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‘How stray bullet changed my life’

But for the November 28, 2008 crisis and an elderly woman who naturally died in their area on that day he would have been among…

But for the November 28, 2008 crisis and an elderly woman who naturally died in their area on that day he would have been among his course-mates who have completed their NYSC programme. When Weekly Trust visited Abdullahi at his home, a white handkerchief smeared with blood was covering his left eye.

According to Abdullahi, who recounted what happened on that fateful day, an elderly woman had died in their area on November 28, “but because there was the crisis going on, I volunteered to accompany the people who were selected from our area to take the corpse of the woman to the central mosque where corpses were gathered for eventual burial, because there was no security.”

“I happened to be among the people who were selected to accompany the corpse to the mosque in a pickup van. When we reached the gate of the mosque, we stopped to carry out the corpse, but I noticed there were some mobile police men in a van at the junction and all of them were well-armed”. To the conveyers of the corpse they were not fomenting any trouble therefore they would not be perceived as hostile by the mobile police, but their over confidence was only a recipe for disaster. “We were not carrying any weapon; we were only carrying a corpse. That was what gave us the confidence and our assumption was that they will not do anything to us since we were only conveying a corpse to the mosque”.

He added: “But as soon as we carried the corpse to enter the gate, they opened fire on us killing three people on the spot while a stray bullet that killed the man who was close to me brushed my left eye.”

According to him, when he approached one of his friends to seek help because of his wounded eye, the friend was terrified and ran away, shouting: “I can see your teeth through your left eye.”

“Most of the people I know were running away because they could not stand the sight of my wounded eye. It was only my mother who rushed out with a handkerchief and covered my eye and started shouting for help. At that time I fell down unconscious”.

“I was rushed to Toro hospital in Bauchi, but the doctor on ground only managed to put a bandage to cover the wound and prevent the blood from gushing. He said he could not undertake such an operation because it was beyond his professional capability”.

Two years after the incident, life for Sa’id is becoming unbearable as many of the operations he had undergone did not yield the expected positive result to get life back on track. “I have shuttled from Bauchi and Kaduna states undergoing various operations for the eye but all to no avail. I have attended federal, state and even private hospitals but I end up spending money which has amounted to over one million naira paid for drugs and operations which I raised from family, friends and other sources”.

 And as a result of the bone that is now growing from inside his eyes some of the doctors who have worked on him expressed the need to do another operation, stressing that chances are that if the operation is not repeated, the other eye will affect the right eye thereby destroying both eyes. A medical doctor in a private hospital in Jos, said there is need for him to urgently undergo another operation adding that his right eye is vulnerable because of its proximity to the affected eye.

Abdullahi, who is anxious of to get his life back on track after the incident, said: “I am still optimistic the I will get my life back and live like every normal human being. That is how I take my condition and Insha’Allah He (Allah) will help me get out of it.”

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