A 23-year-old man who claims to be a victim of Lekki Toll Gate has told the story on how he got amputated after he got shot at the EndSARS protest.
Olalekan Faleye, a survivor of the shooting that attended the peaceful #ENDSARS protest at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, says he has become an amputee after the gunshot injuries he sustained to the leg on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
He had undergone surgical amputation of his bullet-ridden right leg.
The shooting incident had attracted national and international outcry, with the Lagos State and Federal governments being urged to unravel the identity of the shooters and who deployed them.
Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise a few days after he was discharged from the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, Olalekan said until the Lekki shooting, he had temporarily worked as a labourer with a construction company in Ikoyi to raise money for his ‘freedom’ as an apprentice cobbler.
He also planned to use whatever was left after his freedom ceremony to rent a shop where he could carry out his cobbler trade.
“Any time we had little or nothing to do at the construction site, I would join the #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate to demonstrate against Police brutality and bad governance.
“I recalled attending the protest on three different occasions (October 15, 16 and 17) before the soldiers’ invasion on October 20,” he said.
Looking pale and sad, he struggled to recollect the incident of the Black Tuesday, saying the whole episode still feels like a bad dream.
“They (soldiers) arrived in a group and, without warning, started shooting at us. As people ran helter-skelter, I recalled hearing the protest coordinators screaming, ‘Don’t panic, sit on the floor together and keep waving the Nigerian flag.’
“But it was too late. People panicked when they saw the soldiers advancing and shooting at us.
“In the panic that ensued, I was hit on the right leg by a stray bullet. The force of the shot was so intense that I found myself on the ground, writhing in pain and with so much blood gushing out of my leg.
“I was there for some seconds, feeling weak and fatigued, before some fellow protesters came to my rescue. I was held by both hands and legs as they continued running while also dodging the flying bullets,” he said.
Olalekan disclosed that after his bullet-riddled leg was tied up with what looked like a shirt, he was rushed along with three other victims of the shooting to Vedic Hospital in Lekki.
“At Vedic, I was denied admission when the medical official saw the state of my bloodied leg,” he alleged.
The 23-year-old said he kept getting weaker as he was being conveyed by the rescue team in search of another hospital.
“That was how I ended up at Grandville Trauma Centre. After examining the leg, one of the doctors who attended to me announced that my limb was in a sorry state because the high-velocity projectile forcefully pierced through the muscles and blood vessels in my leg from one end before coming out at the other end.
“Consequently, I was asked to drop the contact of my parent or guardian because of the complex nature of my case,” he said.