Three hundred and ninety-nine reports on individuals cases were submitted from the various hospitals, in ATR 2 Form A.
The victims ranged in age from two to seventy years. Both sexes were involved. The injuries and the modes of their infliction were protean; the results of treatment and degrees of permanent disability variable. Some of these reports were understandably brief or even sketchy because the medical attendants were fully stretched during the influx of the patients. Greater attention was given to providing adequate treatment for all the patients than to writing detailed reports on individual cases. It will suffice here to give only a few illustrative cases in the different categories of injury.
Francis Obidile is a man about 54 years old. He was being treated for leprosy in the S.I.M leper settlement in Kano when he was attacked on the 4th of October, 1996. He was brought to the medial officer at Oji River settlement on 8th October. The basal bones of the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand were broken. His forehead showed grazing wounds, while the outer aspect of his left calf had some stab wounds. He fully recovered from his injuries but continued treatment for his leprosy at Oji River.
Micheal Nnabundo, aged about 47 years, is another of the lepers who was receiving treatment at the S.I.M. leper settlement, Kano, when they were attacked on the 3rd and 4th of October, 1966. He was brought to the medical officer at Oji River settlement on 8th October. He had deep bruises on his shoulders and his loin. He recovered from these but continued treatment for his leprosy at the settlement.
Leo Ndi, a man aged about 47 years, was treated for leprosy in Sudan United Mission settlement in Northern Nigeria and was discharged with severe leprosy deformities of both hands. He was attacked at Wukari on 8th December, 1996 and eventually reached Oji River settlement on 24th December with bruising and swelling of the left half of his scalp and grazing wounds on his left wrist. He fully recovered from these injuries but remained with his leprosy deformities.
Bassey Osong, an adult man, was seen by the medical officer, Obubra, on 12th October, 1966. Bassey was attacked at Gboko, held down by his assailants while a person who apparently knew he had venereal infection passed a stream of urine into the penis of the victim. He was seen at Obubra hospital with blood and pus exuding from his penis and he fully recovered after treatment.
Vincent Ogaluwe was brought to a hospital in Northern Nigerian (the name of which for obvious reasons will not be given here) on 30th September, 1966. His head was bashed in many places and he had other injuries on his legs. He died on the day of admission.
Michael (surname not stated) was brought into a hospital in Northern Nigeria on 29th September, 1966. His head and his face were battered. The bones of his forearms were broken. He died on the day of his admission.
Emmanuel Okorie an adult man was on 30.9.66 brought to a hospital in Northern Nigeria. The injuries which were inflicted that day included gaping wounds on the scalp and open fracture of his right leg. The wounds on his head were stitched while the leg with broken bones was put in a plaster. He remained alive till 3.10.66 when for fear of further attack in the hospital he was stealthily removed to another town with an airlift. From here he was airlifted to the East.
Okon Agbo a man about 34 years old was pursued by a mob at Bukuna in the tin mining area on 29th September, 1966. He was struck a heavy blow at the back of the head and he instantly lost consciousness. He came to seven days later to find himself at Port Harcourt General Hospital without knowing how he got there. His sight was failing in both eyes when he came to the General Hospital, Enugu in January, 1967. An x-ray of his skull showed that the bone of his occiput was bashed in. A pool of blood which had accumulated underneath the broken bone had got infected with the infection spreading to the skull bones. After treatment he still had very poor vision in both eyes but it was hoped that since there was no attenuation of the eye nerves he would show some improvement in his vision in future.
Onuegbuna Ozobu an old woman of 60, went to see her son at Minna where she was attacked on 1/10/66. She was repeatedly hit with sticks by the attacking civilian mob and one of the blows fell across the right eye. She saw the eye specialist at the General Hospital, Enugu on 14th January, 1967, with a painful blind right eye. After treatment the pain subsided but the right eye remained permanently blind giving thirty percent estimated disability.
