So… on Sunday 14 January 2018 I was driving to Lagos from Edo State and at Ore (Ondo State) I saw a very dead body right in the middle of the road. Pardon the details, but it was dismembered in a very gory way, probably a hit and run, followed by many other post-mortem hits.
Well, my faith teaches me that Burying the Dead is a Work of Mercy so I reminded myself that the inherent human dignity of that person called for a better care of his/her body. I therefore needed to help remove that body from the road. This was in addition to the safety hazard it was causing motorists who all had to swerve suddenly to avoid the major obstacle smack in the middle of the road.
It was a lonely stretch of the road, but despite the protestations from my fellow car occupant about the danger of stopping, I did stop, because I wanted to get the GPS coordinates of the place. Now who do I call? Thanks to my previous positive experiences, the only number that came to mind was 767. This is the number for the emergency response team of Lagos State, but at that moment it totally skipped my mind that I was in Ondo State. As usual the number hardly rang before it was picked up by a very polite and professional sounding Lady. I explained the situation, but she explained that their area of focus of Lagos State. She provided an alternative however – to call 122, the nationwide number for the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). That made sense. It was after all a “Road” and a “Safety” issue. The person was already dead.
And so I dialed 122. Oh boy! I had to wait… I almost thought I would soon be greeted with “to copy this tune dial 11″… and then when I was almost giving up, someone answered the call. It was another woman but this one was totally different. I explained the situation and guess what she said? She told me it was not an FRSC but a police matter! I tried to remain calm and told her that the body on the road was a danger to road users, but she insisted that since the person was dead, it was a police matter. Ah ah, how it brought to my mind the archaic and inhuman mentality that Buhari’s recent law against accident-victim-police-report-first mentality! Anyway, I lost my cool with the lady and also lost my patience with the process. I told her I had done what I thought was my duty and that she should have a nice day, and hung up. What a shame!