Soyinka: Police Report Should Be Waved For Emergency Treatment


LAGOS, Sept 21, (THEWILL) - Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka today asked the Inspector General of Police to repeal the regulation compelling persons with wounds from gunshots to produce a Police Report before medical treatment can be administered during emergency situations.

Soyinka said this at a rally to mark the 5th posthumous anniversary of late Chima Ubani adding that the law is anti-human and irrelevant in modern times.

The poet spoke at a rally organized by the Campaign for Democracy (CD) and the United Action for Democracy which took place at Allen roundabout, Ikeja, Lagos under two themes namely; Chima Ubani, Five Years After’ and ‘Democracy and Development: The Missing Link.

Ubani died at the age 42 in a ghastly motor accident on September 21, 2005 and was the founding Secretary of the Campaign for Democracy in Lagos. Until his death, Ubani was one of the leaders of the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria and a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and had since 2003, been the Executive Director of the Civil Liberties Organization in Nigeria.

Speaking at the rally, Soyinka said the late Ubani could have been alive if the various hospitals he was taken to after the accident had treated him immediately rather they were insisting on police report.

"These rules when enforced under such situations makes our society ridiculous, and it hurts that someone like Ubani willing to give his life for the nation would be rejected for treatment."

But Soyinka assured that that the fundamental issues that Ubani died for has not been relegated, saying the profound issues have been temporarily overshadowed, but they would be pursued to the latter."

He asked the people of Nigeria to gird their loins as the nation makes another giant move in re- defining itself in the 2011 polls by voting and protecting their votes.

In her address, President of CD, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, said that the 2011 elections is the last opportunity Nigerians have to decide how they would be led. According to her, "we must all struggle to ensure that we vote out those whose pedigrees have impacted negatively on the nation’s democracy."

Also Speaking, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, said that time had come for all progressives and civil society groups in Nigeria to come together under one umbrella to fight to save the nation, urging Nigerians to resist any attempt from any government to sell the nation’s public institutions.

While criticizing the toll being introduced by the Lagos State Government on the Lekki expressway, Aturu said, "It is wrong to sell institutions that would make life unbearable for the people."

In her remarks, the widow of the deceased, Mrs. Ochuwa Ubani, said that there was need for Nigerians to uphold the ideals and struggle for which her husband died for.

"I was not an activist but with Chima’s death, I was challenged to become one because I realized that there is need to keep talking against the ills of society. My cry is not because Nigeria is backward. My cry is because many people have given up challenging the leaders and those that made us backward."