Just earlier this week I was thinking about writing a post on Kolade Johnson who was mercilessly killed by an armed anti-cultist Officer (AKA SARS) whilst at a football viewing Centre; an innocent man, father to an infant, had his life abruptly cut short because of their careless act. The social media uproar led to the police force having no choice than to open a case against the murderer and even the Nigerian President had to make an official statement on the issue. The inspector was found guilty and is being made to face the full force of the law.
This was made possible because Nigerians stood up and didn’t let his death go silent like the many other people that SARS Officers have kidnapped and sometimes killed in the name of “anti-cultism raids”. With the power of Social Media, we were able to get SARS off the streets late last year, a victory we gladly credited to someone called Sega (@segalink) for pushing the #EndSARS movement with so much vigor.
And then, right in the same week, a fellow medical doctor, Dr. Stephen Urueye, was robbed and stabbed to death at the canal near the front of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), at 9pm. He managed to drag himself to the front of the hospital and his colleagues, former fellow classmates and senior colleagues alike, fought tirelessly to keep him alive. Unfortunately he gave up the ghost eventually in the wee hours of this morning. The only son of a widow; who struggled to put him through school and literally just wore his convocation gown at the ceremony that held the day before, died at the hospital he trained at, and worked in.
Today, medical doctors, students and members of the general public alike, in LUTH, held a peaceful protest in the form of a march within the hospital grounds; too many people have been harassed, robbed or worse by the hoodlums in the vicinity within which the hospital lies in; that Mushin-Idi Araba axis is home to a lot of violent people, and over the years they have hounded the students and doctors that study and work in LUTH.
This literally could have been anyone. Dr. Stephen was a junior Doctor just like me, given to making people smile and give free medical aid at outreaches.
A lot of the time, Nigeria as a nation makes me feel helpless. You ever just try to wonder what’s wrong with this country? Like start at one issue and then just as you solve that one, another one springs up. Like my patients that don’t have enough money for their treatment, okay we put money together, then the blood bank doesn’t have their type of blood, okay so they have to buy it for three times the cost outside, and then the traffic before the external blood bank can provide the blood at the hospital…the myriad of problems just keeps on going until one feels overwhelmed and just stops thinking about them – when does it end?
To be honest, I can’t answer that question, but what I do know, from what has been exemplified of late, is that with enough pressure, Nigeria’s leaders are forced to do their expected duties, so if all we can do is cry out, in a loud, unified voice, against all the injustices we face, then maybe, just maybe, we’ll start being able to hold our leaders accountable to the duties they signed up to fulfill.
A very distraught Dr. ETP xo