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How I lost my family in one day to auto crash – Cleric

…says he set up NGO after his family demise

By Ebun Sessou & Elizabeth Uwandu

For Pastor Ebelechukwu Obidiozor, an indigene of Obosi, Anambra State, August 26, 2015 was a nightmare never to be forgotten. What was supposed to be a reunion of his immediate family – his wife, two daughters, his niece as well as his in-law became a day of pain and sorrow.

Narrating his ordeal to WW, Obidiozor lamented that his family members were on a journey to Lokoja, Kogi State when they were involved in a fatal accident that claimed their lives including other passengers on board.

Obidiozor, told WW that his family went on vacation abroad and on their return,  decided to go and visit their parents. The wife, two children and his niece were to visit the wife’s parents in Lokoja and then proceed to Anambra State to see his parents. He was to join them in Anambra State. Unfortunately, that was never to be as they died in an auto crash on their way to Lokoja.

“When my family came back to Nigeria, they boarded a bus at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos to visit my wife’s father who was in Jos instead of going to Obosi, our  hometown.

“It was on their way to Lokoja that they lost their lives. When I heard the news, I was devastated. I couldn’t imagine what happened. I was lost. No one could begin to imagine how I felt.

“For three years, I was in shock but God restored me. People thought I would go insane because of the tragedy. The untimely demise of my entire family was enough to make me lose my mind but I thank God that He helped me.

“Today, I am not only strong but weathering the storm by God’s grace. “Three years down the line, I have been able to set up a foundation, Save Life’s Foundation, SLF, a non-governmental organisation, NGO, to immortalise my late family, and at the same time provide succour to victims of accidents,” he said.

Speaking at the launch of the foundation in Lagos recently, Obidiozor in his speech titled: Where was God when it happened?, said, at the time of the incident, he decided not to question God but rather ask Him for strength and grace unlike a man in California who suffered the same fate and ended up becoming an atheist.

“I choose not to ask God where He was when all my family died. It happened to a man in California who lost all members of his family. He became mentally unstable and that experience changed his life as he concluded that there was no God.

“I want to let people know that God is God and He cannot change. My family has gone to the point of no return. During one of the days when I was grieving for my family, my late wife appeared to me and said to me:

‘We are all safe, move on, God has a greater plan for you.’ I went behind closed doors with God and God told me that they had to go for lives to be saved.

“Save Life’s Foundation is all about saving lives. It was formed basically to prepare people for heaven, physically and spiritually. Its core job will be to go to parks, churches, schools etc., and organise seminars, awareness programmes, including collaborating and meeting with the government and safety agencies on the need to combat deaths by road accidents,” he explained.

Road accident cause more deaths than malaria….Obidiozor

On road accidents in Nigeria, he said it has caused more deaths than malaria. “In fact, there are accidents everywhere. If you travel from Lagos to the East, you see corpses littered on our roads. Something must be done while we continue to pray, asking for God’s intervention.”

Coordinator of Save Life’s Foundation, SLF, Mrs Hope Egwu said that “SLF is a non-profit organisation that advocates for individuals and families who are combating the ramifications of emotional loss of a loved one by crafting a community-based volunteer environment.”

According to her, “We aim to reduce road accidents to the barest minimum through advocacy with all key stakeholders. And in addition, provide succour to victims of accidents, as most times, the victims need moral, physical and financial support to move on.

“We are also using the NGO to solicit support in saving lives because it is everyone’s business,” she added.

Commending the efforts of Save Life’s Foundation, Mr. George Daniels, Unit Commander, FRSC Command, Airport Division, Lagos, said 85 per cent of road accidents are caused by human factor, while 15 per cent are caused by medical and environmental factors.“We are essentially partnering with SLF and we intend to make sure that we carry out enlightenment programmes and sensitisation of the public in our churches, mosques and parks on a regular basis to ensure that people are well sensitised on the use of our roads. We will continue to partner with both corporate organisations and  individuals, that are interested in keeping our roads safe and that is what we are doing,” Daniels said.


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