Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Preservation of Life

So, August 24, 2013, was...shall I say...a 'special' day in my life. I had my 'serious accident cherry' popped. Let me take y'all through the day of the accident before we discuss the effects and the 'Naija accident factor'.

So as you all know, I moved to Abuja in July to start a new job that has been a long time coming. There's been a lot of drama with the move most particularly involving my accommodation. I paid for a flat since May and only just got to move into it in August *shout out to Abuja is well with your shady souls* So my mum, aunt and sister came to help out with the move. My mum and aunt left Abuja on Thursday, 22nd while my sister left on Friday, 23rd. On Saturday, I woke up, stretched on my bed and like the foolish man in the bible who made plans to harvest food, fill his barns and parteee, I forgot I didn't own my life. I laid in bed and made all sorts of plans:
i. I was going to run out real quick and buy a dinning table from this cute store,
ii. I was going to pick up some food items from Next,
iii. I was going to go and do my hair, cos we all know,staying fly is a necessity,
iv. I was going to go to Salamandar, buy 'Honourable' by Bobo Omotayo, sit in a corner, read my book while munching on some breakfast at dinner time.

So, having planned my day, I got up, decided to take a bath later, threw on a t-shirt and a pair of jeans, scarfed my funky hair and went my merry way. First stop, my dinning table. I bought the cutest dinning table and made my way to Next stores. If you know Abuja well, I live in Apo. Next was off Banex literally the other side of town. Nothing doing.  I shopped in Next. Ran into an old friend I hadn't seen in a while, chatted and left the store. Outside the store, I stopped to buy some Nigerian movies, completed my transaction and pulled up to the mouth of the intersection.

Oncoming traffic of persons going towards Gwarimpa had slowed down to give way to those coming into Next. I was leaving Next, going towards Wuse, so perfect opportunity to pull out. The road is like 4-5 lanes wide on either side. I pull out into the traffic and was almost at the intersection to go back up Banex express towards Wuse, please bear in mind that I had passed 3 to 4 lanes of cars waiting patiently when at the last minute, this blur of blue just came hurtling down the express refusing to slow down at the intersection and rammed into my car on the driver's side.
 My car did a 360o spin, onlookers later told me that they thought the car would somersault. I know for a fact that I did nothing to prevent that outcome. That was just God. People have been curious as to what was going through my head at the time he rammed into me. My last coherent thought was damn, this guy is going to hit me. That thought had not completely taken root when I felt my side air bag slap the taste out of my mouth. All the groceries in my car broke, burst, caps flew off them etc. As soon as I realised that I was still alive, I just burst into tears.  Then that moment, a terrible chest ache crept up on me. It felt like a bulldozer fell on my chest.

The chest ache did not stop me from checking my car. I couldn't come down from my side cos my door was mangled. The damage broke my heart even more. And my heart keeps breaking every time I recall the accident. My car was purchased brand new less than 6 months ago, so you can imagine. My friends came to the scene to help out. Shout out TL and GU. The very best friends. I was whisked away to the hospital to attend to my chest ache and ensure there was no lasting damage. There was none found on the xray. Everyone wanted to know if I hit my chest. I couldn't recall but believed it was the force of the seat belt as it pulled me back. The pain is wearing off, which I am grateful for, cos everyone kept scaring me about how the pain would be extremely severe the next day and how it was my shock that was staving off the worst of it.

The real drama and Naija accident factor began when I had left the scene. The accident happened at about 4 p.m. There were two mobile police men alongside a host of other everyday folk who had witnessed the accident. The consensus of all at the time was that it was the other guy's fault. Before I left the scene, my friend, TL, had arrived and promised to sort out all the issues. The guy's mechanics, two of them, had also arrived on the scene. The main witnesses were still around. Police men from the Mabuishi police station (I didn't know that they had jurisdiction there, but I guess they assumed it on their arrival) had arrived. More of the guy's people had gotten onto the scene. The story subsequently changed: apparently, I jumped into the road like a crazed goat, while the man was minding his business driving extra carefully on the road. This version of events was given by the man and his people; all of whom were not there when the accident happened. The last remaining original witness, was spoken to in Hausa and asked to corporate, especially since my insurance people were on the scene and they had heard the word 'insurance'. He pulled my friend aside and said they were getting up to no good because "na woman".

You would think with police on the scene, things would have an easy resolution. Well, Nigerian police never fail to disappoint in disappointing. Investigation was rapidly replaced with mob mentality: we go where the mob points. After a while, my dad calls me and said he had told them to accept liability. WHAT?????!!!!!!!! I screamed and descended into a psycho-babble of how that was BS and I wasn't going to stand for it. How the bastard had ignored the fact that he was approaching an intersection and the sea of red lights in front of him indicating people were slowing down and ploughed into my car. My dad, who, incidentally, is an insurance man, said, listen, your insurers accepted liability not you. If you both refuse to accept liability, both your cars would be taken to the police station, which is what the police on the scene were salivating for, where you would bear the cost of towing it there and keeping it there as well. (My insurance guy later told me of how someone broke his mirror in an accident and his car spent a week in the police station) This way, we would both go our separate ways and my car would be back on the road asap. He also pointed out that it was easy for the guy to flip the script on me in front of people that hadn't seen the accident happen because I had greater responsibility in ensuring the road was clear before entering the road. He however had contributory negligence by over speeding, which was evidenced by the impact and the extent of the damage to the cars, his in particular, cos Toyota don't play! (Big shout out to Toyota) *And a  loving shout out to my fabulous dad who undertook the repair costs pending the settlement from my insurers. I love you daddy*

At this point, I was sobbing so hard at the injustice of it all, it felt like my battered chest was going to crack open. I was LIVID. This bastard was getting free repairs at my expense courtesy some false witnesses and the ineptitude and self serving ways of the Nigerian Police Force (btw, these clowns tapped my insurance guy up for recharge card and petrol money for responding to the scene of the accident) But everyone kept drawing me back to the key thing, I DID NOT DIE IN AN ACCIDENT THAT COULD HAVE GONE TRAGICALLY WRONG. In fact, no one died. The lunatic had his pregnant wife in the front seat of the car and their air bags detonated too.

