The opening lines of our beloved country’s anthem. The country of our birth. So many Nigerians take pride in their fatherland so much that amidst the corruption, insecurity, unfavorable policies and bad roads, they’d still be ready to obey the clarion call. There are millions of Nigerians that would choose to stay in their fatherland even with opportunities to travel to other countries. Is it then too much to ask for the basics? Like good road network? Access to medical care? Security? Justice when our rights are being infringed upon?
On Monday evening by 7p.m, a young hardworking lady was returning home from work where she was robbed and stabbed at the same time. Bystanders rushed this lady to a nearby private hospital for treatment but she was denied treatment for a police report. Saving life versus technicality…
Few months ago, in Lagos, a young lady, Ruth, was run into by a speeding car. She was rushed to the nearest hospital, with hopes that she would be saved. That hospital turned her down, not because she was dead already, but because she didn’t have a police report. The good Samaritans pleaded to no avail, the hospital wouldn’t take her. The young lady died before she could make it to another hospital.
In 2017, the National Assembly enacted the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act also known as National Gunshot Act that enabled hospitals (private or public) to care for accident victims with or without a police clearance. However, medical institutions have interpreted this provision to mean #Nopolicereport, no treatment. A lot of Nigerians have lost their lives due to the misinterpretation of this act and it is time Nigerians stand up. Few weeks after Ruth’s case in Lagos, Jemima died after being turned down for lack of police report by a hospital in Jos. Through November, a #TreatFirstQuestionsLater campaign was launched (initiated by Caleb Somtochukwu), and a petition signed by thousands of Nigerians. That petition was forwarded to the National Assembly. Scenarios abound where accident victims have been denied immediate medical care for lack of police report and it is easy to surmise that clinic owners and health care workers are callous and inhumane, or why else would they turn victims away?
Human Rights Celebrartion And Nigerian Situation
In a few days, the whole world will celebrate World Human Rights Day to honor the adoption and proclamation of the United Nations General Assembly of the United Declaration of Human Rights but events like these reminds us that we have a long way to go as a nation. A reactionary measure that many people have suggested is for healthcare regulatory agencies to come forth and enforce punitive measures against such hospitals that are apparently flouting a national policy but, in my opinion, that would be very superficial and ineffective. If the country is truly willing to solve this problem, hospitals like R.Jolad located at New Garage, 1 Akindele Road, Gbagada be made an example. Nigerians need to speak up when their basic human rights are being infringed upon by the same institutions that have been saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding and protecting these rights. Hospitals need to answer for the death of bright minds when they refuse to treat accident victims for technicalities such as police report or police clearance. Our security institutions should answer for their lackadaisical attitude towards human lives and properties. Our senators should question institutions when they are not abiding by their ethical code of conduct or the laws. The basic human rights should adequately be provided for and acts protecting same should be abided with before other rights are taken from us. Instead of enacting laws that inhibits the citizen’s right of expression, why not enforce the existing laws that protects rights? Instead of sponsoring bills that restrains people from posting the inadequacies of our leaders on social media, why not sponsor projects that addresses human rights and then maybe, just maybe, Nigerians would start applauding our leaders and not discuss their shortcomings. Just maybe, Nigeria will be able to protect the people serving with their hearts and might. Just maybe, Nigeria won’t lose its youth to untimely death due to technicalities or other countries.
A clarion call to action!!! #GetjusticeforMoradeun #Treatfirstquestionslater.