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Lagos Police Ignore Wounded Man on Third Mainland Bridge

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A resident of Lagos has narrated how security officials ignored the plight of seriously injured and unconscious Nigerian on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos on Tuesday.

An associate at SimmonsCooper Partners, Ibilola Essien, said she and her younger brother had witnessed the heartbreaking nonchalant attitude of security personnel to the protection of lives on their way to church.

She explained that they had initially thought the man, who was lying in the middle of the road, was dead.

“But as our car drove by, I noticed he was still breathing. We stopped immediately,” she wrote in a Facebook post about the incident, noting that another car stopped as well.

Afraid of taking the man to the hospital and being accused of hitting him, she said she directed traffic away from the man who was later moved to the pavement, while her brother went in search of an ambulance.

As this happened, she said four military men passed by on motorcycles, pausing only to shake their head in pity and muttering “Eeeyah” before moving on.

Next was a team of policemen passed by in a van with sirens blaring. They didn’t stop either.

“A LASTMA official on a bike stopped. He didn’t have a vehicle so he called his bosses who told them they were not coming. I was stunned,” she said.

Essien said she, however, broke down in tears when a policeman driving one of the new vehicles donated to the police by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, stopped, but was told by his bosses, who he called, that the car wasn’t to be stained with blood.

“We eventually stopped the ambulance of the Gbagada General Hospital and the driver agreed to carry the man only if the police escorted him,” she said.

Although the man was eventually taken to the hospital, Essien wondered if the man stood any chance of survival, more so considering the time it took to get him to a hospital.

She was also heartbroken about the attitude of security personnel towards human lives, concluding that “The uniform is a joke in Nigeria. It has no respect for the Nigerian life if you do not have money.”

Essien told The PUNCH via the phone that the story might have been different if it was someone influential that had the accident, something the man clearly wasn’t.

“I felt it was wrong because wheelbarrow pusher, lawyers or doctor, everybody deserves immediate attention,” she said. “It was just a very disgusting situation.”

The Assistant Coordinator of the Gbagada General Hospital, Dr. Ajibola Ishola, who confirmed that the man was brought to the hospital, said he survived the ordeal.

“He survived, but he is still on treatment in the hospital,” he said.

Ishola, however, said the man had not been able to contact his relatives or identify himself.

He added, “What we intend doing with him is that if by tomorrow, we don’t get anybody that can assist him, we will transfer him to our parent body in Ikeja where they will be able to have access to social workers who will trace his relatives and all that for him.”

When contacted for comments on the matter, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Lagos Command, DSP Joe Offor, said he would make enquiries into the matter and get back to our correspondent.

Source: PUNCH