Journalist braves danger, escapes from armed cab driver


EVERY person has the right to live without fear in Port Moresby, according to National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) journalist Hennah Joku.
Joku had to jump out of the taxi she got on from 6-Mile to go home to Laurabada Avenue at 3-Mile when the driver took her towards Tokarara on Wednesday evening.
Joku, 38, and a mother of four, says she was always very safety-conscious when moving around Port Moresby.
“I take boxing and I have put my teenage daughter thorough mixed martial arts. Last night, I failed myself.”
She said thinking that it was a shorter distance between 5-Mile and 3-Mile, she chose to take a taxi.
“Sitting in the backseat I gave directions as I quickly pulled the fare out and proceeded to use my phone to call my tambus (in-laws) and advise them of my whereabouts.  I only looked down for a few seconds then looked up to realise the driver sped straight past the shorter route and we were at the Murray Barracks roundabout.
“Simultaneously my window went up and the driver pulled out a knife, with a blade some six inches long and attempted to stab me while driving, demanding my phone. Reality kicked in!
“As he continued to swipe at me, I lunged forward grabbing his hand and we struggled during which I managed to pull the knife off him. Letting go of the steering wheel he twisted back and yanked it out of my hands.
“I refused to let go, twisting his left arm he had no choice but to drop the knife and grab the wheel, still demanding my phone. I pleaded to be let down anywhere,
He refused and by now we were at Hohola when he abruptly turned down Tokarara way.
“Adrenaline on high and with mounting fear I twisted as hard as I could while he sped on and past some church or something and down a slope. With my bags on my shoulders, one hand still twisting his and the other on the door lock, as soon as I saw streetlights and people – men and women – I let his hand go, unlocked my door and threw myself out of the moving vehicle without a second thought.
“With help from the bystanders, traumatised and shaking I called for help and with my brother and police went straight to Hohola police station.
“It is by God’s grace that I am alive.
“Our city is not safe but we have a right to live without fear, in peace.”