Ex-corps Member Blames NYSC’s Negligence For Amputation

Ex-corps Member Blames NYSC’s Negligence For Amputation

Former corps member, Emmanuel Unogu, who served in Akwa Ibom State, has blamed the National Youth Service Corps for the loss of his right leg.

Unogu with code AK/APO/08/027407 was called up during the Batch A 2008 NYSC and posted to Urueffong/Oruka Local Government after the orientation camp.

Unfortunately for Unogu, on October 26 of the same year, he was involved in a ghastly accident while on his way to Oron.

He said, “At Okossi, where I taught at the Comprehensive High School, there is no market. So it was customary for us all to go to Oron to get whatever we wanted.

Ex-corps Member Blames NYSC’s Negligence For Amputation

“On the day of the accident, I was headed for the market at Oron when the motorcycle I was on, collided with another.”

Although no life was lost, the victims were seriously injured. Unogu said he broke his leg and had to be rushed to a local private hospital by his fellow corps members.

Rejected by the hospital on the grounds that they were not equipped to handle his case, Unogu went to a local bone setter where he spent four days.

The corps members said although the NYSC authorities knew about the accident, he was left to seek healing from the traditionalists.

He said, “My Zonal Inspector came to visit me while I was still with the local bone setter but no arrangement was made to move me elsewhere. I had to call my dad to take me away for proper medical attention because I was in great pains.”

Unknown to Unogu, gangrene had set in. He was advised to have his leg amputated when his father took him to two different private hospitals at Owerri.

Horrified by the thought, father and son rejected the option. By the time they were told the same thing at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, Unogu had no choice but to agree.}p>{

“My right leg was amputated at the FMC. While I was recuperating, the state coordinator, Micheal Fagbemi, paid me a visit. The Zonal Inspector, Mr. Chukwu Kelechi, also came to visit; he gave me N3,000 and brought toiletries. They assured me that my case would be brought to the NYSC authorities at Abuja. That was the last I saw of them,” Unogu said.

A copy of the medical report from the FMC revealed that Unogu was brought to the hospital with right leg gangrene.

It said, “The above named corps member is our patient who was presented to us on the 18th November 2008 with right leg gangrene, following mismanaged fracture of three weeks duration. He was evaluated, admitted and had amputation of the gangrenous limb.”

The report was signed by the Chief Consultant Orthopaedic/Traumatology Surgeon, Dr. Asodike V.C.

Despite being aware of Unogu’s situation, the Akwa Ibom state NYSC allegedly did nothing to assist Unogu with his bills. Over the last four years, attempts to get the NYSC to fund the purchase of a prosthetic leg for Unogu had met a brick wall.

The London Prosthetic Center sent an estimate in response to Unogu’s enquiries in 2008, on the cost of a prosthetic leg. It was estimated at £4,000 excluding transport.

Unogu’s lawyer, Mr. Benjamin Odeh, told PUNCH Metro that copies of the correspondence with the prosthetic hospital had been attached to several letters sent to the NYSC Abuja office concerning Unogu.

“I met with the Assistant Director, Welfare, NYSC in 2009; all we have received ever since are assurances that something would be done. Eventually, I was told Unogu’s file couldn’t be traced either at Akwa Ibom or Abuja.”

Spokesperson for the NYSC, Mrs. Bosede Aderibigbe said, “I don’t have facts, I am away from Abuja. The Director, Corps Welfare is in the best position to speak.”

However, the Director Corps Welfare, Mr. Emmanuel Obi, said, “I am not in Abuja and most of the field officers who have to furnished me with the details of that case are all on a nationwide inspection tour. They will not be back to the office till next week. Until then, I will not be able to comment on this issue.”

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