Here’s the story of 47 year old Nigerian identified as Philip, who deals on Electronics in Lagos State.
“I was about 21 years old when I came to Lagos with my then boss. I served him for 6 years before gaining my freedom. He was in the business of buying and selling electronic products.
“It took me a lot of hard work to gain stability and the trust of co-business owners. I got to the point where I sometimes get entrusted with goods worth millions of naira by my suppliers in Alaba.
“They trust me because I have delivered multiple times, and have never for once disappointed them, or failed to remit money in due time.
This tragic incident started with some early signs on Wednesday, 21st of October, just after the Lekki shootings. We were seeing destruction all around, but hoped it wouldn’t get to us.
„The government declared a curfew, and we adhered to it. I live far away from my shop, so when the looting started and I was getting calls, I tried to come over, but there was no vehicular movement due to the curfew. So I started trekking down with my wife, believing that it wasn’t that serious, and my shop will be fine.
“As we approached Ikotun, we saw dangerous looking men, with weapons like knives, sticks, flood the streets that led to my shop. Then we started to see fumes from several burnings ahead. I still believed I could rescue my shop, even if it meant pleading with the hoodlums involved.
“By the time we got to my shop, it was too late. All the shops on the same line as mine had been burgled and looted completely. Goods worth about 13 Million Naira. They cleared everything in my shop.
“Thinking back in retrospect, I wish I did insurance, but I avoided it in the past because of the stories I heard about them. It felt unnecessary because I could not foresee any danger like this.
“Right now, I have been advised to request for a loan in order to get back on my feet. But it sounds like a bad idea to me. I have never taken a loan in my life.
“For the past days now, we have been getting donation assistance from friends in their little capacity. My shop is currently empty, but I sit here every morning, so that when the suppliers we are owing come around, they wouldn’t think we ran away with their money.
“We just want to survive, even if it means starting all over again. I am not looking to recover all the money I lost but I am willing to start again, just the way I did 25 years ago.”
Electronics Trader, Lagos.