Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja
It has been a sad moment for the family of a 23-year-old girl, Deborah Omoba, who was allegedly hit by a bullet from the Police helicopter, which hovered around major towns during the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State
Omoba is currently lying in a critical condition at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State capital with the bullet still lodged in her thigh.
It was gathered that no fewer than four people were reportedly killed when the helicopter allegedly fired some gunshots and teargas on voters on the queues, specifically in areas suspected to be the stronghold of the opposition party during the election.
Deborah, THISDAY gathered, was sleeping in her residence at the Pastorium of the Apostolic Church Headquarters, Ajara Quarters, Lokoja, when the bullet fired from the helicopter pieced through her body and lodged at her upper region of her thigh, very close to her private part.
Conducting journalists wednesday round the scene of the incident, the Pastor in charge of the church, Abraham Olusegun, said the victim, a daughter of one the Overseers of the church, was observing her siesta on that fateful election day when she suddenly screamed from her sleep .
He explained that immediately they rushed into the room, they found the girl writing in her pool of blood with the upper region of the thigh, very close to her private part badly battered.
Olusegun who said the victim was immediately rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, also narrated how the church was viciously attacked during the election, while the police and other security agencies did nothing even when the case was reported to them.
Meanwhile, when THISDAY visited the female surgical ward where the victim was admitted, she was seen lying in a very critical condition on the bed.
When asked to narrate what actually happened to her, she faintly opened her eyes, tried to utter some inaudible words, before the matron in charge of the ward asked the reporters to leave.
Speaking with journalists, the Head of Clinical Services in the Federal Medical Centre, Dr. Taiwo Jones said the pellet was lodged at a sensitive part of the victim’s body, which makes the extraction of the bullet at the moment very difficult .
He added that whenever a bullet was lodged at a very sensitive area of the body that could cause more damage, the best thing to do was to leave it for sometimes and allow the body system to react and push the bullet to the surface, which would make it easier for it to be removed by surgery.
Jones noted that the victim is now in a stable condition, adding that all necessary medications and treatment have been carried out on her.
He, however, narrated their experience during the election, saying that the said helicopter also released some gunshots on the premises of the hospital, which made everyone to scamper for safety.
According to him, it was providence that saved staff and patients of the medical centre as a live bullet was recovered at the consultant office while another live bullet was recovered at the hospital library.
He specifically said the corps member attached to the library had to run away from her house because of sporadic gunshots to the hospital, only for her to narrowly escape being hit again by some bullet right in her office when she ran to hibernate.
He said when the management of the medical centre reported the incident to the police with the expended live bullets, it was discovered that the bullets used by the helicopter were more deadlier and bigger than that of the AK47 rifle.
When contacted for his reaction on the incident, the Kogi State Police Commissioner, Mr. Hakeem Busari feigned ignorance of any helicopter firing tear gas or gunshots on the election day saying “how can it happen when we are not in a war situation.”