By Godfrey Bivbere
When Lt. Commander Tanko Ibrahim finished preparing for work that fateful morning and bid hisÂ family goodbye as he drove out of his Close B, House 9, Navy Town Ojo residence, little did he know what danger awaited him.
He had decided to visit some of the boys working for him around Tin-Can Island area before heading for his office in Apapa.
In his desireÂ to get to the office on time, he decided to take inner Tin-can Island port access road to avoid the usual traffic between Coconut and Tin-Can Second Gate that can keep one at a standstill for three to four hours on a bad day.
As he approached the bad spot just before National Bus-stop, he stopped to allow a 20 footer container-laden truck to drive pass before continuing on his journey but the truck driver signaled to him to continue.
But hardly had he driven pass the front truck than the trailer driver started moving forward. As a result of the terrible pot-hole along that portion of the road, the container on the trailer began to wobble.
At this stage, Tanko sensed danger and swerved towards the pavement. That decision saved his life because at that very moment the container fell on the car, narrowly missing the driverâ€™s side as a result of that action.
Minutes after the accident, Mrs. Ibrahim who had arrived at the scene was seen standing with her hands across her breast, her eyes cloudy with tears.
Narrating his near-death experience to Vanguard Metro Lt Commander Ibrahim had this to say: â€œItâ€™s all because of the bad road and this same road is the only one that is being used by everybody; everyone is using the one lane and there are potholes on this same road.
A truck conveying the container was coming and I stopped in order for the truck to pass, but he beckoned on me to come, that other buses were also passing.
And asÂ I was moving towards the truck, suddenly, the container fell on my car. But I was lucky, because I was able to swerve to the other side of the pavement and if not God, it could have been a different matter by nowâ€.
He told Vanguard Metro that immediately after the accident, in fact even before he was helped out of the car, both the driver of the truck and some boys with him took to their heels and where nowhere to be found.
This development necessitated his and some of his workers who rushed to the scene having to wait for the owner of the container or the agent of the container.
The Naval officer said he subsequently reported the incident at the Tin-Can Island Police and had since made a written statement.
While thanking God for sparing his life, Tanko said that the car which was given to him by government on loan has not been fully paid for.
In his words: â€œYes, itâ€™s a government car actually but we pay for it. You know every month they debit N20,000.00 approximately from our salary. So I am going to pay for it for the next five yearsâ€.
He, however, blamed the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for leaving that failed portion of the road unattended to when they know the heavy volume of traffic on it on a daily basis.
According to him: â€œThis will serve as a warning to NPA. The road which is supposed to be two lanes, is blocked.Â It will not take them (NPA) more than a trip of granite to patch the pot-holes. If not because of the bad road, cars and trailers are not supposed to be competing on one laneâ€.
Petrol tanker accident sparks panic, cripple traffic on Ikorodu Road
A major disaster was Tuesday avertedÂ Â at Obanikoro-Ikorodu road, as a petrol tanker went out of control and collided with a four-wheel grey colour car popularly called jeep with its highly inflammable content spilling across the road the very busy road.
The quick response of the fire-fighter team and members of the Lagos State Transport Management Authority, (LASTMA) saved the day as they were fully mobilised to control the situation.
The accident which halted vehicles on the axis of the road for about four hours claimed no life.
Eye witness account said the tanker which was supposedly carrying petrol (PMS) in an attempt to avoid hitting a stationary vehicle on the road suddenly swerved to the other lane hitting the four-wheel Toyota four wheel vehicle and skidded off the road.
â€œThe tanker was not on top speed but attempted to overtake a stationary Mercedez Benz when it collided with the Jeep. The Jeep in an attempt to minimise the damage, also skidded off the road.Â Another eyewitness account said the drivers of the two vehicles sustained different degrees of injuries and were immediately taken to the hospital.
On the extent of the damage on the vehicle, an eyewitness said â€œthe Jeep was badly damaged; we had to chiselled away some part of the door before bringing out the driver of the jeep and he was immediately taken to the hospital.
Officials of LASTMA were seen diverting vehicles about 500 metres away from the spot of the accident to prevent fire disaster.
The Public Relation Officer of NUPENG, Comrade Adekitan who was at the scene shortly after the accident said: â€œI canâ€™t really say how it happened but we shall investigate itâ€.
NGO advocates quick passage of Child Rights Act
As Nigerian children joined the rest of African countries to celebrate this yearâ€™s Day of the African Child, the need for the quick passage of the Child Rights Act before the National Assembly has once again taken the front burner.
This position was re-echoed byÂ Hygie-Enwerem Foundation, a non governmental organisation working in the area of health promotion with primary focus on promotion of human rights, malaria, sexual reproductive health, including HIV&AIDS.
According to the Executive Director of the Foundation, Mrs. Grace Enwerem, Nigerians cannot afford to toil with the children since they remain the only hope and future of the nation. With the passage, she said Nigerian children are expected to enjoy their rights and privileges as normal children and as human beings, hence protecting them from unnecessary abuse and infringement of their fundamental human rights.
The Nigerian Child Rights Act was promulgated into law in 2003, and provided that a childÂ be given such protection and care as necessary for their wellbeing and development.
However, contemporary analysis on child rights in Nigeria, according to her indicate that violation against child right in the country is significantly high and if not checked could assume uncontrollable dimension.