By Patrick Ochei
Today (Wednesday, June 9, 2021) happens to be the departure for delegates to the three-day 3rd Nigeria Union Journalists, NUJ, National Conference held in Port-Harcourt the Rivers State capital.
Delta delegates had joined their Edo counterparts in their bus after checking out of their hotel rooms, and then it started raining. By the time we hit the East-West road, the rain had become serious.
We were just moving slowly as the rain got heavier. We got to Bayelsa State and it started subsiding gradually. But just immediately we passed the Kaiama flyover and just by the next bridge, a brand new ash coloured car overtook us and just in the split of seconds we saw the car being tossed from left to right and right to left in that frequency. And then the vehicle veered to the left again, hit the iron rail by the bridge into the river and hung there while part of the car was already in.
We quickly pulled over and while approaching the vehicle, the lone occupant was struggling out through the other passenger’s door. He was a fine, gallantly dressed military officer. We quickly held him and began to thank God. For over thirty minutes he could not talk until we took him to go sit inside our bus. He was given a drink from our bus to calm him down. We later learnt his name is Captain E. Bidi, an Ijaw young military officer who was just travelling home from PH.
We were dredged by the rain for over an hour thirty minutes trying to control traffic and pleading with any vehicle with rope to help pull out the accident vehicle that got stuck at the edge of the bridge.
Two trailers tried pulling it out but to no avail because the car had hooked into an iron. We even paid a bike man around to drive to Kaiama town to hire a towing van, but again no success.
As God would have it, we saw men of the Road Safety driving in their vehicle. We beckoned on the officers to stop, which they did. We narrated the situation to them and they continued from where we stopped after saluting the captain. The Road Safety officials were awesome as they immediately mobilised towing van for the rescue.
We really thank God for the life of officer Bidi, who narrated to us how he was involved in an accident on his way to Maiduguri with his first car. Now also, this accident happened with his new car again. He had hit the water on the road and lost control and nearly plunged into the river from the bridge.
The experience was worth thanking God, for using us to be there for a Nigerian, a Military Officer and a human being.
As a sign-off, please, don’t be too resented about the present leadership challenge in Nigeria that when you see a fellow Nigerian in need of help you should refuse to render it. If we all look up to God rather than looking up to man, and with the fear of God, our mindsets can change from the negatives to the positives for the good of our dear country.
Ochei, the Secretary Delta NUJ was a delegate to the NUJ National Conference