Shittu Taiwo was born and raised in Kogi state 37 years ago. He was a tanker driver who sadly had his dream of becoming a successful businessman shattered when he was on December 26 2015 almost electrocuted by a live high-tension wire while performing his daily duty.
Pathetic enough, on this fateful sad day when the tragic incidence occurred was his first day in service for a popular Ilorin-based petroleum transporter who is fondly called Alhaji Mufty of Mufty transport.
“Unfortunately enough, it was my first trip I had embarked on while working with my then boss and I was been paid 25 000 naira as salary,” Taiwo lamented while speaking with NAIJ.com in Ilorin.
Taiwo narrated his sorrowful ordeal when he revealed the redoubtable moment he was caught between live high-tension wires when he said: "I never knew there were high-tension wires overhead when I mounted the tanker and on getting to the tanker top, labelling the figures I wanted to convey, the high-tension wires suddenly sparked and dropped on my head and neck and that was the last thing I could recall. I spent three days at the hospital before I could regain my consciousness."
Struggling with inconvenience in its hardest form, Taiwo continues: "No one ever had an idea of how the wires cut and fell on me, all people knew and told me afterwards was that during the electrocution, the wires yanked me upward and on my way downward, my body was eventually trapped in the middle of the wires before dropping me on the floor where people finally came to my rescue and rushed my half dead body to a private hospital,”
One could only imagine how terrible it had become for this young, hard-working man as a result of the accident which has left him basking in great agony and excruciating pain ever since the red-lettered day that would continue to linger in his memory for the rest of his life. Indeed, one never knows the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
Speaking with NAIJ.com at his residence, the 37 year old narrated his life story including the sad one that led to the tragic incidence.
“I hailed from Ifeolukotun in Kogi state where I grew up and obtained my O’level before I went into tanker driving for a living since about 10 years now (that is since 2006). I have worked for various petroleum companies, I have worked for NNPC, Oando, Can-wire, Forte Oil and other independent marketers at places like Akure in Ondo state and other places.
"I am married with a child and we presently reside here in Ilorin. I was in service with a petroleum transporter in Ilorin who is popularly known as Alhaji Mufty of Mufty transport who specialises in supplying petroleum products usually from Ilorin down to Abuja and my job was to drive tanker vehicles for him.
"We were at Shagamu in Ogun state which was December last year when we got a call to come and load at the depot and the capacity of the tanker I was to drive was 40,000 but they said i was going to convey 33,000 because they were rationalising as a result of the paucity of petroleum products at that time. Normally, each of the three compartments of the tanker contains more than 11,000 but because they were rationalising, I was asked to mount the tanker top from where the petroleum products would be loaded, to label each compartment 11,000 so that by the time they would be loading, there would be an indication of 11,000 litres of whatever petroleum product that would be loaded in it. I never knew there were high-tension wires overhead when I mounted the tanker and on getting to the tanker top, labelling the figures I wanted to convey, the high-tension wires suddenly sparked and dropped on my head and neck and that was the last thing I could recall. I spent three days at the hospital before I could regain my consciousness.
“In fact, as I speak, my vision has become so blur as a result. I spent five days at the private hospital before I was taken to the Federal Medical centre in Lokoja where I had remained for seven months after which I was finally discharged July this year."
After several months of arduous spending, Alhaji Mufty according to Taiwo stopped paying his treatment bills which eventually led to his exit from the hospital as no family member was also ready to continue taking responsibility for his hospital bills. He was lying hopelessly at the hospital when doctors declared to him that he had already exhausted his time on bed and discharging him was the next option.
He was eventually discharged to himself and the agony and pains he felt at the hospital turned out to him to be child's play when the real manifestation of an unpleasant sensation resulting from a deranged of functions of some parts of his body revealed itself, it generates prolonged intense physical and mental uneasiness too and the solution to this problem in which doctors seem to have an answer.
"Over the seven months I spent at the Federal Medical entre, the boss I was working for when the tragic incidence occurred, as well as some of my family members took care of my treatment bills at the hospital before my boss eventually hands off on account that he was already down financially and could not continue financing my hospital bills as it was becoming too high and he had even had to park his vehicles as a result of the huge amount that had dropped off his pockets on me which was more than a million naira. On a daily basis, I feel excruciating pains all over my neck and eyes that are affected including my legs.
“I always find it difficult to talk, eat, sleep or do other activities because of this pain which daily becomes more and more unbearable even with the pills I have to administer; I have been completely emasculated. At least, my boss had already spent about N1,250,000 on my treatments at the hospital but the help I need and I'm begging people of Nigeria to assist me on is the surgery they said is the solution that could bring permanent solace to my unbearable and life-quaking suffering, which will cost up to one million naira. When I was in Lokoja, I was told the surgery alone would cost close to 800,000 naira asides other expenses which makes it a million naira altogether."
Apparently, what Taiwo needs to get him out of this discomfort zone is beyond the amount somebody who earned what could hardly feed his family per month, could get. However, Taiwo could hardly feed himself and his family for now as he has no ability to work or means of livelihood.
Taiwo has now cried bitterly to Nigerians and other people around the world to come to his aids claiming that he only awaits death if he eventually could not see any means to get him out of his current agony as he has been abandoned by relatives and friends.
“Initially, my ambition was to become a political scientist but when I finished in secondary school with seven credits, I had no sponsor which was why I delved into tanker driving, but then I had thought of doing business after some time, but that cannot be possible now with this epileptic condition.
"As I speak now, I have to administer drugs that was prescribed for me at the hospital but there is no money to buy the drugs because I have emptied my account already and there are no family members around me anymore which is why I am pleading to Nigerians to come to my aid, I do not know what could happen to me if I don't go for the operation. Please, I cannot even turn my neck properly, I cannot do the normal things I should do, I am dying please help me,” he explained to NAIJ.com at his house in Ilorin in tears.
No doubt, this sad incidence portends not only thread of hunger and hardship to Taiwo's wife and little kid, but it also means a dream of achieving great feat in a young man's life left hanging in the air and his means of livelihood has become bruised and battered.