Who do you call when you need help?

Somto Emmanuel
3 min readApr 13, 2022


A popular meme on Twitter

In a sane society, with a working system, food infrastructure and a civilized government; if you get shot, or are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a helpless situation, you call this country’s designated helpline.

Just like America has 911 and Korea has 119, which one does Nigeria have? 112? That’s a deadline.

Police hotline? You wish!

Nothing. Nada. Nigeria has none.

So what happens when an innocent, hardworking and responsible citizen, who pays their taxes and expects the government to provide the basic amenities, which they wouldn’t, find themselves in such a helpless situation? Who do they call?

Family and friends, you may mutter in your mind. But what if they are in the same situation as Chinelo? An innocent girl, who was one of the unfortunate victims of the Abuja — Kaduna train attack. This incident claimed her life just because she was at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and couldn’t find help.

In a desperate attempt to find one, she tweeted “I had been shot. Please put me in your prayers.”

And many people had ridiculed her tweets.

Some had called her a liar. Others pointed an accusing finger at her, calling her a part of the terrorist group associated with her tribe.

A Twitter influencer even agreed that he found her actions illogical, which spiked up this post. And I’m agreeing to disagree.

In a sane country, it would have been illogical, but we are in Nigeria, and this country is insane.

If you get shot at, whether it’s a few inches close to your heart, or at your dangling arm, the last thing you would remember is to open a bird app called Twitter, to talk about it. But we are in Nigeria and the sad truth is that Twitter is our helpline. You’re more likely to get help from Twitter, than from police or other law enforcement agencies.

So yes, Chinelo and 200 million-plus of us are unfortunate to be in a country called Nigeria, which neglects its citizen’s needs. Her action was logical and valid. She had done the right thing by coming to lay her needs on Jack’s app. It’s so sad no one was disposed to help her.

Chinelo, who planned on relocating from Nigeria in a few days, found herself rather, in the cold hands of death.

As I’m writing this, assuming Nigeria isn’t a mess of a country, waiting for the right opportunity to stain your white, maybe that kidnapping wouldn’t have happened. Maybe Chinelo wouldn’t have thought of relocating in the first place. Heck! Maybe she would be alive, happy and enjoying her life.

Just maybe…

As I’m writing this, almost 1,000 people were attacked on that train (not so sure of the statistics). Many are being held, hostage. Others are in the hospital. Some, like Chinelo, are dead. There’s no hope of finding the perpetrators or the leader of this attack. Instead, some of the families of those being held hostage are called and being asked for ransom.

But why in God’s name did we struggle to get our NIN, and link our sim cards if they can’t be used to solve a simple crime case like this? Why couldn’t they track the sims being used by these kidnappers? If the primary purpose of that sim linking is for solving high rising cases of insecurities in the country.

This is messed up. Nigeria is a mess. We need a helpline. We need God’s help.

RIP Chinelo. May your beautiful soul rest in the blessed bosom of our Lord Jesus. The night came too soon for you. Goodnight 🕊️



Somto Emmanuel

This will be my medium for listing life lessons and sharing short stories. All for your love and support 💓.