I got home after the long day...and trust me, it was an extremely long day...and began thinking, I really could have died today. Maybe not from the accident but from complications arising from whatever was making my chest hurt or something. I kept on saying "so this is how people die".  I realised that I could have gone not having my priorities right and what not. I would like to say the accident helped me get my priorities straight, but like I didn't have much thought before the impact, my priorities still are crooked. But I am more appreciative of the life I have. I am glad God didn't request my life of me that day. That He didn't make my parents sorrow over me and cast long shadows in the hearts of family and friends alike. I thank God that my mum, aunt and sister didn't have to recount how they had only just left me in Abuja. I think that would be a horrendous story. I thank God it didn't come to that. I am still in some pain but I am just thankful that we were all spared.

So yeah, accidents usually reveal the  tricky, dishonest and opportunistic side of people. A friend of mine had to buy a new car for the joker that swung into his lane. Anything can happen. Just be safe and be careful. "Drive like you are the only sane person on the road" makes more sense to me now. So  thank God for me that August 24th was not my last day here.
my back left door

my car, stripped. back left wheel pushed in, electrics and chassis affected

torn seat from whence airbag delivered a blinding slap

my two left doors removed

his car


  1. Thank God you're alright. All that other wahala, smh.

  2. Wow, no be small accident. Thank God you both were OK. I've been lucky to have my accident cherry intact, and I hope not to pop it in Naija or even ever :)

  3. @LadyNgo: Thanks dear. Smh for real. Such a shame
    @Myne: Please stay that way, the monetary and health be small thing. Thanks dear.

  4. wowww. Thank God o.
    Sorry about the pain

  5. mehn!!!
    thank God you are alive to tell the story. Glad you are getting a lot better.
    What a way to welcome you to Abuja.

  6. Oh lord!!!!!! Mr. reckless even had a pregnant wife in the car??!! A ni ri laburu o. Thank God you're okay. THis is serious thanksgiving time. Hope the chest pain has eased off too *million hugs*

  7. BABE!!!! BABEEEE!!!!! Fear grip me for these pictures o!!! i had a rather small accident last week Monday too and it took a little while for me to also realise that....that could have been it...just like that!
    I thank God on your behalf for your life o! This could have very easily been fatal!

  8. Thank God for preserving your life. May God not allow us to see what will make our families cry for us.

  9. Thank God for the gift of life.... you are so lucky

  10. Thank God for his mercies over all our lives. Glad you're still here with us. Naija...nothing is ever straightforward in that country sha. we live, pray and act in hope that it will get better.

  11. I think u had an accident loads of yrs back .. Like 2001. Anyways Thank GOD for ur life n health......... Chai.. Imagining u cry is so sad... With ur cut tiny eyes. Like someone who just blew sk lol shout out to u dear... Bless... Plus dis ur Job here job there I tire o. Back to abj... The accident is a sign ure ment to be in lag o

  12. @Luciano: Thank you dear.

    @Emaleecious: abi o. Thanks

    @Toin: Amin o!!!! The pain has eased off. Thanks dear.

    @HoneyDame: no accident is small o. It is God's preservation that makes the diifference. We thank Him for his mercies. Thanks hun.

    @Atilola: Amen. Thank you for your comment and your DMs to check on me.

    @Moshalewa: Indeed I am. Thank you dear.

    @Adura Ojo: Thank God o. I am with you in praying for a change. This is why people get frustrated and leave, when law enforcement cannot resolve a simple is mind boggling

    @Anon: That wasn't an accident. It was a scrape. I had loads of scrapes, banging into gates, okada breaking my lights and what not. This cannot be compared to those. I'm not quite sure that the accident is a writing on the wall but thanks for your comment

  13. hmm... thank God for preserving your life. I believe the pain is gone now?
    my mum died in a car accident so I relate with the fear and shock that you might have gone through. May you not die before your time IJN, Amen!

  14. Thank God for preservation of life. I hope the chest pain is gone now?

  15. WOW. he drove like that with his pregnant wife in the car?!!!!

  16. @Priscy: The pain is gone. Thank you so much and a resounding AMEN to your prayer. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Atoskin: The pain is all gone. Thanks for your concern dear.

    @Naijawife: Indeed he did. My friends told me not to worry that it is his wife's nagging or side eye (if she is extremely subservient) that will kill him in the house. Lol. OMG, I am super stoked that you commented on my blog. I adore you and naijahusband!!!

    Thanks for all your comments guys.

  17. Joyous that you are alive to tell the story. Thankful that your repairs could be covered by Insurance. Annoyed that the other driver got away with it smh.

    Anyway, thank God for life on both sides biko.

  18. Wow! Thank God for you, Ronke. Been a while! Congrats on the new job.Love to your mom! - Yinks

  19. Wow! Thank God for you, Ronke. Been a while! Congrats on the new job.Love to your mom! - Yinks


Say What?