TENSION IN WUSE HOSPITAL: ‘One- Chance’ Hoodlums wreck havoc on Nurses — Nigerian Pilot News
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TENSION IN WUSE HOSPITAL: ‘One- Chance’ Hoodlums wreck havoc on Nurses

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….Rob 16 in a month

The nocturnal activities of hoodlums who use unpainted commercial vehicles to rob victims are alarming. Popularly called “One Chance” they have laid siege on Wuse general hospital and wrecked havoc on innocent Nurses after close of work at night, reports, Nigerian Pilot weekend city correspondent, Friday Obande.

The alarming rate of attacks on vulnerable passengers around Wuse District and other areas of the FCT by miscreants under the pretext of commercial taxi drivers, is raising concerns that require urgent action before it escalates into a full blown siege or menace on a society where serenity is expected to be at its climax.

These attacks are carried out on a daily basis in different forms on innocent pedestrians and passengers all around the nooks and crannies of the capital city of Nigeria.

Moving towards the traffic junction leading to the surroundings of Wuse 3 and its environ which houses strategic landmarks like, the Wuse District Police Station, Wuse District Hospital on one lane, and the Customs Headquarters, Heritage House, spread on opposite direction, and to the GSM Village, Church Gate and beyond, commercial activities seem to flourish under normal circumstances during the day. But take negative turns with the approach of the dark hours with the recent emergence of some breed of miscreants; carrying out the nocturnal business of ‘one chance’ under guises of ‘chattered taxi’ drivers or ‘drops’, as it is popularly known by Abuja residents in the city centers.

These hooligans have been on a constant gale of the area with their illegal commercial driving business activities, that lead to horrid ordeal, against vulnerable passengers, these activities range from extortions in the least, to outright robbery of belongings, as well as molestation of their victims, who are majorly females; and their nature of business seems lucrative to its perpetrators, as they successfully haul or lure their targets into believing that they are normal commercial drivers, commuting every length and breadth of Abuja, even under direct blockades of security forces on guard, spread at strategic locations in the city centers.

However, this edition essentially focuses on the activities and effect of these feigned commercial drivers on vulnerable female nurses at the Wuse District Hospital, Zone 3, who constitute the mass of victimhood of these serial nocturnal menace around that axis, gathered by Nigerian Pilot Weekend, which took a surveillance of the situation that appears to be on the rise within this period in particular, mostly as the rainy season hits its peak.

The nurses, who gave various vivid accounts of their experiences with these hooligans, alleged that no less than 16 nurses have fallen victim to these monstrous activities by its perpetrators, even under the watch of policemen stationed close to the hospital as night guards all over Wuse District, which is one of the most prominent part of the FCT city center.

Precisely, most of the accounts narrated by the nurses were similar in nature and revolved around the same pattern employed by the extortions of one chance drivers around the Zone 3 bridge, the Wuse District Hospital road, up to GSM Village/ Church Gate, and on the other side of the road around the Total Filling Station at the traffic junction to zones 3, 5 and 2, through the pedestrian bridge co-joining the area to Wuse Market and the Berger axis from where this paper gathered reports from some of the victims of these serial attacks.

While speaking to the management of Wuse District Hospital concerning the matter, they confirmed the authenticity of the information and also lamented over the incessant occurrence of the incidents on nurses and other health workers who are major victims of the one chance drivers. They availed some of the victims of these ordeals, who narrated their various accounts to this paper and most of them declined to narrating their accounts, from the trauma of the memory of their monstrous experiences.

There was a reported case of a nurse with undisclosed identity who was at the time of this report, still under intense medical treatment from the bruises and other health issues she sustained from her terrible experience. However, two young female nurses, who only gave their first names, narrated their appalling experiences with these illegal cab commuters.

