23-Year-Old man who’s Leg Was Amputated After being Shot At Lekki Toll Gate Tells His Story

Abiy’s government has been trying to quell a rebellion by a powerful ethnic faction that dominated the central government for decades before he came to power in 2018. Thousands of people are believed to have been killed, and nearly 44,000 have fled to Sudan, in a conflict that has called into question whether Abiy can hold together fractious ethnic groups in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country.  “I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the Tigray region,” the prime minister said in a tweet. Less than an hour earlier, he said in a statement, “The federal government is now fully in control of the city of Mekelle”.  However the leader of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), whose forces have been fighting Ethiopian troops, said the group was not giving up.  “Their brutality can only add (to) our resolve to fight these invaders to the last,” TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters in a text message. Asked by Reuters if that meant his forces would continue fighting, he replied: “Certainly. This is about defending our right to self determination.”  There was no immediate response from the government.  In his statement, Abiy said federal police would continue searching for and detaining TPLF “criminals” and would bring them to court. The prime minister has called the offensive a law and order operation.  It was not clear if any TPLF leaders had surrendered. Debretsion said in another text message that their forces were withdrawing from around Mekelle.  Claims from all sides are difficult to verify since phone and internet links to Tigray have been down and access tightly controlled since the fighting began on Nov. 4.  Authorities had said earlier on Saturday that government forces were in the final stages of an offensive in the region and would take care to protect civilians in Mekelle, a city of 500,000 people.  Abiy said the army had secured the release of thousands of troops from the army’s Northern Command, which is based in Tigray, who he said had been held hostage by the TPLF.  Federal troops had also taken control of the airport, the regional administration office and other key facilities, Abiy said.  The government had given the TPLF an ultimatum that expired on Wednesday to lay down arms or face an assault on the city.  It was not clear if federal forces had seized weapons stocks on Saturday. The government said in the first week of the conflict that a target of its airstrikes was military hardware seized by Tigrayan forces.  Regional diplomats and experts have said that a rapid military victory might not signal the end of the conflict.  Two diplomats told Reuters it was likely that Tigrayan forces had withdrawn from Mekelle before the government’s push into the city, raising the prospect of a protracted guerrilla war.  The TPLF has a history of guerrilla resistance and used Tigray’s highland terrain and foreign borders to its advantage through years of armed struggle in the 1980s against a Marxist government.  The prime minister has so far rebuffed attempts at mediation. Abiy accuses Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray. The TPLF says the attack was a pre-emptive strike.  Abiy did not mention in his statements whether there had been casualties in the offensive to capture Mekelle.  Rights groups have been concerned that an assault on the city could lead to significant civilian casualties.  The prime minister’s spokeswoman, Billene Seyoum, had said earlier on Saturday: “The safety of Ethiopians in Mekelle and Tigray region continues as priority for the federal government”.  TPLF leader Debretsion told Reuters in text messages earlier on Saturday that Mekelle was under “heavy bombardment”.  Billene said: “The Ethiopian National Defense Forces do not have a mission to bombard its own city and people. Mekelle remains one of Ethiopia’s key cities and the efforts to bring to justice the criminal clique will not entail discriminatory ‘bombardment’ as alluded by TPLF and their propagandists.”  Debretsion also accused the military from the neighbouring country of Eritrea of crossing the border and raiding refugee camps in Tigray to capture refugees who have fled Eritrea in the past.  The Eritrean government has not responded to calls from Reuters for more than two weeks.  United Nations refugee agency chief Filippo Grandi said on Saturday that he was deeply concerned about the 100,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, and what he called unconfirmed reports of violence against them.  The TPLF and Eritrea are archenemies: the TPLF was in charge in Addis Ababa when Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a war from 1998-2000. But Eritrea and Abiy have warm relations. The Ethiopian government has denied TPLF accusations that Eritrean troops are operating on Ethiopian soil.  Eritrea is one of the world’s most repressive nations and around 10% of the population has fled.  Tigrayans, who make up about 6% of the Ethiopian population of 115 million, dominated the government until Abiy took power two years ago. He pledged to unite Ethiopians and introduce freedoms after years of state repression that filled jails with tens of thousands of political prisoners.  His government also put senior Tigrayan officials on trial for crimes such as corruption, torture and murder. The Tigrayan region saw those trials as discrimination.  Reuters

Nigerian man who was amputated after being shot by soldiers during Lekki toll gate massacre has recounted his story.

