A Lagos worker, identified only as Bashir, has lost his first child due to a traffic created by the meeting of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Party at its secretariat on Acme Road on Wednesday.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the child, who was named on Tuesday, had taken ill and was rushed to a private hospital in the Ikeja area, from where he was referred to a specialists’ hospital on Lagos Island.
The child, christened Oluwatamilore, was being conveyed to the hospital when he gave up in the traffic and was confirmed dead by a doctor.
Our correspondent had reported that commuters and residents of Lagos State were stranded on Wednesday after Acme Road, Ikeja, was blocked because of the APC meeting.
The blockage, which started from 7am, was stretched from Victorious Army Ministry International, a church, to a filling station, Magic FX.
Many people were reportedly forced to trek for hours as commercial buses quit operation, while motorists were held up in traffic on adjoining streets for hours.
Our correspondent gathered that Bashir’s eight-day-old child died in the traffic.
Bashir, who goes by the alias, distraught dad, onTwitter, expressed his anger over the incident in a series of tweets aimed at the APC and the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
He said, “@AkinwunmiAmbode@APCNigeria,thanks to you guys today for the road you blocked without prior notice. My eight-day-old boy died in the traffic.
“My boy died in traffic on the way to the hospital, the day after his naming ceremony.
“I prayed for you (the child) this morning, kissed you and told you I would see you and your beautiful mum when I’m back from work.”
A Twitter user, Godspeed, however, doubted Bashir’s claims, saying the bereaved father was playing politics.
Godspeed also said there were six ambulances stationed around the venue of the convention, adding that he could have alerted security agencies and emergency workers.
In his response, Bashir said, “Please tell me where they were stationed? I took that same route to work that morning; I didn’t see any ambulance. Was it only Acme Road that was blocked? Are you forgetting Acme Road is a connecting road to a lot of places?
“Does it occur to you that because Acme Road was blocked it caused a lot of traffic around there? You think I am politicising this issue? Such a level of insensitivity!
“I work for the Lagos State Government and I have benefitted from the government, apart from being a Lagosian. I am mourning and you are supporting people that would allow the same thing happen to you?”
He further stated that he was in the office when the child took ill, adding that his mother, father, wife and aunts made efforts to save the child.
“Why didn’t the LASTMA officials who my parents were begging to let them through because of the emergency, call the attention of an ambulance or LASEMA? Imagine your child dying in the presence of his mother and grandparents inside traffic?”
Efforts by PUNCH Metro to speak with Bashir were unsuccessful, as he didn’t reply to our correspondent’s tweets and enquiries on his wall.
However, investigation by PUNCH Metroconfirmed that the Lagos worker was not lying.
Three co-workers and a friend confirmed that he indeed lost the child in the traffic.
A fellow worker with him at the Lagos Inland Revenue Service, said he visited him at his home on Thursday.
He said, “There were many sympathisers. It is sad.”
Another worker said the news had spread in the LIRS.
“The child was named Oluwatamilore. He died in the traffic,” a close associate said.
The Lagos APC spokesperson, Joe Igbokwe, said he was just learning of the incident.
He said, “The turnout was beyond our expectation. We have been having events in the past without any traffic problem, but this was an exception and we sincerely apologise to Lagosians. I am just getting to know about the death. But I will confirm.”