Elizabeth Ofungu a girl of 13, was attacked on 1.10.66 together with her father and several other people by soldiers at Kano railway station where they congregated waiting for a train. The father was among those killed while several bullets hit Elizabeth. She arrived Enugu General Hospital on 7th October with bullet wounds on her shoulders, neck, hips and right eye. Bullets were extracted from the neck, shoulder and hip leaving hideous scars in all these places. The bullets were (in the opinion of the attending doctor) fired from behind her as she was running. That in the eye, a rifle bullet, entered from the back of the neck, coursed just below the base of the skull, injuring some nerves and soft tissues in its wake. It broke through the bone of the eye socket and lodged between the socket and the eye ball which it pushed prominently forward. It was a miraculous survival because if this particular bullet had gone one inch higher, it could have been fatal because it would then have blasted the skull cavity and also a number of big blood vessels. The bullets including that in the eye socket, which were located by x-rays were extracted. In addition to the hideous scars already mentioned, there was also some loss in vision of the right eye. amounting to about twenty per cent permanent disability.
Mrs. Rose Nnorom aged 30 years was attacked by soldiers at Kano railway station on 1st October. The bone of the upper third of her right thigh was completely shattered into bits. By the time she arrived Enugu General Hospital on 11th October, 1966, the large gaping wounds of the thigh with lodged bullet particles were badly infected and offensive. The sciatic nerve – the nerve to the leg – was completely blasted so that the leg was paralysed. Bullets had also traversed the right hand shattering the last segment of the middle finger and the basal segment of the little finger and there was roaring infection in these. The whole of her right leg is expected to be maimed forever as a result of the damage of the nerve supply to it. It is expected that after many months there may be some union in the bone of the thigh. The right middle and little fingers will remain permanently deformed owing to healing by scarring.
Alfred Mbadiwe aged 40 years, was attacked at Jos on 29th September, 1966. He arrived Okigwi General Hospital on 4th October with numerous stab wounds:- four on the left side of face; two along the eight rib on the left side; and four over the left shoulder blade. The stabs had penetrated the lining of the left side of chest, letting in air which caused collapse of the left lung. He eventually recovered.
Grace Okon, 14 years old school girl was attended at Calabar General Hospital in August, 1966. She had been attacked at Gussau on 4th June when both her parents and two of her brothers were killed. She had still widely gaping wounds on the following places – one about 4″ inches long in the left forearm; one about 3 inches long in the right forearm. Both wounds were inflicted while the girl used both hands to parry a matchet blow aimed at her neck. Another wound about 4” inches long just above the navel. This just missed exposing the intestines. She had repair operations and drug treatment before recovery.
Miss ‘Y’ was first seen in one of the hospitals in Eastern Nigerian on 4.10.66. She is aged 22 years, and had been attacked in Zaria on 29.9.66 by Hausa civilians. Several of the men raped her at the end of which they pushed broken bottles into her vagina. At the time she was seen, the entrance into her womb was torn and infection had spread to the lower part of the belly. The infection subsided with treatment but she is left with psychological trauma. There is also the possibility that the infection in the belly may have led to scarring and sealing of the tubes of the womb. This would make conception in future impossible.
Mrs. ‘X’ aged about 36 years was attacked in her house in Kano on 1.10.66 by a group of four civilian men. Her husband who was out at the time she later learnt was killed on the road. She offered her attackers all her trade money that she may not be molested. They took the money, yet each of them raped her in turn. Not long after, three soldiers came in and again each of them raped her. Since then she has had pains in the lower abdomen and her monthly periods had become very painful. She has had medical treatment from four different practitioners. A gynaecologist who saw her last opined that the history and physical examination suggested an anxious woman who as a result of forcible intercourse may have contracted venereal infection which had become chronic in the bladder and the tubes of the womb. This was so because at the time of the examination there were signs that the infection was still active.
