When people say Nigeria is always after her citizens’ lives, it may sound like an exaggeration, but from our findings today, it isn’t.

From poisoned arrows to random debits and falling trailer containers, these Nigerians talk about the times their country has tried, and thankfully, failed to unalive them.

Tomiwa, 28

I was heading out of Ojuelegba, and I can’t remember if it was the traffic light or someone controlling traffic, but we were asked to stop. When they finally let us move, the car in front of me sped off, but it took me a while to change my gear. I heard a skid and looked up to see that the container on the trailer in front of me had slid off the back, somehow passed my car and hit the car next to me. If I had moved three seconds earlier, I’d probably be dead by now.

Nnorom, 91

Before The Biafran War, my family and I used to live in Zaria. When Northerners started killing Igbo people, I sent my family back to the East but stayed to get more people out. While I was doing that, I got shot by a poisoned arrow. An Hausa man saw me, hid me and helped me treat my wounds before I found my way to the train and back to the East.

Favour, 19

I went to the market with my mum. It was supposed to be a quick run: We’d go into Jakande market, get what we wanted and come out. But it was the rainy season, and somehow, I ended up inside a gutter. They had to pull me out and take me to St Kizito Clinic because something had scratched me on my way down, and for the life of us, we didn’t know what it was.

Mimi, 23

I was 15. My dad had moved to Port Harcourt for work, and my mum, sister and I decided to visit him. We were having a really nice time, then one day, my mum was driving us somewhere, and we got caught in traffic. While we were waiting for the cars in front of us to move, we started hearing gunshots. At first, it was a little funny to my sister and I, but then, everyone started crouching low and hiding in their car. My mother locked the doors, and she was full-on panicking — my mother never panics. We were in the car for like 15 minutes, and at some point, we saw policemen running away, which was really rude because if they were running, WTF were we supposed to do?

Ifeanyi, 28

It happened on my way back from church. Police officers stopped the keke I was in, told everyone to get down and sent the keke on his way. At first, we were all confused, but these police people always act insane, so we all just continued walking. It all happened quickly. One second, they were asking where I was coming from, and the next, they were threatening to “waste” me if I don’t clear out my bank account and give them all the money. I sent them ₦504,000. 

Marvelous, 30

I think it was the year after COVID. I found this SME grant Nigeria was giving out to young entrepreneurs and was happy, so I applied. I got it. Last month, I got a message from the disbursement bank. I don’t know why I saw the message and thought they were giving me another grant, but I really did think it was a credit alert. I went to the bank to get the money, only for these people to tell me the grant I had gotten in 2021 was actually a loan, and they had just received orders to take the money out of our accounts three years later. I almost ran mad. What if I didn’t have the money? 

Blossom, 23

When has Nigeria not tried to kill me? Every day, I wake up, and it’s one thing after the other. If it’s not electricity, it’s the internet. If it’s not the internet, it’s your bank acting crazy. I’m actually surprised I’ve survived this long in this country.

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