16 Jul 2017

INTERVIEW: My son could have survived if help came in time — Daniel’s father

Tell us about yourself.
I am Yemi Olagoke, the father of 10-year-old Daniel who died in the container disaster at Ojota.

Where were you when the accident happened?
I was not in Lagos. I travelled to Ondo State on Thursday. When I got home on Friday, I asked my wife where Daniel was. She told me he went to the camp with our neighbour, Pastor Ezechila.  Daniel was a friend of the pastor’s son. I said no problem because it was not the first time he would be going with them to the camp to pray.
Are you also a member of RCCG?
No, I attend Daystar Christian Centre but occasionally I attend RCCG special programmes.
How did you receive the news of your son’s death?
I had an appointment at Constain area of Lagos on Saturday, July 8 in the morning. I got a call from my wife asking me if I heard about an accident that happened that morning. She told me our neighbour who took Daniel to church had an accident along the way. I called her back to ascertain the nature of the accident. She said a truck fell on their bus. I concluded immediately that they were dead. She asked me not to repeat that again that they were not dead. I was so confused. I didn’t even know how I got home. At home, I met my wife praying for them not to die.

When last did you speak with Daniel?
The last discussion I had with him was on Wednesday when I went to cut my hair. I told him he would go to my brother’s place in Lekki to spend his holiday. He was happy. My wife was going to attend a programme too. He was my only son. I have two girls.
What can you say about your child?
I miss him so much. I love him. The news is shocking. He just finished his examinations, going to Jss2. It is so unfortunate. During the administration of former governor Babatunde Fashola, I remember they banned trucks from plying some routes and they gave them time to operate. I see no reason why that law should not be enforced.
My son would have survived if there was an efficient emergency response. The injuries were minor. I think they bled to death. Our government should address that.

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