One of the sources from Children/Pediatrics Ward Nurse, Chidinma, disclosed that she was un-suspiciously lured into one of those taxis along the zone 3 Over Head Bridge on her way home, at about 8pm on the fateful night of June 8 when she was tricked into a fake taxi and robbed by the gang in the vehicle. Narrating her experience in full light, she said:

“On the evening of June 5 at about 8pm, I closed from work and stood under the bridge at Wuse 3 waiting for a taxi going to Berger and I was the only one there and it was about to rain. So when a vehicle stopped in front of me, I said ‘Berger’ and it stopped, it was a green painted taxi with three male passengers already inside, and the driver said, ‘enter with your change’ and I did, but it wasn’t even up to 20 meters before the guy in front turned and said to me, ‘co-operate’ and brought out a knife while asking me to bend my head.

“As I was trying to do so, the guy beside me forced my head down and the one in front bent his seat, leaning full length on my bent body. In an attempt to make myself comfortable from the pains and pressure of the pressure on me, one of the guys beside me jabbed blows into my ribs and beside my stomach, while the one in front snatched my handbag, phone and took out my jewelleries, my ATM card and about N4000 which was the only cash in my bag.”

“I was pleading with them to spare me the phone or sim- card but all they kept responding was for me to co-operate, as they also threatened to kill me if I misbehaved. I was screaming from severe pains but the one in front kept compressing me the more. The funny thing is that I cannot even tell the route they took but when they finished their attack, they asked me to drop and I found myself in an estate where I asked a guy where I was. Though he mentioned one name but I have forgotten. He was the one that gave me the description to where I could get another taxi to Berger.”

Nurse Ogechi Nwanganga of Dialysis ward also shared her ordeal with the one chance drivers and like Chidinma, she was also manhandled and robbed by these syndicates few months ago. Nwanganga noted that the terror of that night still linger fresh on her mind as she recounted the agony and pain she suffered from the miscreants. Recounting, she narrated how the schemers drove her round Wuse district to swindle her of all the money she had in her account and other valuables as well.

“It was on March 24, when I closed late from work and went behind the hospital to wait opposite the Total Filling Station and I stopped a cab that said it was going to Area 1 but immediately I entered, the driver central locked the doors and they asked me to cooperate if I wanted my life, then snatched my bag and started ransacking it. I initially thought the door was opened but it was while I was trying to push it open that I noticed it was locked.

They started battering me with punches and spanks that almost got me unconscious. I don’t know how they managed to get my account pin because they told me that one of my accounts was almost empty and asked to use my other ATM card to transfer the money in my other bank to their account. They took me to an ATM Machine around Garki area where we went to banks at Area 10, 3and 8, and I could notice all their routines because I kept struggling with them whenever they tried to constrain to bend my head then, another fresh round of beating began as the network was poor and some of the machines couldn’t actually transfer cash until I started getting alerts on my phone before I realized that they had been withdrawing all my money.”

“They later made away with everything I had before pushing me off the vehicle, in a weary state around after 10pm and I think and a good Samaritan gave me a phone with which I contacted my people who came to pick me afterwards to the hospital where I was treated and given medication till about 10pm, when I reported the incidence to the Wuse Police Station which said that such cases couldn’t be attended to at weekends, referring me to Garki Police Station which is the nearest security office around the scene of the ordeal.” Ogechi recounted.

Speaking to this paper, an Abuja resident who does not want the name mentioned in print blamed the police, who are too complacent at their duty post.

The resident said it was a common feature to see check points of unserious policemen who pay unnecessary compliments in the guise of soliciting for gratification instead of check vehicles properly at nights.

“It is pertinent to draw the attention of the public to alertness over these security threats to human lives by marauding robbers under the guise of taxi drivers around the area, and elsewhere in the FCT”

“It is also appalling to note that these activities are taking place under the police whose check points are spread all over the city centers of Abuja” the Abuja tenant noted

Accordingly she was warned that it was high time security forces like the police and other relevant authorities stood up to their full responsibilities of protecting lives of vulnerable Nigerians.

More importantly there should be a strict stop- search exercise being carried out on all vehicles at night, mostly the non-painted taxis which are more culpable or liable to perpetrate such illicit acts, while the Abuja area council, in conjunction with other relevant authorities in charge of transport related issues in the FCT should ensure that proper registration/ documentation is being conducted for all commercial vehicles to enable them assess all cab drivers and their routines.

With these and other measures put in place, there are assurances of a secured Abuja community where residents can move freely all round the clock without fear of their safety.

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