Teenage Destitute Dies At Lagos Govt. Secretariat


A yet-to-be identified teenage female destitute died at the Lagos State Government Secretariat, Alausa in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Thursday after being abandoned by government health officials.

It was an embarrassing situation in from of the building housing the Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture and that of the Office of Youth and Social Development where the incident occurred as crowd gathered to accuse government health officials of insensitivity.

It was gathered that officials of the Lagos Ambulance Services, LASAMBUS, who are supposed to take care of injured victims brought the teenage destitute from the Home Affairs Ministry and dumped her on the ground and sped off with their vehicle instead of taking her to the hospital.

The injured destitute, it was learnt, was crying for help with no one coming to her aid until she died about one and a half hour later in a pitiable condition.

The bandage on the victim was said to have been soaked in blood and she had bruises all over her body, showing that she might have been involved in an auto accident.

Eye witnesses said she was dumped at the secretariat around 12.00 noon by a LASAMBUS driver with the bus unit number 022.

Passers-by, mostly civil servants bemoaned the fate of the hapless destitute who was still lying on hard ground by the drainage system at the secretariat in pains with nobody to attend to her, until she finally died. An eye witness, who craved anonymity, said the LASAMBUS driver dropped the victim and sped off and that e refused to stop when asked to do so by sympathisers.

Some officials of the Youth and Social Development Ministry, who are supposed to be in charge of destitute, accused LASAMBUS of foul play, saying that they only got a call that LASAMBUS was bringing a destitute.

“This is an accident victim. The patient was urgently in need of medical attention and ought to have been taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja for medical attention and can only be brought to social welfare for onward transmission to rehabilitation home after being certified as medically fit.

“That is how they usually treat us even at LASUTH. Each time we take any injured destitute to the hospital, they find it difficult to answer us as if destitute persons are not human beings,” a social welfare worker, who craved anonymity, said.

Before any help could come, the victim had already died. It was then the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris was said to have ordered his men to pick the lady to the state hospital for medical care. Since she was already dead, her remains were deposited at the LASUTH mortuary for autopsy.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

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