Okada rider shot by police recuperates in hospital, narrates ordeal

Mr Adigun Atilola

Mr. Atilola was shot while trying to help an emergency worker.
As he lay on the hospital bed, Adigun Atilola’s bandaged feet are immobile, but lines of pain are etched on his lean face. Two weeks ago, he was moved out of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit into the Surgical Ward.

Mr. Atilola, a commercial motorcyclist (popularly known as Okada rider), was shot at Ilupeju, Lagos, by a police officer who was enforcing the state government’s restriction on commercial motorcyclists.

The incident, which triggered an outrage, led to youth in the area as well as other commercial motorcyclists setting up bonfires and blocking vehicular traffic for hours.

This week, the 27-year-old is scheduled to have another X-ray on his legs.

“My legs have since been affected as they are both immovable and it appears to be lifeless as I don’t have a feeling that I have legs anymore,” Mr. Atilola said.

The Okada rider said that he was trying to help save a life when his own life was almost taken.

“I was in Mushin when this doctor who was putting on a white, long coat and holding a stethoscope approached me and begged me to take him to Ilupeju,” said Mr. Atilola.

“I refused but he kept on begging me to help save the life of the sick person he was going to attend to,” he added.

The doctor, who had paid him a visit at the hospital days ago, told Mr. Atilola that he would explain the “emergency situation” to any law enforcement officer they meet.

So the Okada rider agreed.

As they approached Teju Junction, by Ilupeju bypass, the traffic light turned red.

The Okada rider and his medical doctor passenger stopped.

“As soon as soon as I switched on the motorcycle ignition, a policeman who came out of hiding held my motorcycle from the back,” Mr. Atilola said. “I immediately turned off the ignition but unfortunately another one who also emerged from hiding came close to me and before I knew it I was shot at close range.”

After his shooting and amidst the chaos that ensued, Mr. Atilola’s younger brother, Sikiru, was among those arrested by the police. After repeated appeals, he was freed by the police; he immediately returned to their native Iseyin, Oyo State.

The police are yet to begin prosecution of the cop that shot Mr. Atilola. The victim is lucky to have survived. PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the police are yet to prosecute and in some cases identify officers who shot and killed other innocent Nigerians across Nigeria.

At the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, where he had been since he was shot, Mr. Atilola said that he had been receiving free treatment.

On a recent visit, his wife, Tawa, readjusted the drip dangling above the bed and left the room to purchase an item.

Her mother-in-law, Taye, helped her nurse her two month old baby.

Mr. Atilola said that he “strongly wishes” that the police officer who shot him and “caused me this disability” is made to face the law.

“I have not passed out excreta since November 6th, I only fart. They passed pipe to my male organ and that is how I pass urine out of my system,” he said.

“Since I have been in this world, I never experienced this kind of thing before. But I thank God I’m alive today.”

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