Two days ago, I was discussing with my neighbours the issues we are facing in the country, especially in Lagos – from the flood over last weekend on the Island to the fatal accident at Ojota, Lagos State on Saturday, 8th July, 2017, where a truck carrying a container claimed the lives of innocent commuters.
We reflected on the carelessness of truck drivers and improper management of their movement by our government. We recalled a similar occurrence at Ojuelegba, Lagos State last year, and one of us recollected witnessing a scene where a container fell from a moving truck on a lady selling by the roadside. He recounted that the lady’s lower part was completely crushed.
All these incidents with trucks and their drivers brought a psychological fear into our subconscious minds. Individually, we must have wondered who might be the next victim, at least I know for sure, I thought of that and I could see myself preparing for an escape in my mind like I was the owner of my situation and could control it. Little did I know my own escapade was near!
Yesterday, driving home was tough with the heavy traffic at Funso William road – from the stadium to Ojuelegba. Seeing the traffic situation from afar, I manoeuvred my way through Surulere, bursting out at Oshodi-Apapa expressway to continue the journey to my house in Ketu. At 10pm the road was full of trucks of various kinds including tankers and containers. I joined other cars who quickly sped up beside them to escape any unexpected occurrence – we were all scared of getting trapped. I got home safely, leaving behind the adrenaline rush I had gotten from seeing the trucks on the road.
This morning, 11th July 2017, I left home early at 7:00 am – don’t be alarmed, I run an online media outfit called eNARRATE at www.enarrate.com. It is the first Muslim radio, geared towards achieving peaceful coexistence of Muslims & Non-Muslims through an understanding of Islam. The app, enRADIO, is available on Google Play Store and Apple store. My job means I work online 24/7 from anywhere. My early driving schedule was to meet my lawyer and do some marketing runs.
I was on Ikorodu road some minutes past 7 am. The road was unusually free from 7Up through Ojota till I got to Anthony. At Anthony, I caught the first sight of my headache – the container truck. As I remembered the picture of the Ojota accident, I quickly made my way beside the truck – hoping to be rid of its danger. I drove safely down the Ikorodu road till I had to halt the car just beside the BRT bus stop at Obanikoro due to the early morning traffic from Fadeyi bus stop.
I was waiting patiently when I heard a bang behind me, I thought it was the car behind but alas! it was the container truck and it was crushing my car fast. I was motionless, pinned down another car in front, all I could do was what I thought was my final prayer in Arabic: “There is no god but Allah, alone, without partner. His is the sovereignty, His is the praise, and He has power over everything.” After saying this a few times, the wreckage of my car stopped a little distance from my seat. I could not imagine what would have happened if my wife and kids were in the car or if I had a passenger in the front seat.
I left the car immediately the truck stopped its destruction and did not talk to anyone, but kept thanking Allah for another chance to serve Him more. I made the prostration of thankfulness and remained silent in the awe of the scene before bursting into tears. My tears were not for this world, but how I could have met my LORD.
I called my cousin who advised me to call 112, and the response was swift from both the police and the Lagos road accident agency (can’t remember the exact name). Kudos to them all!
The menace of truck drivers in Lagos is so alarming that none of us should turn a deaf ear. It was me today, it could be YOU tomorrow. The driver claimed it was brake failure, but I could smell the alcohol in his breath at the police station. This will not STOP until we all start talking and asking for action from our government.
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