By: Wisdom Acka
Some victims of the Abuja building collapse have applauded the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, for picking their medical bills and taking care of them.
The commendation was expressed when the aActing Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, Noel Haruna, led other FCT Administration officials to visit the victims in hospitals on Saturday.
Recall that Wike, who visited the scene of the incident on Thursday, directed the FCTA to settle all medical bills of the victims receiving treatment in different hospitals in the FCT.
The two-storey building, at Lagos Street, Garki Village, crumbled on Wednesday, killing two persons and injuring 37.
One of the victims, Abdullahi Modibbo, at Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja, said he has not paid any amount following the Minister’s directives.
Modibbo thanked the Minister for the support; adding that health workers were taking very good care of him.
His words: “I was in my room on the first floor when the building collapsed on Wednesday night. I was trying to help myself when a boulder fell on my leg, causing a fracture.”
“I am happy with the prompt response of government agencies, who evacuated us and took us to the hospital for treatment, and now they have offered to pay all our bills. I am truly grateful,”, he said.
Chief Nursing Officer at the hospital, Aishatu Tenebe, said that eight victims were brought to the facility of which seven were treated and discharged.
Another victim, Garba Nagoma, at Cedarcrest Hospital, Gwarinpa, was elated when he learned that his hospital bills would be settled by the government on the directive of the Minister.
Nagoma said that his brother has already paid N500,000 to the hospital as the first bill.
“This is good news knowing that my bills would be paid by the government. I am really grateful for the support”, he said.
According to him, he visited his friend who resides on the first floor of the building when it collapsed.
“We were having a conversation when one of our friends alerted us that the building is about to collapse,” he said.
“We dashed to escape but we were late. The building collapsed with us while we were still on the first floor, and I survived with a fracture”, he said.
Group Managing Director of the Hospital, Dr. Kingsley Ikpe, said that Nagoma was the only victim that was brought to the hospital and assured that the hospital would provide the needed care to the victim.
Similarly, Shehu Mohammed, another victim, receiving treatment for head and eye injuries at Garki Hospital, Abuja, equally lauded Wike for coming to their aid.
Mohammed said he owned a tailoring shop in the building and was still working in the shop when it collapsed.
A medical officer at the facility, Dr Winifred Esite, said that 14 victims were brought to the hospital of which 12 were treated and discharged while one died.
On her part, Charity Amadi, one of the victims that was treated and discharged from the facility, equally thanked the FCT Minister for the support.
Amadi, a mother of two and currently pregnant, said they were now taking shelter at Cherubim and Seraphim, Area 2 Shopping Centre, Abuja; adding that they lost everything in the wreckage.
“I am glad that the government has come to our aid, because the hospital asked me to be coming for a check up to ensure that my unborn baby and I are fine,” she said.
Speaking at the end of the visit, Noel Haruna, said he and his team visited the hospitals on the directive of the Minister.
Haruna recalled that Wike had directed the FCTA to settle the medical bills of all those affected, “so we are here in compliance with his directive.
“We have gone round some of the hospitals and we have seen their condition. So far, four victims are still receiving treatment in the hospitals, 31 have been treated and discharged, while two have died,” he noted.
“We have directed the victims to write the bills and forward them through FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the Health and Human Services Secretariat for onward submission to the Permanent Secretary.
“The quality of services we have seen is very excellent as testified by the victims themselves,” he said.