It’s been a year since I nearly died on the streets near my family house. This year, my family has lived in that house for 29 years. I am glad that they don’t have to mark the spot where their son died. I wrote a blog post about the event. You can read it here.
In review, the accident was caused by a series of small failures that added up. I find it hard to imagine that a road in a residential area doesn’t have any speed bumps. A speed bump would have prevented the Okada man from speeding all the way down from a road junction on a one-way street. That is the most direct cause of the accident however if you delve deeper, you will see that the setup for the accident happened way before I was born due to a failure of government.
The first failure of government is the failure of the entire northern region to provide free and qualitative education for their citizens. The bulk of illiterates in Nigeria are from the North. The Okada man who nearly killed me could not be up to 18 years old. Come to ask what was he doing on an Okada. At that age, I was in tertiary institution.
The second failure of government of government has been their inability to crush Boko Haram. I have refused to issue any public statement on Boko Haram and so I won’t go any further. What I would say is that the number of Okada men in the area where I grew up has exploded. At any road junction, you see up to 50 Hausas parked in front of 1 house. They eat from one plate and are a community unto themselves. They live without any dignity. Most cannot tell you the last time they slept on a bed.
Since the accident, I started seeing them. There is something wrong with a country where the cutters of stone and fetchers of water must come from only one tribe. This is perhaps the greatest failure of the government. If you investigate carefully, since Boko Haram started, there has been a spike in the number of Okada accidents in the South.
What where their leaders doing while Awolowo declared free education in the South? Remove free education from the South and my story would be different. My parents came from poor families and would not have been educated if there was no free education.
Therein lay the failure of leaders in the North. By failing to invest in education, they lay the groundwork for an investment in security. Boko Haram is the fruit of the seed they planted years ago. I might not have perspective so I will stop here on this issue.
My physical injuries took a while to heal. I learned how to walk again last year. My neck, elbow, wrist, knee and ankle of my left side still hurt. I dread the return of the rains when the pain will return. Last year, I was a human barometer and could tell you when the rains were about to fall due to the pain in my sides. The cold has a way of triggering off pain.
How do you say thank you to a family that nursed you back to health and supported you while you healed? No amount of thanks is too small for my family who helped me heal. I survived thanks to my family.