There's a Yoruba saying that goes "Nkan ti ko da o ni oruko meji" and this simply means what is bad is bad. I witnessed something bad this morning that shook me to my very core. I had been stuck in traffic for over an hour, on a stretch of road that should have taken me about seven minutes to cover. It was upsetting enough that I would be getting to work late on a Monday morning through no fault of mine. Apparently the state government had laid some sanctions on the movements of heavy duty trucks during the day but like recalcitrant children, the truckers had all parked and left their trucks on the main roads all the way from Apapa to Jibowu thereby constituting a nuisance to every commuter on this Monday morning.
will come back to this issue later.)
Anyways, as I finally found my way to Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, I noticed a man lying smack bang in the middle of the road. A LAWMA road cleaner placed a caution cone beside his head and walked away from him to continue her duty sweeping the road. I was gobsmacked at the very casual manner in which everyone carried on and ignored the twitching man. I asked my cabbie to pull over and secure my bag and gadgets while I got out to try to help. He was alive when I came up to him, he had dribbled on his chin but he was alive. I noticed some watches were scattered around him and deduced that he was probably a hawker, so I beckoned to another hawker beside him and asked what the issue was. He told me to leave the man alone and that he would come around. Say what now? It is not normal to leave someone needing medical attention unattended to for goodness sake.
I kept talking to the man, who had now begun to come around slowly. I tried calling the emergency line but I guess the shock of what I was witnessing made me mix up the numbers so I had no luck getting through to them. A newspaper vendor walked up to me and demanded I must not touch the man because he had had a convulsion and shouldn’t be touched. Ermm, but “convulsions are not contagious”, I shrieked. He wouldn’t listen and he kept insisting that the man would be fine without being touched for my own good. It was really overwhelming for me.
I kept speaking to the poor man lying there as I wished a doctor or someone else would stop and help me help him, but sadly no one else did. A man did stop on the other side of the road to ask me if the man had been knocked down or something, but that was about it. I kept on reassuring the victim as he came around slowly, looking very dazed. He finally managed to stand up and encouraged I him to sit down on the pavement and pull himself together. He looked so sad, dazed and confused that I just wanted to give him a hug. But I could not because Mr. Vendor was looming and insistent that no one should touch the man. Sigh.
I stayed with him for some more minutes but I was running so late for work and once I knew he was alright by himself, I implored him to please take good care of his health and slow down a bit on the hustling. I left and as soon as I got into the cab, I started crying and shaking. How can a human life mean so little? Shouldn’t every life matter enough for all efforts to be made to secure the lives? At what poit did we get to in humanity where helping strangers in need has become so rare? We all ought to be more #AllHeartsAlways, we simply must because that could have been you or I in need of help. I got to work with a very heavy heart and that burdensome feeling has stayed with me all day.
I hope sharing my experience would encourage at least one person to stop and help the needy around them. The easiest way the world would be a much better place is if we all reach out and play an active part in ensuring so.