A nurse at the General Ahmadi Rimi Orthopaedic Hospital in Katsina State, Umar Lawal, has recounted his experience with police officers who allegedly assaulted him while at his duty post.
The nurse, who spoke with Premium Times, explained that he was at the nurse's station when the officers arrived with an emergency case.
According to him, the officers brought about five accident victims and while he was attending to them, he requested that they proceeded to buy drugs and obtain cards for the victims.
He noted that rather than this, the officers asked him (the nurse) to leave his duty post to purchase the items and when he refused, one of the officers hit him on his cheek which he also retaliated.
This snowballed into a fight as the officers descended on him and beat him thoroughly.
He said, “I had finished medication for my internal patients and was waiting at the Nurse’s Station when an ambulance from the National Open University brought in accident victims with five policemen.
“I checked one of the patients and discovered that he had external injuries but had more internal injuries especially on his thigh and another fracture on his neck. I was prescribing the drugs for them to go and buy so that we could resuscitate him.
“Then suddenly, they brought another victim who was already dead when they came to the hospital. We were asking about him and they said he was already dead. I asked them to go and buy a card and drugs for the other victims, when one of them said I should remove money from his pocket which I did; he asked him to go and buy the drugs.
“One of the policemen started shouting at me to obey his boss’ command but I told them my work was to save the victims, which I was already doing. Then the boss who asked me to buy the drugs slapped me and I slapped him back because I felt I was doing my job. They all descended on me and started beating me, saying I must follow them to the police station.
“When it became obvious that they would overpower me, I pushed one of them who was trying to grab me by the waist and ran into the emergency ward.”
Meanwhile, his colleagues under the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives in Katsina State have held a protest against “incessant police assault’ on some of their members.
The health workers carried out the protest on Sunday to express their displeasure over the alleged assault on their member by police personnel.
Addressing journalists on behalf of the nurses, Kamaludeen Kabir said a nurse was manhandled by officers who “came to the hospital and acted as if they were above the law.”
“We are health workers and not criminals. This is unacceptable and we will fight it. We will no longer tolerate such abuses from any security official because we are also doing our job.
“One of our members (Umar Lawal) was assaulted on Wednesday around 5pm by a team of policemen while attending to an emergency case. We have followed the situation,” he added.
He said the hospital management and other stakeholders had been duly informed of the development.
Kabir said the association had noted frequent assaults on its members and other health workers in the state.
The state police command had yet to react to the allegations.