On Friday night, a tragic incident unfolded in the Boms area of Elekahia, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, as a taxi driver known as Sylvester unexpectedly collapsed and lost his life.
Many residents of the community said the man was well known to them, especially as he lived in the neighbourhood.
PUNCH Metro reports that Sylvester was earlier seen working on his vehicle at about 6:30 pm same day and thereafter went to sit with his friends in front of an electrical shop in the area.
Speaking to our correspondent, a lady who gave her name as Maria said, “I saw him pressing his phone while sitting with his friends.
“I was going to dispose waste and on my way back at that same spot, I saw the people around him shouting. As I turned to see what was happening, I saw that the man was flat on the ground.
“The men that he sat with looked at one another and were wondering. They first thought it was epilepsy. But after some time, one of them touched and shook him without getting any response from him.”
The lady said the man was living alone, though he had children, he had long separated from his wife.
Another resident, who simply identified himself as Mr Jude, told PUNCH Metro that the deceased was his friend, adding that they attended the same church.
“I was called on the phone that he had died near his house. So, in shock, I asked what happened, I was told he just slumped and that was it. He was gone.
“I feel pained because I have known him for years and we were both Catholics. I never heard that he was sick because he was looking okay even when I saw him few days ago,” Jude stated, while fighting back tears.
Few minutes afterward, an ambulance arrived and a relative, assisted by some sympathisers, carried the man’s remains into the vehicle, which drove off immediately with sympathisers gazing until it was out of sight.
Spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, did not take several calls put across to her by our correspondent.
Later, she texted, asking our correspondent to send a message, but had yet to give a reply sent by PUNCH Metro as of the time of filing this report on Sunday afternoon.