A police officer, Daniel Danan, has narrated how he lost his right eye to youth restiveness following the May 5, 2012 bomb explosion at the St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church in Jos.
Mr. Danan, who is an Assistant Superintendent of Police, narrated his story on Thursday at a workshop on early warning response mechanism, mediation and conflict transformation for security agencies, civil societies and the media, organized by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.
“We were on the usual Sunday morning patrol show of force when I had a distress call to my official mobile phone that a bomb explosion had occurred at the St. Finber’s Catholic Church,” he said. “I mobilised my men to the scene. On getting there, the atmosphere was already charged. Youth were angry and were throwing stones at security operatives. I was unfortunate and one of the stones hit my right eye. The youth still went after me and struggled to collect my rifle, but I resisted.”
He said the eye was operated on and eventually removed.
“The doctor advised that if the eye was not removed, it might affect the other, and I may become blind completely,” he said. “I was treated at the Plateau Specialist Hospital. But still, today, I still feel pains in it. I have been on medication since then, but at the moment, I only attend monthly medical eye check at the Plateau Special Hospital. I have spent about N400, 000 for medication. Although the police command, through my CSO, assisted greatly with finance through donations from my colleagues in the office.”
He blamed the youth for his injury.
“I was not the cause of the bomb,” he said. “I was there on a rescue mission. We were trying to rescue those that were injured for medical attention and I had to pay for it. However, it will not deter me from doing my job; that is why I’m still in the service.”
The Peace Development Advisor officer of the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, Takwa Zebulon, said the UNDP was worried over the prolonged crisis in Plateau State.
“We cannot fold our arms and watch idly the scourge of violent conflicts taking such a devastating toll in our communities,” he said.
According to Mr. Takwa, the high rate of poverty and unemployment among the people had degenerated into continuous violence.
“Violence in many parts of Nigeria, including Jos, does not just have security implications, it affects all areas. Countless lives have been lost, families have lost their breadwinners, entire communities have been displaced, while schools, health centres and community infrastructure have been destroyed,” he said.