Lagos toll gate death: ‘I thought he was joking’

Image copyright AFP Image caption Patrick Nyong (right) died in October after being stuck for hours at a Lagos toll gate Abayomi Adeyinka sat in a queue all night outside the toll gate at…

Lagos toll gate death: 'I thought he was joking'

Image copyright AFP Image caption Patrick Nyong (right) died in October after being stuck for hours at a Lagos toll gate

Abayomi Adeyinka sat in a queue all night outside the toll gate at Lagos’s Lekki expressway where her son had been taken in October 2018.

After hours of waiting, she learnt he was dead.

“When I saw my son on the road, I thought he was kidding,” Ms Adeyinka told BBC Africa.

“I said, ‘Are you joking? What’s happening?’ He said, ‘I am being killed’.”

‘He’s my everything’

Patrick Nyong was 22 when he was killed.

Abayomi Adeyinka said she immediately checked the car for fuel, then ran to the gate to ask for help – not realising what was going on.

“I ran to the toll gate and called an ambulance. I was crying,” she said.

“When I got there, they said they are not able to find his body yet because it is in the cemetery. I said, ‘But your son is being killed? Don’t you know?’ They said they don’t know.”

Image copyright AFP Image caption Patrick Nyong was a victim of Nigeria’s notorious traffic

Ms Adeyinka wasn’t the only one in a long queue that night waiting to see if her son was dead.

An ambulance approached, but she feared the driver knew too much about her son’s death. He ran away.

She had called him a few minutes earlier as he was driving past. “I said, ‘Baby, we are now in traffic and everyone wants to get to me.’ But he didn’t call me back.”

Last Saturday, a car driven by Mr Nyong collided with a Hoshco truck in the toll gate. The driver and other passengers – including Patrick Nyong – were killed.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Abayomi Adeyinka knows her son’s body will never be found

Still in a state of shock, Ms Adeyinka has nothing left to say to the person who made the decision to throw her son at the gate.

“He is my everything. I’ve lost my only son, my life’s work is now useless,” she said.

“He brought so much joy and peace into my life. He was somebody who loved God, his family and everybody.”

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