BellaNaijarian Lola shared this story with us today. Lola is a BellaNaijarian and also a longtime client of BN. It is just sad that our social services system is in a dismal state in Nigeria. This is not about Lagos but the entire country.
We really hope things get better.
Hello BellaNaija, thought to share this story.
On Sunday, while I drove to church, I saw an old woman on the road, (Cement Bus Stop area in front of St. Joseph Secondary School) passersby must have put a tyre in front of her to protect her from on coming vehicles.
She looked sick and needing help. I called 112 (Lagos State Emergency Number) to bring to their notice for possible medical attention or whatever assistance they could render. They had promised to move there swiftly.
After church, I headed back a little late at about 5pm. That was not my usual root but I took that route hoping not to find the old woman.
To my surprise, she was helplessly still there. I met some women who live across the road from where she was. Together we pleaded with some guys who helped put her by the side of the road. We then called this 112 over and over again.
Same stories, they never showed up. I gave her moi moi and some water which she blessed before eating. We asked her about her home, children and all. She talked very gently but not quite coherent. I saw her as someone who barely had a slight loss of memory which might be due to old age or sickness. She had a cloth and a bible in a white Nylon. Appears to me as someone who was on her way to or from church.
She also gave an account of how a Danfo tire had hit her after pulling out on motion. She said that was the last and only thing she could remember as she fell to the ground and the danfo didn’t stop. She also said her daughter’s name is Aisha. And she stays in Alfa nla opposite the mosque.
By now it was getting dark, I called back the emergency line and was asked to take her to the nearest police station. Disappointed, I dropped and went on to the police station. The police officers I met didn’t even seem interested.
“Here be hospital?” one of them said.
One later volunteered to go with me to where the woman was. I then suggested we go to the area where she said she lives just in case we could find her family or a lead to them. I was more shocked when I saw the police man disappear into the crowd immediately we got there. He never came back till we left.
Then I gave up hoping to go back and snap a clearer picture of her and perhaps send to a media house. On the side, I was also in search of old people’s home or there about.
But she was no longer there by dawn. I only prayed she’s safe and back home.
By Tuesday, I saw her not too far from there, shivering. I told myself I’ll stop by on my way form work. It was an express road.
I got to the office and a lady calls me from this number 070501881 (Leaving the last 2 digits out) saying she’s calling from Lagos state emergency to follow up on the case I reported on Sunday, I explained to her that the woman was still helplessly there. She said “Eeya…can you call to remind them again?“. I said “who are the them?” she said “112..or 797 or something like that.”
I said if you can’t order your colleagues to do their job, why should I be the one calling endlessly.
Then she goes ahead to ask me what their service was like
She: Will you recommend the emergency service?
At this point I just hung up
Sadly by Wednesday morning she had died.
By yesterday Friday her decomposing body is still there. (By that road that leads to old Abeokuta Express Way)
The so called emergency number kept asking if she is dead, “is she dead?” to which we (the women I met there and all those who tried calling the number for help for this woman) kept saying she’s alive but looks frail..not like she’s mad but looks like she’s suffering from loss of memory. I believe even if she’s a mental case since she’s elderly, harmless but helpless she should be catered for by the Government.
It seemed 112 had preferred if we were reporting a corpse.
Even the corpse now has been there 3 days and maybe counting.
When will this country really develop?
I was going to snap the decomposed corpse, but then I realized, being a journalist isn’t just about writing, it takes guts to snap and publish certain types of news image.
PS : I’ll like to be a volunteer at an old people’s home. Any leads please