Anthony Okwechime is aged two years. On the 1st of October, 1966, when the trouble started in Kano, Anthony’s mother was in labour. The husband could not leave her in that state, so he sent Anthony with his older brother to flee to the railway station with other people. Both parents were killed. At the railway station the soldiers struck and a rifle shot got Anthony on the left upper arm. According to the doctor who treated him in Enugu General Hospital, it left a large gaping wound and broke the bone of the upper arm. He made good recovery.
Miss ‘Z’ is aged six years. She was attacked at Kaduna on about 30th September, 1966, when during the confusion she was separated from her mother. She was brought to Enugu General Hospital many days later and according to the attending doctor, she had many tears in her private parts with copious offensive discharge. There was a deep stab wound behind the upper part of the right leg, which was also paralysed at the time of admission. He was of the opinion that the many tears in her private part were caused by violent attempts to rape. The offensive discharge was due to infection either from the rapist of from wound contamination. The girl was very immature and a lot of brutish force must have been used to penetrate her. She was emotionally upset on admission. The deep wound at the back of the thigh could have been caused by a sharp stabbing instrument like a dagger or spear and the paralysis of the leg was as a result of damage to its nerve supply by this stab wound. It was likely that either the rapist ended with stabbing after his raping, or that he first brought the victim down by stabbing and then proceeded to rape. The tears and infection responded well to treatment and signs of return of power to the paralysed leg so soon after the injury suggested that bruising and pressure rather than actual severance of the nerve were the cause of paralysis. The mother rejoined the girl at Enugu General Hospital after ten days of separation.
Mrs. Anna Ifeoma Udo aged about 26 years. She was admitted into Awgu Joint Hospital on June 27th 1966. She was 24 weeks pregnant and was said to have been beaten up in an unstated town in Northern Nigerian during the May 29th disturbances. She had deep and superficial bruises in different parts of the body. She fully recovered from her injuries but aborted a baby estimated to have died in the womb at the time her injuries were inflicted.
Cyprain Etim Udo is age 28 years. He was attacked at Minna on about 26th September, 1996, and was first seen at Enugu General Hospital on 30th September. He had gun shot wound which had shattered both bones of his left forearm. The wound was infected and foul-smelling on admission and many of the bullets were still lodged in it. Operation was done to clear the wound and remove as many bullets as possible before the arm was encased in plaster.
He has reasonable hope of recovery but may have residual stiffness.
Eunice Emenike, age 20 years, was first seen at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia. She was 36 weeks pregnant and had been attacked at an unstated town in Northern Nigeria during the May- June disturbances. She had gaping wounds on her face and lips. There was no movement in the eye owing to paralysis of its muscles. The eyeball itself was blood-shot and suffused and there was no sight in it. The bone of the lower jaw was broken and a number of teeth broken off. The fingers of her right hand were cut off while the bones of the left forearm were broken. She regained reasonably good health with treatment in the hospital but will permanently live without sight in her right eye and without fingers in her right hand.
Gabriel Ochulo, aged about 50 years, was attacked with knife and arrows at Minna on 26th September, 1966. He was admitted into Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 2nd October. He had gaping wounds on the forehead, right hand, left shoulder and left hand. An infected wound was also present on the left side of the belly. While in the hospital he developed lockjaw from wound infection while the infected wound on the left side of the belly eventually ate into the intestines so that excrete began to ooze from it. He remained in the hospital for 37 days before recovery though his left wrist will remain still due to injury to the muscles.
Onuora Mbakwe, aged 18 years, was attacked at an undisclosed town in Northern Nigeria on 4th June, 1966. He was admitted at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia, on 18th June and was said to have been beaten on the belly, the chest, right arm and left leg. The right chest wall had been broken into and blood and air had accumulated in the chest cavity and collapsed the right lung. The lower bowel had been ruptured and infected and air had surrounded the site. The gaping wound on the right arm was infection. He was discharged after 13 days, but with permanent injury to his right lung, he will have to function on one lung from the age of 18 years.
