A frontline health worker, who has been providing service to ENDSARS protesters in Lagos, has said the curfew and fear of violence are hindering staff shifts in hospitals and depriving injured demonstrators of first-hand medical attention.
The health worker, who is not allowed to speak to the media, was among several medical practitioners who helped to convey ambulances to the scene of the shooting in the Lekki area of Lagos on Tuesday.
He said the police, who have been shooting sporadically across different suburbs of the state, do not respect essential workers, making it difficult to secure transportation to their places of assignment.
The source, who made the revelation in an interview with Tropics NigeriaReporters, said, “Almost all hospitals are short of staff. The ones that have been on shift cannot go home; the ones that are supposed to go and relieve them cannot go there.
“The health worker, who stays on the mainland but whose place of employment is on the Island, said he was unable to report for duty as a result of the curfew and sporadic gunshots across the state.”
Recalling the challenges faced with going to work during the lockdown and the absence of a personal vehicle, he noted that going out is no longer safe as hoodlums go on a rampage.
The source said, “Since morning, I have been hearing gunshots like this is a Christmas season. Since I am not at the forefront right now, there is no reason to die for nothing. If I even step out and show them my ID card and say I’m an essential worker, they will still assault me.
“Many of them (health workers) were scared to go to work. The ones that did, they did not let them pass for about an hour. There was no means of transportation. The best we could do was to start placing calls. I can’t remember when last I made that number of calls in my life.
“Not many people see it this way, but we don’t have any other country to go to. We have to stand up and fight for it. In a country where peaceful protest is prevented, it leads to violent protest, and this is what we see now.”