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December 30, 2023

Dear friends,

A popular saying goes ” Delay is dangerous”. This saying is usually used to convey a charge for people to always not delay in utilizing opportunities as the delay could cause the loss of such an opportunity. While this bears some truth, delay can literally save lives.

Let me put this in perspective: Come with me on this journey.

It was 25th June 2013, the day began like any other day but this was significant. It was a happy day for me. I was to begin my compulsory National Youth Service (NYSC). I was posted to Benue State and was to report to camp on this day. I was not making this journey alone because two of my friends,Β Osumanyi Daniel IshalekuΒ andΒ Rita OsamaΒ were posted to Benue state with me.

On this faithful 25th day of June, we agreed to meet at the Lafia Park in Nasarawa State where we would get the same car and head out to Makurdi, Benue State.

I was very excited and arrived at the park before Daniel and Rita. Shortly after I arrived, Daniel showed up and we began to wait for Rita who had not shown up after the agreed time. The drivers began to encourage us to book our seats but we declined because we were waiting for Rita. We kept waiting and I was beginning to be upset because Rita was taking too long which meant that we were going to arrive at camp late. However, we kept waiting and after a long wait, Rita arrived. I hid my anger and forced out a smile while she hurriedly apologized to us. Just as she arrived, one of the cars was almost fully occupied and ready to take off so we enquired if we could go in the car but we were told there were only 2 seats left. Part of me which felt upset at Rita wished we could just go and punish Rita by allowing her to go in the next car since she was the reason for our delay. However, I remembered my home training and we offered to go with the next car in line which could accommodate the three of us.

The first car left and after a few minutes of waiting, our car got fully occupied and we took off and began the trip. Not too long after we took off, we approached a scary accident scene close to a village called Akunza Migili.

Yes! It is what you are thinking, the car which we were supposed to go with was involved in a scary accident. Now let me make the picture clearer so you can understand the weight of this. There were a total of 7 passengers in the car. The driver and 2 other persons in front and the back seat had 4 people including a prospective corp member (a lady) who was headed to camp just like us.

The driver broke both legs.
One of the persons in the front passenger seat died on the scene while the other sustained injuries.
Out of the 4 people in the back seat, one died too and the other 3 including the young lady headed to camp were left with different scary degrees of injuries.

And to think I wanted to sit in front? Could that have been me?

I am sure you have put the pieces of my story together.
I was upset with Rita for delaying us but it became clear to me that her delay saved our lives.

I took pictures of the car with the hope that someday I would have the courage to share the story with gratitude in my heart. Today is that day.

If we didn’t choose to wait for Rita, what could have happened?
If Rita had not delayed us, would AAP be here to tell this story?

A picture of us on Sunday after we arrived at camp. We went to church to appreciate God for our lives. That’s me holding a Bible, Rita in the middle, and Daniel beside Rita. We all wore white coincidentally.

This applies to different aspects of life, marriage, scholarship applications, job applications, a contract, a recording deal, etc.

You might be experiencing some delays now and you could be upset because the delay might be caused by no fault of yours. While I agree that some delays can be avoided, it is possible that the delay is saving you misery or pain.
Although Rita delayed us and caused us pain, the delay saved our lives.

This is my story and I am thankful I am alive to share it.

Delay is not always dangerous after all. My story communicates that meaning.

Develop the habit of smiling when delayed, it could just save your life.

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