Feb 18, 2013 – Family Of Murdered Nigerian Doctor, Irawo Adamolekun Decries Poor Health System In Nigeria
The recent murder of Irawo Adamolekun, a young medical doctor, by armed robbers in Lagos, spikes the woes of a family that had earlier lost another promising son in similar circumstances
On 11 January, OSB Adamolekun, an orthopedic surgeon and Colonel in the Nigerian Army, was on a United Nations peace mission to Darfur, Sudan. He was helping to restore sanity to that turbulent region. Unfortunately, that day, his own peace was shattered into smithereens when he received a sad news from Nigeria: one of his stars had been dimmed. His son, Irawo (meaning star) was murdered in broad daylight along the busy Ikorodu Road, Lagos.
The deceased, a medical doctor like his father, had just finished his morning duty at Osuntuyi Medical Centre, Obanikoro, Lagos. He was driving home in his Kia Sephia car when he was shot on the forehead by a gunman wearing a three-quarter length short who bolted immediately on a waiting motorbike.
For some minutes, pandemonium erupted and the young doctor was left alone with no emergency attention. With that gunshot, everyone around that axis, including police traffic wardens and men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, fled the scene. But before help could come his way, Irawo, 26, had lost so much blood and was brought in dead to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. The social media went abuzz, including a Twitter message from Nigerian rap artiste, Ruggedman, who claimed to have witnessed the gruesome murder. The manner of his death angered family and friends, including the deceased’s father.
The task of breaking the news to Irawo’s mother, a nurse based in Boston, United States who was holidaying in Nigeria, fell on the lap of Ojia, also a medical doctor and Irawo’s elder sister, who was away on official duty in Abuja.
“It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. My mum had stopped trusting the Nigerian system for a while. There was a time she came back home and she was robbed at gun point. But I was able to convince her that we are safe in Nigeria. It was difficult telling her that Irawo had been killed. But she was strong enough to handle the news when I eventually told her,” sobbing Ojia, the only surviving child of the family, told TheNEWS.
For Adamolekun’s family, dealing with the loss is really tough. It reads like a movie script. Eight years ago, Imole (meaning light), the first son of the family and Ojia’s elder brother, died in a tragic car accident while on his way back from school at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.
Ojia painfully recalls the event leading to that 2004 accident and narrated how their mother had phoned her to reveal a terrible dream she had and asked her to warn her siblings of any untoward behaviour. The petite medical doctor immediately picked up her phone to relay their mum’s message to her brothers. It was Imole who picked it up. She delivered their mum’s message and told him to pass the message on to their younger sibling. Imole, according to her, was so worried because they always took their mum’s dreams to heart because they were usually accurate. The siblings prayed.
The next day, which was a Sunday, a friend of the Adamolekuns from Lagos who was also a student of Igbinedion University came to school in a hired cab and the taxi was to return to Lagos immediately. “Imole had just finished his third year in medical school and the results were out. So he decided to take the free ride home with his excellent results in his 2nd MBBS. They had just driven out of the school gate in Okada when a mechanic test driving a vehicle ran into their car. He suffered a head injury with his right femur fractured. He later slipped into a coma. As in this painful case of Irawo, they could not get an ambulance for close to five hours. He bled so much and eventually passed away,” she explained.
Ojia said sharing the sad experience became difficult for their family, having had to mourn the loss of another son, their last born and only son left within eight years. But neither their parents nor she is angry that both their light and star were dimmed. She said the family had accepted their fate, but only angry at the system that leaves a victim sprawling in pain without any emergency response structures in place. “I know that usually a victim of point blank range gunshot in Nigeria never makes it. But it is a different case in the UK and US where quick responses are given to emergency cases. Let me state here that the survival chance of an accident victim is higher if attention is given within the first 40 minutes,” Ojia said.
TheNEWS gathered that taking a cue from the manner their brother, Imole, died, Irawo, before his death, had partnered his sister, Ojia, to contribute positively to the same society that failed them. The siblings founded a medical consultancy firm, Quick Medical Consults, in September 2010, through which they offered free emergency services to victims, especially the poor so they do not die needless deaths like their elder brother, Imole, who died due to lack of an emergency response system.
“My brother died of pain. He waited for analgesic and got none till he died. I do not want that to happen again to anybody. That is why I am calling on everybody to join me on this cause,” Ojia told TheNEWS, as he appealed to people for assistance to sustain the medical consultancy they set up in memory of their brother. That, she said, could help reduce the pain and keep the memory of his two brothers alive.
[Source: TheNews Magazine]