The 23-year-old in an interview with ADEBAYO FOLORUNSHO-FRANCIS, stated that the subsequent amputation of his right leg is a nightmare he has been unable to wake up from

The victim attended the peaceful #ENDSARS protest at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, says he has become an amputee after the gunshot injuries he sustained to the leg on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

He had undergone surgical amputation of his bullet-ridden right leg.

The shooting incident had attracted national and international outcry, with the Lagos State and Federal governments being urged to unravel the identity of the shooters and who deployed them.

Speaking exclusively with PUNCH HealthWise a few days after he was discharged from the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, Olalekan said until the Lekki shooting, he had temporarily worked as a labourer with a construction company in Ikoyi to raise money for his ‘freedom’ as an apprentice cobbler.

He also planned to use whatever was left after his freedom ceremony to rent a shop where he could carry out his cobbler trade.

“Any time we had little or nothing to do at the construction site, I would join the #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate to demonstrate against Police brutality and bad governance.

“I recalled attending the protest on three different occasions (October 15, 16 and 17) before the soldiers’ invasion on October 20,” he said.

Struck by soldiers’ bullet

Looking pale and sad, he struggled to recollect the incident of the Black Tuesday, saying the whole episode still feels like a bad dream.

“They (soldiers) arrived in a group and, without warning, started shooting at us. As people ran helter-skelter, I recalled hearing the protest coordinators screaming, ‘Don’t panic, sit on the floor together and keep waving the Nigerian flag.’

“But it was too late. People panicked when they saw the soldiers advancing and shooting at us

“In the panic that ensued, I was hit on the right leg by a stray bullet. The force of the shot was so intense that I found myself on the ground, writhing in pain and with so much blood gushing out of my leg.

“I was there for some seconds, feeling weak and fatigued, before some fellow protesters came to my rescue. I was held by both hands and legs as they continued running while also dodging the flying bullets,” he said.

Olalekan disclosed that after his bullet-riddled leg was tied up with what looked like a shirt, he was rushed along with three other victims of the shooting to Vedic Hospital in Lekki.

“At Vedic, I was denied admission when the medical official saw the state of my bloodied leg,” he alleged.

The 23-year-old said he kept getting weaker as he was being conveyed by the rescue team in search of another hospital.

“That was how I ended up at Grandville Trauma Centre. After examining the leg, one of the doctors who attended to me announced that my limb was in a sorry state because the high-velocity projectile forcefully pierced through the muscles and blood vessels in my leg from one end before coming out at the other end.

“Consequently, I was asked to drop the contact of my parent or guardian because of the complex nature of my case,” he said.

Olalekan’s diagnosis at Grandville

Olalekan’s medical statement, which was written on Grandville’s letterhead and secured by our correspondent, states, “To whom it may concern, OLALEKAN FALEYE MALE/23 years. The above-named patient presented to our facility four days ago (20/10/2020) around 23.28pm due to a gunshot injury to his (R) leg in about 2 hours after the incident.

“He sustained this injury as a result of his involvement in the #ENDSARS protest that occurred at the Lekki toll gate.

“He was initially taken to Vedic Hospital and then brought in here for further management.

“On presentation, GCS 15/15 O2 Sat; 98% pain and severe bleeding from the gunshot site with a point of entry and exit of the bullet. He was unable to lift his leg and move his toes.

“Diagnosis made was (i) leg injury from gunshot (ii) imminent compartment syndrome.”

The medical paper which was signed by a certain Dr. Adebayo and countersigned by Dr. Umukoro further reads, “An exploratory fasciotomy was done on the right lower limb to litigate severed blood vessels. Five units of packed RBCs were transfused over the course of admission as the patient came in with Hb of 5.6g/cll. No pulse (dorsal pedis, tibia post and ant. Arteries) was felt.

“Patient was placed on antibiotics (IV Rocephin, IV Flagyl, treated for malaria (Im arthemeter 160mg) and analgesics.

“Patients relatives have been counselled on the need for an amputation of the patient’s leg but they would need a second opinion. For further clarifications and enquiries, kindly call the hospital.”

Experts say a fasciotomy or fasciectomy is a surgical limb-saving procedure when used to treat acute compartment syndrome.

Source: 9jaflaver

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