1st September, 2011
Dr. Stephen Yohanna, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Bingham University Teaching Hospital in Jos, has called for special security arrangement for the hospital following resumed hostilities in the capital city.
â€œSoldiers fired shots into the hospital during the violence on Monday; in fact, some soldiers actually entered the hospital seeking for injured people to kill,â€ Yohanna said at a post-violence stakeholdersâ€™ meeting in Jos on Wednesday.
The meeting was convened by the North-Central zone of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to review the situation and map out ways to assist victims.
Yohanna described the development as â€œvery shockingâ€ since the hospital, which is located in the centre of the city, had always attended to victims of violence from all groups.
He noted, for instance, that the hospital received 86 casualties from the Monday violence, which it handled until some were taken to Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) after Binghamâ€™s facilities were over-stretched.
The CMD said that majority of the casualties were victims of gun shots, adding that the 12 that died were all victims of gun shots.
According to him, â€œabout threeâ€ of the victims had machete cuts.
Yohanna lauded the authorities of JUTH for promptly responding to his distress call to take on some of the victims, adding that a total of 18 victims were transferred to JUTH in three ambulances.
He also lauded JUTHâ€™s prompt response to his hospitalâ€™s demand for additional drugs, especially on the first day, stressing that such gesture helped to save many lives.
The CMD asked NEMA to assist with food items, pointing out that the hospital was bearing the brunt of feeding and treating the victims since their relations did not even know where they were.
In his remarks, Mr. Stephen Jiyason, Assistant Commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Plateau, said Mondayâ€™s violence could have been avoided.
â€œWe had a security meeting that indicated that the violence was in the offing; we had met at the Central Mosque with leaders of all religious groups and other security agencies and were informed that some youth groups had vowed that the Izala praying ground will not be used for the Sallah prayers.
â€œLooking at its location, we took adequate measures, including changing routes and the ban of motorcycles or the shouting of slogans after the prayers; but these decisions were ignored,â€ he said.
Jiyason called for more proactive measures, since security reports were normally available, and suggested more stern measures to implement decisions reached, even if it would cause inconvenience for some persons or groups.
Colonel B. O. Adeoye, who represented the army, called for full implementation of decisions reached at security meetings.
â€œOnce decisions are reached, we must assign them to particular persons or offices. Once such roles are not assigned to particular teams, it will be difficult to get results or know who to blame for failure,â€ he said.
Earlier in his remarks, NEMA coordinator for the zone, Alhaji Danjuma Aliyu, had expressed NEMAâ€™s readiness to assist before, during and after crises.