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Six armed men break into a man’s house, ransacks the house, take money and valuables. Minutes later the same armed men are seen on their knees, begging the man to take back all they took and threatening to kill each other if anyone dares to touch him; all these happening without any assistance from the police or any other security agency. How would you describe such a man? Obviously, the first word that would come to your mind would be ‘magic’. If that is where you mind wandered to, you are not far from the truth for such instances can only be seen in Nigerian home movies. But let us take a flashback at this true life story that took place on the 9th of July 2008, precisely 10 years ago and try to see what we can learn from the magical experience.

6pm came calling, two hours after official closing time, knowing that he might be working late he directed his driver to leave that he would drive himself home. Around 8:15pm he began his 15 minutes drive from the office at Aka Etinan to his home at Mkpong street. While driving through Port Harcourt Street, his rear mirror captured three motorcycles trailing him. From within he assumed that they were robbers but never believed his spirit.
Getting to his gate, the motorcycles drove past him and packed nearby. From the rear mirror he could get a glimpse of them and he counted them to be six in number. He drove in and made his way upstairs, hoping to rush a bath, have a meal and run off to the church activity that was scheduled for 10pm. Getting to his wife’s bedroom he met her with his sister-in-law who came on a visit with two kids. Since he was in haste, he requested that the children come over to his bedroom so he could spend some time with them while preparing.

Wondering what was keeping the domestic aid from attending to him; he looked out of the bedroom and queried her as she stood around the stairs. The maid replied by placing her finger on her lips, a common sign for ‘keep quiet’. Before he could decipher what she meant, he saw movements, and then guns. He hurriedly fled upstairs to alert the two ladies. From the window, he screamed for help but due to competing neighboring generators and lack of streetlight, no one heard him. In nanoseconds, four of the men landed in his bedroom with guns. They ransacked the bedroom, searching every corner for valuables. Not finding any money, they threatened to shoot the sister-in-law’s son and on hearing the threat, Mrs. Bush screamed out that she had fifty thousand naira hidden somewhere in the room. Earlier that evening, Michael Bush had phoned her, asking for twenty thousand naira to give to someone but she lied that she didn’t have any money.

Having gotten what they wanted, they paraded him downstairs and after asking him to kneel with eyes closed, they asked why he hasn’t uttered a word since they visited, claiming that he is a dangerous person. He simply replied by asking them what they wanted him to say and in reply, they claimed that he is a greedy man who would choose to siphon government funds and live wealthy while the boys are abandoned.
“I am now relieved and excited…”
Michael Bush responded with a smile on his face.

“Oga, excited that robbers came to your house? I knew it, you are a dangerous man. You must bring that government money”

“I am excited because you said that you followed the car, not me. There’s no way you would come to my house if you knew me. I don’t work for government.”
The gang leader was surprised and curious to find out his name and what he does to have gotten such wealth.

“I am one of you…”
That reply threw the robbers off balance as curiosity was written all over their faces.

“Oh oga, you too na armed robber you be?”

“No, I speak for people like you…”
The robbers this time could not take it anymore. All they wanted to know was who he actually was. No more games.

“My name is Michael”
What followed that statement was like a magic as the robber screamed out

“No, God cannot  be…oh I am dead…Boys we don fuck up..we should never have come here”

Now let’s pause the story here and digress a bit to analyzing the scenes and trying to find out what we can take home from this magical story. As you read, try to decode what has been the secret behind Michael Bush benevolence.

1.    Some bad things are not bad:
Remember that just few hours to the incident, Micheal Bush have requested for twenty thousand naira from Mrs Bush and she had lied that she had nothing on her, but hours later, she freely gave almost thrice that amount to robbers. One might be forced to say that a person who doesn’t pay tithe to God must pay to Satan.  Now, let’s imagine she had given him the money and the robbers found nothing to take home for all the risk and stress they went through. Maybe they might have decided to take a life of even lives in compensation.
Today it is believed that there is nothing like white, holy or small lie, but in the instance where life is at stake, some lies may be justified. In the case of Mrs Bush, her lie could be seen as someone speaking from divine inspiration. Yes, she was in the spirit when she lied to her husband.
2.    Believe in your mind eye:
While driving back home, Bush on seeing the men trailing him had assumed that they were robbers but he quickly dismissed the thought. Let’s assume he had worked with his instinct and had acted quickly in taking security measures, maybe the script would have played out differently.

3.    Generators and security challenges:
Over the decades, generator sets have been a reliable substitute to the unstable and undependable electricity in Nigeria. But the use of this essential commodity has over time been abused by owners, inconveniencing others and even creating noise pollution. With many referring to it as ‘I better pass my neighbor’, owners of this product have over time used it to satisfy themselves even at the detriment of others. Remember that immediately the robbers broke in, Bush screamed for help from the window but no one heard him due to competing sound of generator sets. This reminds me of a similar incidence that occurred at Use Offort axis of Nwaniba road towards 2015 where a street was successfully attacked by robbers and neighboring streets were unaware of the incidence due to noise from generator sets. How then can this essential item be used judiciously so that some would not have to suffer for the enjoyment of others? Facing the truth as it is, we cannot advocate for constant electricity for this still remains a national dream, but it is imperative that we control the usage of generator set by setting a specific time when everyone is expected to put it off.

4.    What will stand up for you:
 “If you touch him, I will kill your mother, your sister, your brothers and everyone in your family…”
Sorry I didn’t mention this part, I was actually reserving it for an appropriate time like this. The leader of the gang miraculously stood up to rescue Michael Bush even choosing to betray his colleague to save a man that is supposed to be his enemy. Note that at this instance, it wasn’t whom Bush knew that stood up for him but what he has done overtime. Granted, we can say that those we have helped do not directly help us in return but this instance should go a long way to teach us that help is a seed and even if it doesn’t grow to produce fruit for us, our children will definitely eat the fruitage.

5.    Permanent help is the best help:
“You know me; you help me all the time.” It is often said that it is better to teach a man how to fish rather than giving him fish. The gang leader in his concluding words said that he knew The Boss and that he has over time been a beneficiary of his generosity. But one may wonder; if Michel Bush had in many instances helped the robber who claimed to be a first degree holder, why then would he result to robbery as a means of survival? This brings to mind the pressing need for job creation which is a way of teaching men how to fish.

How and what has Michael Bush learnt from this experience? Michael Bush has proven that he has learnt from the miraculous incident that he faced a decade ago. Through The 20 Questions Club, he has reached out to so many youth, changing their lives through his selfless giving. Recently, he sponsored a batch of 10 youth on cake baking, and a week ago, gave out soft loans worth one million naira to youths as a business startup capital. Little wonder he referred to the leader of the robbery gang as his inspiration and faith strengthener.


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