Friday, April 22, 2016

Nigeria - Justice For Julie

You may not know this, but, next time you are with a white doctor be on the look-out. Next time you are on medical tourism or you find yourself, a Nigerian in a foreign hospital, be sure you are treated by doctors (not witch doctors who swore to the Hippocratic Oaths but are vampires in lab coats, armed with bizarre syringes).

Do not judge them by the colour of their skins or based on the age-old belief that doctors are meant to save human lives. The story of Julie Osamede Ihdeyen changed my mind about the milk of human kindness flowing in the veins of the ‘white’ doctor. So rivetingly repulsive is Julie’s story that where she comes from or the circumstances of her birth or sojourn matter far less. It is bound to bring tears to the eyes of any one. No one will shrug at this man’s inhumanity to a woman – only felons.

The story I am about to narrate came to public knowledge last November on the popular radio show of Love FM 104.5, Brekete, anchored by rights activist and broadcasting dynamo, Ordinary Ahmed Isa. The tale has been authenticated by several persons, including the chairperson of the House of Representatives Committee on the Diaspora, Barr. Rita Orji.

As the narration goes, Citizen Julie’s existence became a nightmare the day she stepped into Amideos Avoya Hospital. The manifestation of malaria was first spotted, then urinary tract infection was diagnosed. By the time Julie was dispatched to Sejuale Hospital in Torino, Italy, her life had permanently become miserable.

While one might have no sympathy for unscrupulous individuals who sell off their organs for money in Asia and parts of North America, Julie’s case defies any such pecuniary considerations.

Some demented medics, rather than treat the infections diagnosed, sought if she was accompanied by anybody. Without preparing her mind or getting any next-of-kin’s consent, she was wheeled into the theatre, injected with unknown drugs, criminally tied up and had her kidney ‘stolen’ from her, through lacerations at the back! She lost her spinal cord and has been paralysed since then.

For weeks, running into months, she was abandoned to the various elements. Unknown to her, the same team came to inflict further damage on her health and psyche two months later. This time, they came, pinned her stomach-down, forcefully cut open her buttocks stretching close to her genitalia. They poured alcohol on the cut, strapped a belt around her arm to monitor her breathing and she ended up suffering memory loss.

Now, life is nasty, miserable and empty for the 30-something-year-old. Her situation is aggravated by indigestion, a cut torso, restlessness and other medical challenges. Placed on a medication of 32 tablets (16 in the morning, 9 in the afternoon and 7 in the evening), little did she know that all these hospitals worked in tandem and have been feeding her drugs meant for the retarded in a bid to numb her to the point of death.

The inhuman medics turned around to dub her ‘mentally ill’. Authentic reports have put a lie to the evil designs of her assailants, as a court confirmed her sanity and indicted the medical team (one doctor and two aides) that perpetrated the heinous act, in the first instance. Sadly, both Nigerian and Italian authorities have done nothing. For compensation, the embassy renewed her papers free of charge and she was nationalised. They also returned her seized documents and medical reports in 2013.

Curiously, the report ignored the fact that her kidney was stolen and that she suffers paralysis due to the ordeal she endured in the hands of these medical brigands. Worse, the document bears her forged signature.

It is sad that this is happening to a human being. Were the victim to be an Italian, another Europe or American, the human rights world would have been shrilling with condemnation and calls for compensation. For Nigeria, it is a further reminder that her citizens don’t matter. Otherwise, the Italian government or its viceroy here should have been made to account for Citizen Julie’s ordeals.

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