tortuous search for the fruit of the womb for a Nasarawa State- born
couple, Shedrack and Mercy Audu. For 17 years, they ran from pillar to
post, seeking medical and divine solutions to their childlessness after
tying the nuptial not in 1998.
supplications and blessed them with a set of twins, a boy and a girl,
whom they christened Joseph and Philomena. Expectedly, their birth
instantly wiped off their tears and pain they suffered for almost two
decades, as they savoured the glory of God wherever they went.
their precious babies, Shedrack, a lecturer at Nasarawa State
Polytechnic and his wife went to Makurdi, Benue State, on the invitation
of his bosom friend, Fidelis Mbaka, to show him their bundles of joy.
2017, the couple set out with the babies at about 10.30am aboard a
commuter vehicle, which took off from the Lafia motor park en-route
Makurdi. Then, the unexpected happened a few kilometres to their
the opposite direction rammed into their vehicle while manouvring off a
crater, killing seven persons on the spot including the 5-month old
twin babies. Among the dead were the driver and four other passengers
aboard the Toyota car in which Shedrack was travelling with his family.
survivors, rescued and rushed to the General Hospital, Daudu, where they
were revived and placed on intensive care for one week, before being
transferred to the Dalhatu Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nasarawa State
capital. They were recently certified fit and discharged.
meaningless to me now; I have surrendered my life to God. I am 50 years
old while my wife is 42; we have allowed God to do His wish”, says
Shedrack, as he told our correspondent the story of his battle with
childlessness before a breakthrough, but the joy was short-lived.
and they died on April 17, 2017. I met my wife who is of Eggon
extraction from Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, in 1998
at the University of Jos where I was studying for my Master’s degree in
Business Management; she was a student in the Theatre Arts department.
We dated for a year and got married. Three years after our marriage,
there was no pregnancy and we became worried; we visited Dalhatu
Specialist Hospital for medical checkup and after a detailed
examination, it was discovered that she did an abortion in 1997 through a
quack doctor, which affected her womb.
out of the hospital trying to see how she could conceive to no avail.
We were initially afraid that once she reached menopause, it would be a
big problem; she suggested we go for in-vitro fertilization (IVF-test
tube) where the eggs and sperm are fertilized outside the womb into test
tube, but I disagreed. We remained faithful to God until February 2016,
when she conceived naturally and delivered through caesarian operation.
We were extremely happy, but God has taken them away”, he lamented.
Government Area of Nasarawa State, also gave graphic details of the
fatal crash, which claimed his babies. “As we were approaching Daudu in
Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, a fully loaded 911 truck was
dodging a pothole at the time our car was also negotiating to dodge it;
the truck rammed into our car. My wife was carrying our female baby,
Philomina, while I lapped the male, Joseph; they died instantly as they
were badly hit by fragments of the crushed car; the driver and four
other passengers also died on the spot, while my wife and I sustained
injuries. We were taken to the Daudu General Hospital unconscious, but
my twin babies who died instantly were taken to Lafia and buried by my
younger brother who was contacted through my telephone”.
befallen many others who had lost loved ones on the terribly bad
Lafia-Makurdi highway. It is a nightmare for commuters plying the road,
as auto crashes are recorded almost daily.
fewer than 47 lives were lost while 42 others sustained injuries in 21
incidents, according to available statistics. Barely a week before the
accident which involved Shedrack’s family, the driver and entire
passengers in a 14-seater commuter bus perished when a trailer conveying
livestock rammed into their vehicle. The accident occurred less than
one hour after the Abuja bound bus departed Makurdi on April 8, 2017.
Fatima Usman, whose father died in a crash on the road in 2001 when she
was barely two weeks old, lost her mum on the same spot, which claimed
her dad. Apart from her mother, Fatima lost three other members of her
family, including her grandfather, aunt, and a cousin. She was the only
survivor of the crash, which occurred on May 9, 2017, while they were
travelling to Makurdi to attend a naming. Sadly, Fatima is the only
child of her late parents, now left alone in a daily battle for
that ill-fated day”, she told our correspondent in an emotion-laden
voice; “I remember crawling out of the vehicle with deep cuts on my
knees, I remember my aunt screaming my mum’s name and she wasn’t
answering; I remember pulling out my mobile phone and calling a
neighbour in Lafia to inform him of what had happened; we were taken to
General Hospital Gbajumba in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State,
where my mum, aunt, cousin and grandfather, all died, except me. I’ve
been diagnosed of post traumatic stress disorder. I don’t know what to
do. Friday, June 16, 2017 was my mum’s birthday, and I spent the whole
day crying”, Fatima, an SS3 student of Government Science Secondary
School, Lafia, lamented.