John Uche who is aged 48 years, was attacked at an undisclosed town in Northern Nigeria probably on 1st October, 1966. He arrived Enugu General Hospital on 6th October and was transferred from there to St. Mary’s Hospital, Urua Akpan, Ikot Ekpene, on 15th October still unconscious. He had severe injuries on the head, especially the left side, and there was serious bruising in and around the left eye. The right half of the body was paralysed as a result of brain damage. He made reasonable progress at Urua Akpan but left with a permanent blind left eye and his right side partially paralysed.
Maduawuchi Nwanevu, a man aged about 28 years, was attacked in his one-room residence at Kainji dam site on the night of 29th September, 1966. There were no doors or windows at the back part of the room through which Mr. Nwanevu could escape, so that his attackers pounced on him in the trap that was his room. Several severe matchet cuts were inflicted on his head and neck and he passed out and, believing him dead, the attackers left. He recovered consciousness three weeks later at Ibadan Teaching Hospital and was then told that an Italian worker at Kainji had taken him to Kainji Hospital where he lay unconscious for two weeks before his transfer to the Teaching Hospital. Having fully recovered consciousness and got his wound healed, he was discharged from Ibadan just before Christmas. Though he was still dull and dazed at the time of this discharge, he had high hopes he would soon be himself again. But his has turned out to be a vain hope because on 26th March, 1967, Mr. Nwanevu suddenly felt twitches on the left side of his body, fell down and went into fits, and was unconscious till he was carried home. This was repeated within a week, and so was the beginning of Jacksonian fits – the type of fits resulting from damage to the brain. It would need special techniques to locate the site of the damage on Mr. Nwanevu’s brain and special skill in brain operation to relieve it. Unless and until this is done, Mr. Nwanevu’s new malady could descend on him any time any place.
Jacob Olu is aged about 45 years. He was attacked at Kainji on 28th September, 1965, and after initial attention at Kainji Hospital, he was transferred to Enugu General Hospital on 6th November. His right forearm was completely cut off a little above the wrist while another severe cut not reaching the bones was inflicted between this stump and the elbow. Matchet cuts were also inflicted on the belly and the right hip. Blunt blows or matchet cuts broke the bone of the front of the skull and left it protruding into the air. The bone of the lower jaw was also broken in this ferocious attack. Jacob Olu was eventually discharged to the out-patients of Enugu General Hospital with his life and mending bones, but without his right hand and the little finger of his left hand.
Michael Okeke, a twenty-six-year-old man, was attacked at Bukuru on 29th September, 1966. He had blunt blows on his left eye as well as across his right ear. Severe matchet cuts were also inflicted on his face and cheeks. He received initial treatment in another hospital and was only referred to General Hospital on 3rd March, 1967, for more expert opinion and attention. He went away with the verdict that total deafness in his right ear and blindness of his left eye will forever remain as grim reminders of his last days in Northern Nigeria.
Grace Ibekwe, an adult, was admitted into Delta Clinic Association Hospital, Port Harcourt, on 4th October, 1966, having been attacked at Vom on 30th September. She had two infected puncture wounds on the left side of her chest which could have been inflicted with daggers. The lower jaw bone was broken near its left angle with the line of crack passing through the socket of her third left molar tooth. Both bones of her left lower leg were broken. Grazing wounds and deep bruises were present on her back and left arm. She improved after 22 days in hospital when she was discharged to the out-patients.
Innocent Nwosu, an adult, was attacked at Bukuru on 30th September, 1966, and admitted into Delta Clinic Association Hospital on 4th of October. In addition to multiple cuts and bruises over the head and right shoulder, he also had marked accumulation of blood in his scrotum. His testis were swollen and these later injuries are likely to have been caused by violent tugging and pulling at this male organs. After six days in hospital he was discharged, improved but the attending doctor thinks there could be some impairment of his ability to produce sperms in future.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media