecting victims, mostly females.
Some of the victims who interacted with Theportcitynews.com said that Birabi street and Woji road of GRA have been favourite spots for these robbers.
They also identified stadium road, airforce bridge to Eliozu and the Elelenwo area as spots where female passengers are mostly robbed.
Awaji said that the robberies have become rampant due to the fact that the taxis operating in the state are hardly registered and tracking them have been very difficult. She believes that government should force the taxi drivers to paint their taxis in a special colour and numbers assigned to them for easier identification as is the case in other climes.
Gloria tells me that taxi business is hardly regulated by government in Rivers State and makes it liable for criminals to utilize it. She maintains that apart from customers maintaining their own personal safety, the government also needs to step up by making sure that drivers are registered and properly documented.
She also advised girls to buy pepper spray as it helps sometimes.
John, a taxi driver told me that there are bad eggs everywhere but there are also good ones. He said that criminals utilize the taxi business and use it to rob because it has no level of control and the union does not care about who comes or who is who but cares only about their personal pockets.