Stella Dimoko Weekend Arena - Nigerians Are Dying Like Flies


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Friday, August 07, 2020

Weekend Arena - Nigerians Are Dying Like Flies

The death of Chidinma Ajoku, a 27-year old lady, and her colleague, Chima, last Sunday was a very sad and unfortunate incident. 

Both Staffers of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN,were crushed to death when a container fell off a truck at Ilasa Bus Stop in Lagos. The two were on their way home from work that evening when the accident, a very avoidable one, snuffed their lives, in a rather cruel manner.

The anguish was palpable all over her mother who saw a mangled mass of tissues as the remains of her lovely daughter. Chidinma, full of hopes, was working hard towards pursuing further studies in Europe after her first degree at the Babcock University. Of course, her mother was concerned like many Nigerians why nothing is ever being done in the country to mitigate the harrowing experience of road users in the hands of truck drivers. 

Chidinma and Chima are two of the estimated 39,000 casualties, whose lives are carelessly, wasted on Nigerian roads yearly, according to statistics from the World Health Organisation. Like many before them, nothing may happen after all. Already the police have hinted that they could not trace the driver of the truck, but that they were in touch with the owner of the vehicle. The Nigerian factor may well explain why the police are more interested in the owner of the vehicle than the driver whose negligence actually caused the havoc.

 I don’t know what charges anyone would press against the owner of the truck!

Although it may seem a fruitless effort, considering what Nigeria has become in terms of protecting the lives of citizens, Chidinma’s mother has vowed to pursue the matter. According to her, “There had been several similar cases that happened and nothing was done to bring justice to the victims. But my daughter’s can’t go just like that If my daughter’s case will be used to stop this unwarranted killing, then, let it be what I have achieved. I know they will say I am ‘a nobody’. But I think everybody in Lagos, whether you have a car or not, our lives are in danger because we encounter these trailers and containers every day; they are very reckless. We should champion this cause together.”

It will be interesting to see the offenders in this particular case tried for murder (not manslaughter). But will they?

The FRSC Statistics Digest, a publication by the Federal Road Safety Corps is a living proof that trucks constitute bulk of the accidents on Nigerian roads. In fact, in one of the charts comparing road accidents among major fleet operators in Nigeria, Dangote Group came tops, and those who use the highways regularly must have seen traces of this in their numbers.

While accidents are what they are, quite unavoidable, something could be done to drastically reduce the numbers, especially from trucks, because lawlessness, lack of political will, inefficient transportation system and lack of infrastructure seem to be the major reasons why Nigerians are more vulnerable. A good look at some of the trucks being used for haulage in the country will reveal why such accidents are inevitable. Many trucks drive out of the wharf without the necessary safety measures in place, and to imagine that they would drive past several FRSC monitoring posts aside the road blocks by other security agencies, without being detected raises a poser. But the same security team will be quick to monitor private cars and what they have in their boots. 

 Trucks used to convey containers are supposed to be mandatorily built for it, with the necessary straps to make sure no havoc is caused, considering the dilapidated state of Nigerian roads.

Nigeria, as a consuming nation, whose wharf in Lagos is very busy receiving all kinds of imports (including tooth picks) incidentally failed to develop its railway infrastructure when it mattered most. The implication is that heavy containers have to be moved around by road, mostly by drivers who see themselves as kings of the roads, with their intimidating way of driving.

 The lawlessness on the part of these drivers may be traceable to the owners of the fleets who are very influential Nigerians indeed. A lot could be deduced from the ever present gridlock, snaking out of Apapa to other parts of Lagos that has constantly made life very unbearable in the city, where a commute from Ikeja to Lekki takes more time than travelling from Nigeria to London.

While proffering a solution to the perennial gridlock at Apapa, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo had ordered some measures aimed at decongestion, but that order was never implemented; today those trucks are back in full swing, causing more obstruction on the roads in Lagos. In fact, some of them habitually park their trucks on the bridges which are built for vehicles to drive through and not to park on a permanent basis.

In reality, the failure on the part of government has exposed the Nigerian to deaths of all sorts, more like flies. If he is not killed by an accident, insecurity, malnutrition, lack of healthcare facilities, a depressed spouse, the system-induced ‘brief illness’ will snuff his life. With these, it is actually a miracle to wake up every new day in the country.

*Though this write up is on point,its rather sad that everything you said is the sad reality of what Nigerian has become....


  1. Replies
    1. Pray nothing happens to you in Naija because it will be difficult to get justice especially if you no hold pepper!!!!

    2. Rest in peace, my dearest Chididnma Ajoku.

      To think that we had spoken not too long before your death.

      Your death grieves me beyond words. I can only imagine what your family members are going through.

      Your death will never be in vain.

      Rest well Dee.

    3. So sorry for her death NOC!.May God accept her soul and Chima😭

    4. All these avoidable deaths make me sick. Young people wasted just like that, very sad.

    5. God please help us.

      Pray for Southern Kaduna people and all.

      That FAAn staf chic... Chai

  2. So sad. RIP to Chidinma and Chima

  3. Always too long a post, read 2 paragraph. The pain a mother will pass tru due to Negligence by all. Father God, Nigerians we need tchange starting from you and me. May the souls of tithe faithful departed RIP.
    Make I go hussle

  4. I was inside a bus oneday going to ojuelegba and all of a sudden, a trailer just came behind us and the driver of the bus I was in was trying to move first, while the trailer was doing same. People started warning the driver to wait for the trailer to go first, this yeye guy refused o!. Me wey never wan die, I just jejely go down and told the rest of the passengers"if una wan die today, me I never park my belongings". That was how the whole passengers came down before the mad driver stopped for the trailer. This trailer drivers are mad o!.. This life no balance at all.

