ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes





Their lives cut short by a combination of factors: human error, poor judgement,

political inefficiency, infrastructural decay and man’s inhumanity to man



Death On Nigerian Roads

 An Eye Witness Account

By Uche Nworah


If you have ever heard the saying that the death of one person diminishes us, then you will truly appreciate its deep meaning after seeing these shocking images, and imagine that it could have been you, your friend, or family member lying under this 40-feet petrol tanker. For the families of the 16 people that were crushed to death in this accident, no cries will ever ease the pain and no amount of condolences will bring back to life their loved ones, who lost their lives in a most horrific and horrendous manner. Even as they boarded the Mitsubishi L300 passenger bus with registration number: Akwa Ibom XA 554 KTE on the evening of Thursday, the 14th of July 2005, they must have been filled with a sense of joy, that they were finally going home from their different offices and places of work to their families, after another long hard day. Some of them may have dreamed of sitting out in the moonlight with their families for some late family dinner, others may have been looking forward to a forthcoming family or personal event, a wedding or naming ceremony or even to attending church service the coming Sunday.

But all those dreams died, and with them the dream carriers. Their lives cut short by a combination of factors: human error, poor judgement, political inefficiency, infrastructural decay and man’s inhumanity to man. Some of the villagers I spoke to blamed the cause of the accident on the driver of the petrol truck belonging to Total Nigeria Plc, who had mis-timed an overtaking manoeuvre, others heaped the blame on the Nigerian government for neglecting the pothole – filled Aba/Owerri Express road, saying that if the road, one of the busiest in the eastern part of Nigeria had been dualised as planned, then there would be less risks of accidents.

According to another villager, the accident occurred between 7-8 pm, he said that the driver of the petrol truck which was travelling from Owerri to Aba had tried to avoid a pothole, and had then suddenly swerved to the left, and on to the path of the on-coming mini-bus, which was then already close by, the driver of the mini-bus had then out of desperation swerved sharply into the nearby bushes to avoid a head-on collision with the truck, but for whatever reasons, the driver of the truck lost control of the truck which then climbed on top of the mini-bus crushing all the passengers to death. There were still unconfirmed reports as to the fate of the driver of the truck by the time we arrived the scene, a few metres from the main gates of the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority, in Agballa – Owerri, Imo state.

Any hopes of rescuing any survivors must have been lost because of the slow pace of response of the largely under funded and under-equipped ambulance and emergency services, who are not well equipped to handle such tragedies, little surprise then, that as at 10 am the next morning, no form of help or assistance had yet arrived the scene.

This is not an isolated case; there is so much death on our roads, as a result of a combination of the factors I earlier mentioned. This is only one of the many sad tales and tragedies that confront our people everyday, and another example of wasted opportunities in rural Africa. As for the families of the deceased who may have lost their ‘bread winners’, we can only pray for them, that is the much we can do for now, knowing that the true causes of the accident may never be officially determined, neither will those responsible be brought to justice, nor will they be made to pay any sort of compensation, but as a good corporate citizen, hopefully Total Nigeria Plc will not sweep this under the carpet. A case then for the many non- governmental organizations (NGOs) in Nigeria to pursue to its final conclusion.

Source: Nigerian Village Square / Tuesday, August 09, 2005

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 – Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 – Don’t Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 – Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 – Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King

#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”

*   *   *   *   *

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *






update 22 December 2011




Home  Uche Nworah Table