The accident report on ‘Ekiti 7’
It is no longer news that medical doctors nationwide are currently mourning their fallen heroes who lost their lives on Sunday, April 24, on their way to the just concluded ADM/AGM in Sokoto, but what is now news is that the officials of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) want to use the opportunity to advertise their speed limiting devices. Unfortunately, they were dealing with one of the most respected and brilliant professionals in the world. Nigerians are surprised how the survivors have come out to openly refute the FRSC’s report concerning the cause of the fatal accident. My late father while admonishing us to be truthful at all times, told us that we could not deceive all the people at all times. Every day is for the thief but one day is for the owner, says an African adage.
The survivors of the accident raised important issues in their respective rebuttals. First, they stated that the officials of FRSC arrived more than 40 minutes after the accident occurred hence five victims who could have been saved, had died before FRSC officials arrived at the scene. That showed that it is either FRSC officials did not know the meaning of golden hour in Trauma Management or they were not at their duty post at the time of the accident. Second, the officials who arrived at the scene albeit belatedly were oblivious of the happenings in the area and they were also ill-prepared for any emergency. This is evidenced by the fact that they carried the victims to a hospital (Doka General Hospital) where nothing was in place to manage accident victims. That tells you that the FRSC officials were not conversant with their operational environment. Even tricycle riders and other road users know hospitals in their environments that are always functional in times of accidents.
The officials of the FRSC did not have enough fuel in their fuel tank. This singular act was enough for the head of the commission to honourably resign but in the characteristic Nigerian manner, they came out to hoodwink us that the cause of the accident was overspeeding. Without fuel in their vehicle, how would they manage the road traffic emergencies they were trained to handle? When one of the survivors accepted to buy fuel for them, they allegedly went in search of fuel but when they finally bought it the golden hour needed for the remaining two critically injured victims had passed. Thus, on getting to St Gerard hospital Kaduna, both victims were confirmed dead. The two victims could have survived had FRSC officials come prepared with enough fuel in their vehicle.
This last point is very important because I am aware that there is budgetary allocation for FRSC operations. The question is who feeds on the money meant for the fuelling of FRSC vehicles? My experience then as a student necessitated this question. In one of our clinical days, our consultant got annoyed with a prison official that normally brought prisoners to our clinic in the Teaching Hospital. What happened? Our consultant prescribed some drugs to the prisoner believing that her medical condition would improve in the next clinical visit. Surprisingly, the prisoner’s condition deteriorated rather than being improved when she was brought for the next clinical appointment. Our consultant, with his ingenuity, asked the prison official to leave the consulting room so that he could ask the prisoner some sensitive questions. It was then that the lady revealed to us that the prison officials neither bought nor gave her any of the previously prescribed drugs. As if that was not enough, they went further to instruct her not to reveal that to the doctor.
•Dr. John wrote from Port Harcourt, Rivers State via firstname.lastname@example.org