The whereabouts of 21-year-old Oluwabamise Ayanwola, who boarded a BRT bus to Oshodi around 7 pm at Chevron bus-stop in Lagos has brought distraught, sorrow and discomfort to the family.
Bamise, the last born of the family, works as a Fashion Designer at Chevron Estate, Ajah.
The police and the Lagos Bus Service Ltd have intensified search for the BRT driver in whose bus Bamise allegedly got missing.
According to reports, Bamise’s whereabouts had been unknown since she boarded an LBSL bus, popularly known as BRT, at the Chevron area of Lekki en route to Oshodi on February 26.
It was gathered that she was heading to the brother’s house at Ikotun to stay with the wife who was in ‘labour’.
She reportedly boarded the bus with number 240257 at 7:30pm and became suspicious when the driver told her to sit at one of the back seats.
Bamise’s last movement
“On Saturday evening (Feb 26), my sister closed by 7:00pm. She normally have breaks on Sundays. She works at Ajah as Fashion Designer, and she normally work from Monday to Saturday.
“So when she closed on Saturday (Feb 26), she wanted to come to my brother’s house because his wife was in labour. She now decided to come over. My brother stays at Ikotun. My missing sister’s house is in Ogun state, Ota precisely. She stays with our Aunty (first born).
“She called my brother three days before that she’ll be coming but she does not know the time, on the day she left, she wanted to surprise my brother by not telling him the she was already on her way
“She boarded a bus from Chevron bus stop. Working at Ajah is her first time. She decided to learn Fashion Designing. When she entered the BRT bus, it was only her, and there was no light inside the bus.
“She had felt safe inside the BRT bus since it is a popular state bus but she wondered why it was only her that was in the bus and the driver didn’t pick up any passenger.
“She was even conversing with a colleague of hers because she felt unsafe. She was sending voice notes to her friend. Her friend advised her to drop down because the driver didn’t pick up any other passengers.
“Before entering, she informed her friend that the driver was passing some remarks at her but she didn’t answer.
“So later on, the driver later picked up three people on the road. Two men and a lady. Then she now felt calm.
“Before the driver picked the three other persons who had disguised as passengers, she made several videos of the bus and the driver and sent it to her friend. The video captured the bus number. It helped us in tracking the bus.
“Her phone was not low, it is a new phone and she just bought it three weeks ago. Her friend chatted with her several times but she didn’t reply.
“She tried calling her via normal call around few minutes to 8:00pm but she didn’t pick up.
“Around 7:32pm, she posted “God it is your protection I need” on her Whatsapp status.
“I saw the status but I didn’t see it on time because I was not online.
“She finally called her after repeated calls; her friend said she heard some voices underneath trying to struggle to get the phone from her,” her sister, Elizabeth told The Nation.
Bamise’s mother who gave birth to ten children — five boys and Five girls — has been disturbed since her daughter went missing.
In one of the viral videos, she was seen wailing in front of a bus numbered, 240257, in one of the terminals of LBSL, said to be the bus Bamise boarded.
“This is the vehicle that Bamise boarded. It has been parked. They say they cannot find the driver. Bamise boarded the vehicle at Ajah and said she was coming to Oshodi.
“The vehicle got to its destination but the child did not get home. We can’t find her. They must find Bamise for me. I didn’t tell her to go to Lagos to die,” she wailed.
Elizabeth said: “It was her friend who was chatting with her that alerted us.
“Her friend called one of my brothers to ask for her whereabouts but he said he has not seen her. I was even in Church when they informed me that they can’t reach her.
“My sister is someone I can vouch for because she’s focused and determined. I’ve been crying because I’ve been devastated.
“Since the day she went missing, we’ve been going around different stations. We tracked the driver and the phone number of my sister.
“When we tracked it independently of the police, we tracked it down to Oshodi terminal station. When we got there, they didn’t answer us properly.
“We were told the driver was supposed to resume by 2pm but we didn’t know he was around and we were there till 3/4pm. We later learnt the following day that the driver was around but took his heels when he learnt there was trouble.
“We went to Maroko and Ajah police stations respectively to lodge complaints. We’ve been shuffling through these stations.
“We had to look for his guarantors. After locating one of his guarantors, we were told by the elder brother of the guarantor that his junior brother was not aware he was being used as guarantor.
“The other guarantor stays at Ekoro axis while the other stays at Ikoyi axis. They’ve been arrested.
“We’ve spoken with the Commissioner of Police. He had a phone call meeting with the terminal operators and the family to ask for questions that would aid investigation.
“We’ve sent SOS to the Governor for about four days but there is no response. We’ve even gone on social media but the Government has not given an audience. All I want is my sister to be found. We were told to write a letter to the terminal but they refused us access.
“The police are taking this issue for granted; they are not putting themselves in our shoes because they are handling the case properly”
Last location tracked
According to Elizabeth, the family made an attempt to track the guy’s location, which indicated his location was two streets away from where her missing sister is.
“The last location of the phone tracked is in Ogun state but the driver is currently on the run.
“We were told that the bus that is directly involved in this whole issue is still operating. This is insensitive.
“Everyone has been disturbed since Saturday that she went missing. The whole family is devastated. We need God’s intervention. I have been fasting and praying.”
‘The matter is under investigation’
Meanwhile, a visit to the Oshodi terminal on Saturday showed normal operations ongoing with various buses loading commuters for various destinations.
A staff at the terminal, who did not want to be named said the Oshodi bus terminal is where BRT buses usually load for various destinations and the family had been directed to Lagos Bus Services Limited where the case will be handled.
He however noted that the terminal operators had escalated the matter because it has stained the terminal.
“When the family came, they were angry and wanted to create a rancuor. I advised them to go to LBS where the matter will be handled, so they are on it. The police are investigating too”.
According to reports, Oluwabamise’s family had held a meeting with the Lagos Bus Service Ltd. (LBSL), operators of BRT on Wednesday, March 2, and the latter assured that efforts were being made to track down the driver.
Police spokesman in Lagos, Adekunle Ajisebutu, who confirmed the incident, said it was under investigation.
“The Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, has directed that no stone should be left unturned to locate her whereabouts. Search parties have also been organised,’’ Ajisebutu.