  5. Pains me that we don't value life in Nigeria. I don't expect container to be falling and killing people in 2020. You may wonder why. In 2008/2009, a newly wedded couple were going from the church were they've just been blessed to their reception venue. They were riding in a convo I've forgotten the exact place but still happened in Lagos, that was how a container fell on the marriage party convo. Killing bride and groom, parents of the new couple, little bride, pageboy and flower girls who were also related to the new couple. There was outrage then but social media uses wasn't so widespread to have escalated the issue.

    As at that time, I had not travelled out, so I thought they only used trains for freight, I discovered when I travelled that they also used road and containers that were bigger and have might have more weight (depending on the weight restriction) of the road, but it was properly latched. Only in Nigeria, will they just put a container to a truck without latching. These container incidents happen yearly, in fact many times in a year in Lagos but we are still talking about this now. RIP to they young, vibrant and beautiful youngsters that died. Nigeria keeps failing her citizens daily.

    1. This story is heart breaking, imagine the numbers
      of people that died in one day, family members for
      that matter.

  6. Some time back, a truck driver was driving so carelessly on the road and a friend(he told me the story) said his friend who was driving the car they were both in, decided to call one of the numbers usually written at the back of some trucks(in case the truck driver was driving carelessly, he could be reported). You won't believe, it was the truck driver's number that was on it. He asked the guy who called, "So, you want report me abi?" And he dropped the call.

  7. It's really sad knowing that to many deaths are avoidable.

    While growing up, there was sanity to a large extent, the traffic rules were obeyed, slower moving vehicles kept to the right lane but all these don't seem to exist anymore.
    The state of our roads are not even helping matters.

    Indeed, the issue of the trailers/trucks will be with us for a long time because of the 'powerful' people involved in that line of business.

    The government has to be more proactive in restoring the rail system and taking lots of these rickety trucks off our roads.

    These avoidable deaths have to stop

  8. we dont value life in Nigeria,people die everyday due to neligence,yet nothing is been done.

  9. Some of these truck drivers are mad. Long ago in the 90s, I was on my way from Mile 2 to Apapa. I overtook a trailer as I drove on 80km/h. Suddenly, I noticed that the trailer driver chasing me to overtake me. I had to move you the side at 120km/h and the trailer overtook me and he was giving me 'waka' signs with his hands.

    1. It's one of the criteria. Mad. They even write it on their CV. They're all mad!

  10. May our good Lord continue to protect us all. Amen . It's high time Nigerian government stop trucks from being on the road during the day. Adequate measures should be put in place and followed to the later for goodness sake.

    1. My dear only Fashola had the balls to stop these truck menace..

  11. God have mercy. I can't imagine the pain their families are passing through right now. May their souls RIP

  12. It's so sad. So many avoidable deaths. Read about the young undergraduate who died in a factory machine in Ibadan the other day and I wept.

    May God help Nigeria

  13. It is Soo painful, this can happen to any of us that is reading thus..
    She was just 27yrs old & starting life..
    Already working in my dream parastatal -"FAAN" & then Nigeria happened to her..
    All her dreams, potentials, family sacrifices& expectations cut short.
    The most painful thing is that nothing will be done to address the situation, their families will not get justice...
    Chizzy j

  14. Our leaders are very wicked..And they believe as if they cannot do anything...I miss Fashola a lot..He is the only governor that could stamp his feet against these useless truck drivers..After he left, not of the governor has the balls to do same...We can't keep typing RIP for avoidable deaths..The blood of every careless deaths of Nigerians is on their heads and they will not escape the consequences..Yet someone will say pray for our leaders, How can I pray for vampires and evil people..God forbid..

  15. I read sometime ago that the government was going to build a separate route for trucks maybe the proposal has been swept under the carpet as usual. One just has to keep praying never to encounter such things as crying out to the government has not made things any better

  16. Most road accidents in Nigeria, infact 90% of them are totally avoidable if the govt would just do the right thing and if human beings will also drive with the brain God gave them.

  17. Chidinma and Chima I pray you are enjoying eternal bliss. May God comfort your loved ones.

    As for those who have the authority to put an end to all these needless calamities, your day of reckoning will surely come!

  18. The problem is that many of these drivers are already high or drunk, while on the steering, so nothing moves them.

    It's the government that will regulate them, but as usual, they don't care at all.
    So sad.
    God please continue to protect Your children, amen

  19. what a Painful Death..Rest in Peace chi and Chi...

  20. It is so sad.. May God rest their souls.

  21. Why do we even have ports only in Lagos state when most of the goods are heading to other parts of the country?

  22. See why I can't stop thanking God for my daughter's life, when a container fell on their bus at doyin orile on the 1st of June.
    Rest in peace and may God comfort , strengthen and grab her mother and family members to bear the loss.

  23. I witnessed one accident of one of these truck drivers crushing a you ladies leg as far back as 2011. It was terrible sight to behold. A lot of the roads are death traps and most of these truck drivers are youths so they care less. In the 90s truck were given to elderly family men to drive but as at today youths are allowed to drive trucks that are in very terrible state. It is a miracle to sleep, wake up, go out and come safely in Nigeria. God help us...

  24. This is sad.I have got nothing anymore to say about the sad situation of our dear country.

    May God console their loved ones left behind.

    Keep resting Chidimma and Chima

  25. Oh, this is heartbreaking.
    Such hardworking young souls, the girl was so beautiful.
    I pray they find rest and God comfort their families.
    God please punish our leaders and the people responsible for wreaking havoc in this country.


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