A Lagos State-based widow, Temitope Oshodi, has narrated how her son, Ridwan Oshodi was shot during the #ENDSARS protest in 2020.
In October 2020, young persons across Nigeria trooped to the streets to demand an end to police brutality and to also demand “good governance”. The protesters were dispersed by hoodlums suspected to be sponsored by the Nigerian government and ruling All Progressives Congress after two weeks.
According to PUNCH, Oshodi said life has been unbearable for her since Ridwan was critically injured after being shot by policemen amid the 2020 #EndSARS crisis. She said, “On October 20, 2020, he was at work when I called him to come back home because I heard that there was a crisis at Lekki. We stay in Ojuelegba Area C Barracks. When I called him, he said he was very busy working on customers’ cloths. He said he had a job that he needed to finish and deliver, as the customer needed it urgently. He told me that if he was able to finish the work early enough he would come home but if not, he would sleep over at the shop. Later at night, he called me to say that he couldn’t finish the work and he would therefore sleep over in his shop. He said he would come home the following morning.
“In the morning of the following day, after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos declared a curfew, he told me that he was done with the job and he was on his way home. Just some seconds after we spoke on phone, I heard gunshots around Ojuelegba bridge. I started to try to call him, to tell him to watch his steps.
“Then we heard cries and shouts that Ridwan had been shot by policemen. We rushed out to rescue him. We took him to Havana Hospital nearby where he was given first aid treatment. He was shot on the stomach. The doctor said the bullet had come out of his back and that his backbone was affected. He said the case was more serious than he could handle at the hospital and referred us to LUTH (Lagos University Teaching Hospital).
“We still go to LUTH for physiotherapy. We pay 25,000 every month. We have started seeing some improvement. He can talk now, but he still cannot walk; he only crawls and uses diapers. Doctors are assuring us that he will walk again but they said they can’t tell how soon it will be.
“They had earlier said he wouldn’t be able to walk again because his spinal cord was affected. So, I went to price a wheelchair; they said it was N48, 000. A friend borrowed me N20,000 to deposit for the wheelchair, and then somebody helped me to borrow money from a cooperative society. We bought the wheelchair, we buy drugs like seven times per day; we did one X-ray for N70,000, and another one for N80, 000. I have all the receipts here. We did a scan for N55, 000. I can no longer cope; the debts are becoming unbearable.
“Last week Friday, one doctor at LUTH said we had been spending too much money, so he advised us to go to one hospital on Badagry Expressway to see another expert, so my son can walk again. When we got there, he (Ridwan) was asked to do some exercise, which he did. After the doctor examined him, he said we would have to get 350,000 for the surgery for him to walk again and also get funds to get the drugs for effective recovery. We’ve not been able to get the money; I have sold all my belongings; I have nothing left.
“I am a widow; my husband died some years back; there is no help from anywhere. Family and friends have tried to support us the little way they could, particularly when we were in LUTH, but right now, it’s been difficult getting support. Life has not been fair, in all honesty. Ridwan is a hard-working young man but since he has been bedridden, he has become helpless and jobless.”