THE only thing on the mind of a Lagos Taxify driver, Olumide Salami, when he set out for work in his black Toyota Corolla car on January 7, 2019, was to return home early for dinner at his Yaba residence. Having taken a number of passengers on the day, Salami decided that he would take one more before returning home to the warm embrace of his darling wife. Luckily for him, a young man on Lagos Island asked Salami to take him to Iponri area of Surulere. Happy that he would soon get home after dropping off the young man at Iponri , Salami was said to have spoken to his wife on the telephone at about 11pm, telling her that he would be home for his dinner before too long. Cruel fate, however, played a fast one on the urban driver, when the passenger allegedly pulled a gun on him close to Iponri flyover demanding for his phone, money and other valuables.
Shocked at the fiendish action of the passenger, Salami was said to have resisted the passenger’s bid to rob him of his hard-earned money, phone and other valuables. Salami conduct turned fatal when the gun-wielding passenger opened fire on him at close range killing him instantly.
Salami’s killer then jumped on the waiting motorbike of his accomplice after snatching the late driver’s phones, cash and other items and bolted away.
Describing the incident as unfortunate and one too many, one of Salami’s colleagues, identified simply as Idowu, said the late Salami was among the first set of Taxify drivers in Lagos State.
“We have a group social media platform where we interact daily and monitor our locations. From the manifest of his itinerary, I think he must have picked the passenger a few minutes to 10pm in Lagos Island. We learnt that he was taking the passenger to Iponri when the man suddenly pounced on him and shot him dead in a bid to rob him of his phone and money.
“Salami was among the very first few people to join Taxify as a cab operator and it is unfortunate that his life was snuffed out in cold blood shortly after he spoke to his wife at about 11pm on the telephone. He was married with a child and his death has exposed the hazard of our job, which many people don’t know.
“I was recently attacked, precisely in November, last year, on Ogunnusi road in Ogba, Lagos, by my passenger who also jumped on a waiting motorbike, while his accomplice snatched my car from me and fled. Unfortunately for them, the car ran into a ditch and was abandoned by the hoodlums. In fact, several Taxify drivers have had a rough deal in the hands of robbers who disguised as passengers.” Meanwhile, the remains of Salami were interred on Wednesday at Atan cemetery amid tears and rain of curses on his killers. The funeral ceremony was officiated by ministers of God from a parish of Celestial Church of Christ, where the late Salami worshipped in his lifetime.
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