Her son died on a Christmas Eve in a crash at Lekki toll gate that not only stole his life but has kept his mother helpless in the waiting room of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice ever since.
“I got that boy through God in the Lord’s day, but those who use God for their selfish reasons, they killed my son,” said Friday Agbara, a native of Ondo State.
Seventeen-year-old Alex Agbara was driving alone to work on a truck when the accident occurred on Ijora-Ejigbo road. But Friday Agbara said, she got a phone call from the ministry that her son died in a crash with another person.
She immediately started making frantic calls to the head of the mass casualty unit and trying to talk to her son, but it was she who could not reach him.
“My husband and I hurried to the Ministry of Justice, so we could take him to the mortuary,” she said. “But when we got there, we didn’t find anybody to talk to, so we started trying, but my calls were never answered.”
Friday Agbara made frantic calls to the head of the unit to take her away to the morgue but found her calls unanswered.
“It was later I met him on the morgue floor and I raised my hand to the morgue man who is the last man standing and he, later told me that a boy is dead in the unit and that I should keep still,” she said.
She told him, however, that her 14-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son were with her in the waiting room.
“He asked me to go and bring my two kids to take them to the morgue, because he was sure my son was dead. He did not even ask me what happened in the truck and he just held my hand and told me, ‘Don’t worry, they are not treating us’,” she said.
After pleading with the man, she said, he bowed his head.
Afterwards, she said, the man ordered the man on duty to start working, so he started picking up bodies from the morgue floor.
“I told them that I wanted to take my son to the morgue with them, but the woman told me that I should stay and find out what happened to my son myself,” she said.
For two hours, Friday Agbara said, they continued to wait, adding, “We didn’t see anybody to talk to, only the old people. I don’t know what kind of job they do there and we keep calling them again and again, but nobody answers our calls.”
After two hours, Friday Agbara said, the woman who is supposed to be at work pleaded that the old people could leave the room as well, but the woman refused.
“So they (the old people) went out of the room, so after that I started going round every table and every corner,” she said.
On getting to different benches where the men were seated, she said they saw men with head injuries.
“I told the man on duty that I saw some men with head injuries and that we should all go and help them and help them, but he didn’t want us to help them,” she said.
She added, “They gave us water, but they didn’t give us anything to eat. We made some calls to them, but they did not answer.”
Friday Agbara said the man told her to find out what happened with her son.
“He asked me to come back and report to him. So, I came back that night,” she said.
Friday Agbara said it was after she spent a whole night at the Ministry of Justice that she heard the head of the Mass Casualty Unit telling others that she was dead.
She said that he asked the officers to find her and was about to take her to the morgue when he changed his mind.
“He told us that my son is lying dead on the floor, so they went and removed him,” she said.
Friday Agbara said when they went to the morgue that night, there was no staff to make arrangements for her.
She said the staff brought her a wheelchair and the wheelchair was not ready, so they had to carry her from the morgue to the waiting room.
Then, she said, another man gave her something to eat, but it was not enough.