On Friday, the 16th of June, at about 7:30pm, I alighted at Dugbe Express from an okada (a commercial motor bike). I went to collect something from a friend at Eleyele. While I was on the bike, I was thinking of where to buy soup ingredients. I had two options, either to buy at the small street market at Mobil or just stroll back to the Dugbe night market area. I eventually decided on Mobil, after all it was close to my house. But as I alighted from the bike, something (I think it was God) caused me move towards Dugbe market. The impulse was unexplainable. But alas I was on the other side of the road. Just after crossing, I heard a very loud sound. Like a crash, as I looked on a saw a body on the road. The body was hit by an okada, while trying to cross the road. Now let me pause a little. You see Ibadan is a very peculiar place. Now this Dugbe Express is worse. Just after the post office as if you are going to Queen cinema, there is this wide junction linking Dugbe Alawo and Iyana Eleyele. Major land marks there are Access Bank and Skye bank.
My first thought was that two okada riders had crashed into each other. That’s like a common sight in I.B. Then I saw the body move. Someone shouted “ikunle abiyamo oh” (I cant inteprete that one oh, but it does mean something like a pregnant woman’s labour pains).
So I ran to the other side of the road. Another man, whom l later knew as Mr Jibola dragged the body off the main road and started CPR amidst the many screams and prayers that rented the air. The body was that of a 13 year old boy. He was unconscious. Someone else shouted ‘e lo mu omi wa’.
Women fled, water sachets arrived. Several kinds of prayers like “Jesu oh! Jesu oh! ma je ko ku oh! Jesu ra omo yi pada o!” rented the air. It was a mixed multitude because while some prayed and wailed, others keep recounting and narrating how the accident happened to the now large crowd. I was almost lost, but something needed to be done, more than just the shouting. I quickly called a medical doctor friend of mine, explained the situation to him, then he told me to continue applying PR, allow plenty of fresh air, pour water on the boy’s face or body but not to give him anything to drink and then take the victim to the near by hospital. Good enough Mr Jibola was doing a good job with that. Now the CPR had worked, but the boy was semi conscious. He just looked on feebly. While the crowd of sympathizers continued to probe the boy, I started to wave frantically as passing vehicles. I needed a vehicle either private or commercial to help us take the boy to the nearest hospital.
Of course I was aware that even if we took him to the hospital, he might not be admitted without a police report but I was willing to try. A number of people were trying to help; phone calls and all. Then I heard some people making phone calls. Another guy named Femi, said he would go get help. So we put ourselves to task. While Mr Jibola, was stabilizing the boy, Femi went to get the Police, and I was trying to stop a car or cab. For over 30 minutes, no car offered to convey us to the hospital at best a few cars slowed down, listened to my plea but just drove off. I was angry but desperate. I just kept saying, Lord, please, this one too must not die! Eventually, two other guys joined me and finally, a cab stopped. God bless this cab man whose name and phone number I didn’t get, He agreed to help us, although there were passengers in his cab. One of the passengers even refused to alight. He insisted that he and the cab man had an agreement. (this was so annoying because the said agreement was Roundabout and we were at Dugbe Express. All our pleas for the man to alight initially fell on deaf ears. Eventually, he agreed to alight on the condition that the cab driver returns part of the fare he had already paid. The kind cab driver just refunded the man’s money. Then, we carried the boy into the cab. The next question was, who will follow the cab to the hospital, Mr Jibola volunteered and seeing there was no other willing volunteer, I volunteered. Now while I was trying to stop a car, the crowd of sympathizers largely market women (if you know that part of Dugbe, you will know there are a lot of petty traders trading in fruits, snacks and pure water around there) has raised some money precisely two thousand, one hundred and eighty naira (#2180). They gave the money to me since I offered to go with Mr Jibola.
So, we drove to the nearest hospital, which was Alafia Hospital, at Round-About I have deliberately mentioned the name of the hospital and I really think they deserve to be petitioned, their service is so poor. Immediately we drove in, I dashed into the reception; a female doctor was about signing out. In all fairness she tried oh!! The boy was put on a stretcher and carried in. The doctor examined him, and was about to start first aid when the first drama ensured. Femi, arrived with the policeman (I didn’t get his name) who was dispatched to attend to the case. He said his DCO asked him to take the boy to a particular hospital. But of course we were already in Alafia Hospital. While the Policeman was insisting on another hospital, the female doctor, returned all the syringes and drips she had brought out. But I insisted that the boy should first be given first aid. I eventually prevailed, then the unexpected happened; it started to rain and NEPA! Sorry they say they are now PHCN took light and the hospital power generator refused to come on. So we were in the dark apart from the light from some phones. Then another doctor walked in, I feel he must be senior to the female doctor, he examined the boy and said we should take him to UCH that it looks like he has internal head injury. “UCH in this heavy downpour!” you must be kidding me. The senior doctor with a note of finality said it was in our best interest. We agreed to UCH but asked them to still administer the first aid, they REFUSED! So how do we get this boy to UCH in the rain?
Eventually around past 10pm, he was carried in, and admitted. Then because we were Samaritans, a Social work officer was attached to him. I gave them the money that was raised at the accident scene to start treatment. Because, the boy could not talk, a case file was opened for him with the name “Unknown Dugbe”. Unknown Dugbe because the incident happened in Dugbe.
About 30 minutes later, the DCO of Iyaganku Police station from where the earlier mentioned police man was deployed from arrived. He arrived without his car in the rain. His car broke down on his way. Let me rest small, I was moved, really a Nigerian Policeman? (I have some resentment for policemen but I think that resentment disappeared that night). He even donated #5,000 to the 2k plus that was contributed earlier. The doctor told us we needed at least #80,000 to put ‘Dugbe unknown’ back on his feet. We all left UCH about 11:30pm. The taxi driver who did not collect a dime for his services dropped the DCO and Mr Jibola at Round About, the Police officer at Dugbe then Femi and I at Challenge. Femi was kind enough to escort me to my estate gate. I got home around by 12am, same as everyone else.
That night I really didn’t sleep much, as images of victims that were brought to UCH filled my sleep. Let me add that Mr Jibola and Femi are Muslims and on that fateful day they were yet to break their fast when the incident happened. As I later gathered, both got home around past 12, too tired and exhausted to eat.
Early, the next day, Mr Jibola toured Dugbe market looking for a possible lead to ‘Dugbe Unknown’’s family cause we were concern they would have been looking for him while I made calls to people who could assist with raising funds for his medical bills because without doubts I knew he was indigent. The poor boy had only gone out to engage in some honest activities to raise money for himself. LUCKILY, while we were away, ‘Dugbe Unknown’ gained consciousness and was able to faintly describe his house. The social health workers traced the address and thankfully found his grandma, whom he lives with. The family was contacted and in no time, members of his extended family began to troop into UCH. I was proved right, his family was indigent. He has being abandoned by his mummy since he was a year and half years old. His father kinda tried in his own way though. The story is quite complicated that that just further goes the carelessness and height of irresponsibility some parents’ exhibit.
Long story short, with the financial aid raised courtesy of Save our World Initiative (SOWI), my aunty Lioness Seyi Olokode and Mr Atiba we saw to the saving of another life. The lessons from this experience abound and I do hope that with time I can share but no doubt am glad to have been opportune to be instrumental to the saving of a life. Babatunde Akanmu Adebayo aka ‘Dugbe Unknown’ was discharged from UCH on Thursday 22nd, June, 2017. He is now hale and hearty. Tunde has also being reconnected to his mother. Another life saved. God be praised!
Nb: pardon the amateur images