When one hears certain things that some people encounter in life, it makes one shiver. Such is the story of this gentleman, Mr. Adekunle Adesanya whom I can’t help but write about after meeting him one on one and hearing his story.
At the prime of his life, at a tender age of 29 years of age, when the future looked so bright, all hopes were shattered when an unfortunate event took over the course of his life while in search of his daily bread.
Barely a month after he was employed as a casual worker as a Diverter Machine Operator with Dangote Cement Factory in Ibese/Ilaro in Ogun State, with the hope of being retained as a permanent employee after his probationary period, his life changed. A once hopeful future turned bleak in the twinkle of an eye.
On the fateful night of March 20; while working his night duty from 6pm to 7am, a calamity he did not plan befell him and ended his N26,000 (approximately $72) a month earnings, took his arm and almost took his life. Below is the cut out arm – yes! His arm was COMPLETELY chopped off his body! 🙁
He had started his shift on the diverter machine, ensuring the finished cement bags passed through the conveyor belt unhindered, as well as sorting and rearranging any bags that got caught in the machine for onward conveyance through the belt. This is what he had mastered in a month and knew the process very well.
“Anytime a bag is caught in the conveyor belt, I am expected to stop the diverter machine in order to properly rearrange some bags of cement that are stuck; however, that night, as I stopped to rearrange some bags of cement that got stuck, the machine suddenly kicked back to life and I had to quickly jump off it. When this happened, I hurried to the Control Room to report the incident with the hope that the problem with the machine would be rectified. I was instructed to return to work because that is how the machine had been used for a while. This occurred three times that night and I made a report to the Control Room each time. On the third occurrence, I expressed my anxiety to the technician in the Control Room and he also told me to return to work and manage the machine properly. I would have been sacked on the spot had I refused to get back to work and I did not want to lose the only job I had that kept body and soul together” Mr. Adesanya recalls.
On returning to the machine as instructed, I met one of the machine supervisors by the name of Mr. Joseph. He chastised me for being absent from my duty post and I explained to him what was going on with the divertor machine. He stayed with me to rearrange the bags at which point many bags were stuck. While we were rearranging the bags, the same thing happened. The machine turned on by itself. I was lucky to quickly get off the machine, however, the man was caught between the railings and I had to pull the cable out so as to stop the machine. I did not stop working because of fear of losing my job.
Around 4am, I stood on the edge of the machine to remove some bags that got stuck. The machine came on without notice. The belt caught my feet and I fell down between the belts. The belt caught my right arm and chopped it off from the shoulder. There was no one there to help me but I managed to pull myself out and called for help.
I laid in the pool of my blood for about an hour because there were no medical staff on duty and the other employees could not do anything. Around 5am, I was taken to a clinic for treatment.” He narrated in tears.
According to a correspondence dated 22nd October, 2012, Mr. Adesanya’s solicitors requested for a sum of N50 million Naira from Dangote Cement Factory as compensation but the request was denied. On the 11th of November, 2014, a cheque in the amount of N4.5 million Naira was issued to Mr. Adesanya by Dangote Cement after TWO YEARS of series of negotiations. This information was gathered from the documents Mr. Adesanya has in his possession. He had no choice but to agree to the amount because his living condition was nothing to write home about and he had no inkling of what the future held for him.
Dangote Cement Factory’s Management could have done better than N4.5 million Naira for the loss of one’s right arm!
A once able-bodied gentleman, now has to depend on the use of his feet to wash his clothes. He had to learn and adapt to using his left hand to do a lot of things, even though it is challenging; he has tried to cope.
What strikes me about his story is that with the compensation he got, which if asked any sane person, is quite ridiculous for the loss of his arm. However, he went ahead and bought a plot of land and built a modest two bedroom flat, invested in a fish pond on the same land and began a new life. He had high hopes for the future as long as the fish business was successful.
As if all these predicaments was not enough to handle, he was duped by some so-called Pastors of a non-denominational Church! Luckily, harvest time arrived! One night, he heard footsteps outside his house, but due to his disability, he could not do much. His fish were harvested and carted away by humans who knew his condition! They knew he could possibly not go out and face them in the middle of the night. His hopes for a sustainable business that would at least put food on his table was dashed in the twinkling of an eye! His future once again, bleak!
After all said and done, he could not feed himself. He had to abandon his home and began squatting with people and literally depending on others for survival. Next move is to sell his home in distress in order to get some money to survive.
Our concern is: If he sells the house, how long will the money last? Won’t he get back to square one? Will selling the house solve his problem? Temporarily, probably. What can we do to assist him? He has once proved to put money to good use. Guided, he can start a sustainable business with the availability of funds. He already has a home, though abandoned and not habitable because most essential amenities have been stolen due to a burglary after he left, it can be restored with little amount of funds.
Chances and Opportunities Inc. a U.S.A based non-profit charitable organization which is incorporated in the State of Texas and recognized by the government of the United States of America as a 501(c)(3) organization. This organization has teamed up with Birogs to raise business capital for Mr. Adesanya. The funds will be monitored and total transparency available to donors.
Mr. Adesanya is interested in Poultry and Fish farming. We hope to get enough funds that will be able to help in securing the farm from both animal and human perpetrators.
Our target is to raise at least N3 million Naira for him which is about $8,300 to enable him have a standard business as well as put his home back into shape to make it habitable.
We are also calling on the management of Dangote Cement Factory as well as the President/CEO of Dangote Group of Companies – Aliko Dangote, to urge his management team to do what is right. I am sure God forbid, if put in the same situation of losing an arm in the line of duty, N4.5 million Naira will NOT be accepted by any of them! It is money spent in a day by some people in Nigeria.
A “Go Fund Me” account has been opened for this cause. Please click the button below to link the page and donate. Thank you.
Please, let us all rise to assist this helpless man and give him a chance to have a sustainable source of income to enable him fend for himself.
This story was featured in the Nigerian Tribune which is a reputable National Newspaper – on Sunday, May 14th, 2017 after an interview with Adekunle and Chances and Opportunities Inc.
To contact Chances and Opportunities Inc and donate directly, you can send go on their website and send a mail, or call any of the numbers below. Thank you.
Nigeria: +234 807 324 1325
+234 815 557 7038;
U.S.A: +1 763 482 9427