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Our hospitals are guilty, Victim reacts

I am Otunba Partrick Keku, the Chief Executive Officer of Pahek Securities nationwide. I had a very agonizing experience that so much traumatized me to the extent that I would not hesitate in stating categorically that our hospitals are guilty of this neglect.

Gunshot victims are not well treated in Nigeria because of the attitude of our hospitals.  Their negligence has led to the untimely death of many Nigerians.   Let me narrate my own sad experience in1998 when I was shot by hired killers.

“That day when  got back to my home at Olodi Apapa after work, I did not know hired killers were laying ambush inside my compound.   That was around 11pm. The gate was locked and I could not find the security guard. I parked my car out side and went through the pedestrian gate to open the gate myself.

After opening the gate,  I drove in and, I had not even locked the main  gate when suddenly I saw some body walked past  behind me.   There was no light so I could not recognize him.   But some thing struck my mind that this man could me a robber.

So, I confronted and asked him,  gentle man how can I help you.   He signaled that I should shut up and instructed me to move to the back of the building.  Immediately something popped  into my head and I said to him, young man, I have N50.000 with me in my car and this is my car key. Take it and leave me alone.  At that point, I saw the gun he was carrying. It looks much like the gun policemen carry about.

“Immediately I saw the gun, I said to my self that after all my training in the Navy I will not allow a  small boy to just kill me  like that. So, I jumped on him and was  struggling  to take the gun away  from him.   I  almost took the gun from  him because I also thought he was the only one.

So, I was shouting for help.   Then some one ran in immediately and shot me twice in the stomach and I fell down yelling that I was dead.  When my assailants heard that, they disappeared.

“I was wearing a T shirt. So, I managed to pull it off and tied it over the bleeding spot.   I managed to crawl to the front of the house where I thought,  people could find me easily. I did not want to shout for help since I don’t know how far the assassins had gone and I spent over an hour on the ground before help came, and the police came too. The police evacuated me and they took me to one private hospital in Apapa.

“When I got there, I did not actually know what happened because I was not conscious but I was told that the hospital refused to treat me because they wanted my wife  to deposit some money. And my wife argued that she could not go back home to get some money because it was late in the night, whether the hoodlums are still around to kill her she wouldn’t know.

The hospital  refused to touch me and they left me there, on the floor , from at  about 1 am to 2pm the next day.  By that time, according to my wife, my breath was almost gone and air had entered my stomach.  Luckily, at exactly 2pm the following day, they took me into the ward and that was after they made sure every damn naira was paid in full.

“ I was told that the hospital requested N300.000 and my wife and friends rallied round and paid the money.. They worst aspect was that the hospital did not have the equipment to treat the wound because the bullet pierced my stomach.

My savior was that one of my clients, Coca~Cola ordered the drugs from overseas and I stayed in that hospital for one week.  When the Managing Director of the company saw that my condition was deteriorating, he sought for permission from their head quarters in United States  and I was flown out of the country.

I was taken to Geneve and I stayed here for nine months. This incident happened on the 27 of January 1998 and I was flown out 7th of February 1998 and I came back first week of October same 1998. To the glory of God, when I came back this same company brought a doctor, that treated me for another three months.

“ Most gunshot and accident victims have lost their lives because hospitals will not attend to them if they don’t pay their bill.  There should be a regulation in this country binding hospital owners, both private and public, to treat accident and gun shot victims first and foremost before requesting for money.  Such regulation should be binding on doctors to treat  patients first before their family members could come for them or any  help could  from out side.

“The same treatment should be accorded to criminals as well because they have information on how they operate, which will be very useful to the police if hospitals saved their lives.  . In foreign countries, you see that criminals eventually  turned  into informants for the police. It is not because he is a criminal and we should not care for him when he or she received such wounds.

We should realize that he was not born a criminal.  The environment made him so, and if you are able to save his life, he might become a great source of information that could assist in cracking down other criminals.  I don’t think the police are looking at it from this angle”.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.