Super Eagles midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi says he is lucky to be alive after escaping death by the whiskers following bomb blasts in Jos, Plateau State last week.
“I am very, very lucky, just by the grace of God,” the footballer who plies his trade at Italian Serie A side, Lazio told BBC Sport.
One of the Jos blasts, which occurred at a crowded bus terminal and market killed at least 118 people.
The 21-year-old, who was born in Jos, had just left the popular Jos Main Market when the first bomb went off on Tuesday.
“It was just like an ordinary day. Happy faces and friendly warmth that makes you feel happy to be back home.
“We had gone to the railway market to get something. I think it was 15 minutes later when we heard the loud blast from the place. And suddenly, people were just running.
“There was chaos and pandemonium. There was smoke, I was confused, lost and just wondered what had happened. I had no idea what was going on and it was scary.
“All my life I have never heard a bang or boom like that,” Onazi said.
The second blast killed some of the rescue workers who had rushed to the scene, which was obscured by billows of black smoke.
Onazi, who is now with the Super Eagles squad in London as they prepare for today’s friendly against Scotland says he has been struggling to erase the memories of that dark day, stressing that the unrest back home has made it difficult to focus on football.
“Some will say I should be happy to be alive but I just feel concerned about the security challenges in Jos and Nigeria as a country,” he said.
“I was born and bred in a peaceful Jos. I may be fortunate enough to live outside the place right now, but I still have my family and friends who live in the city.
“I always get worried when there are reports of terrible incidents there on a regular basis. It’s sad and depressing to live with this.
“Personally, I think there is a need for a holistic approach to solving this problem once and for all.
“Innocent people are dying and the government seriously needs to step up security across the country.”
Onazi is preparing for his first World Cup with the Super Eagles after helping the Nigerian National team win the 2014 African Cup of Nations.