Treat accident victims in Nigeria before demanding a police report

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On the 7th of September 2019, one of my closest friends, Oranye Ruth was hit by a car at her bus stop where she was waiting to cross the road along the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

Ruth although sustaining major head injuries was still alive and was carried by onlookers to a nearby private hospital whose officials turned her away demanding a police report. By the time the group arrived at the government hospital which was a distance away in Epe, Ruth had given up the ghost. She was just 27. 

Until 2017, hospitals interpreted a 1986 law to prevent sheltering robbers to mean that they were mandated by law to demand a police report from injured victims. The 2017 Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari however, outlaws this practice and asks hospitals whether public or private to treat gunshot victims (or what looks like a gunshot victim) first and demand for a police report later.

But why do hospitals ignore this law and act as they did in Ruth's case? We cannot say for sure as there are differing anecdotes, we know, however, that we do not want it to happen again. 

We, therefore, appeal to every Nigerian home and abroad to please sign this petition calling for the enforcement of this law, as respect for Ruth and for every other Nigerian who has lost their life because they were denied treatment.

Our petition will be taken to the Nigerian National Assembly. Please lend your signature to making this stop.