An eyewitness has narrated how over 50 motorists abandoned an accident victim to die while they busied themselves taking pictures of the scene.
The accident, which occurred on Sunday on the Onitsha-Benin road, involved a couple and five children travelling in a Honda Pilot.
The victims’ vehicle had a burst tyre and somersaulted several times a short distance after a place called Abudu.
According to Lawrence Ugbamadu, it took the timely arrival of some men of the Federal Road Safety Corps to prevent the wife too from dying at the spot.
Ugbamadu, who shared his experience in a Facebook post, said he pleaded unsuccessfully with fellow motorists to help evacuate the dying couple after his companion had used his car to evacuate the four unconscious children to the hospital.
He said his efforts to also compel a government official travelling in a Toyota Land Cruiser with a Toyota Hilux escort vehicle to help evacuate the victims wth his escort vehicle was futile, as the unidentified man ordered his police guard to push him out of the way.
Ugbamadu’s Facebook post reads: “This morning, I was rushing to catch up with my Sunday service at Benin from Osha, having been forced to sleep at Onitsha due to head bridge traffic jam last night.
“Just after Abudu, the Honda Pilot in my distant front pulled a back tire and the SUV began to summersault. This car went up to about 20 feet above the ground before landing with its roof. This wasn’t a Rambo or James bond movie but a reality. I was so petrified. Never seen that in my life. When it was all over in just seconds or so, lying on the floor were a family of 5 children with there parents travelling after Christmas.
“Their father was nearly gone, mother and four children heavily wounded and unconscious, one daughter not touched but shouting and shaking her parents and siblings to come back alive. Road blocked as many parked and we all started praying and calling God of life.(Nigerians can sure pray).
“I now said we need to move them to hospital. I carried the four injured unconscious children into my SUV and threw all my suits and loads out to accommodate their only conscious sister and told the young pastor with me to drive them to hospital.
“This is when I saw Nigerians in action. No one agreed to bring his/her car for the two unconscious parents. I begged, cried, knelt on the main road but nobody agreed .Yet more than 50 different types of car were there with many snapping pictures of the people and posting. I tried blackmail but got deaf ears. I became crazy and beat on vehicles yet nobody budged. While this was going on the man gave up the ghost.
“When this happened, I thought hearts will change, but no. Rather, more tears without action. I saw a government Toyota Land Cruiser with a Pilot Hilux and knelt in front of it with my suit asking the man to use his Hilux but he ordered his police orderly to push me out of the way. Guess what? The other hypocrites, who had refused to help for the past 40 minutes, started insulting him for committing the same offence.
“By now, the mother too was now going, yet nobody offered to help. I told my pastor to rush back and let us carry the remaining victims. Just then road safety came to my help. Well, by this time the woman was near gone. We got to the hospital and the kids were being treated but doctors said more time wasting would have killed them too, especially the two boys. Thank God. Please help me pray for them.
“The road safety officials said it is only one out of one million people that help accident victims in Nigeria. Please let us change that this year. It could be your family tomorrow.
“I came back from hospital to take pictures of the car but not human beings.”