‘FG, NYSC killed my daughter’: Anguish over death of First Class graduate in NYSC camp • illuminaija
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    ‘FG, NYSC killed my daughter’: Anguish over death of First Class graduate in NYSC camp

    ‘FG, NYSC killed my daughter’: Anguish over death of First Class graduate in NYSC camp

    The story of Ifedolapo Oladepo, a 26-year-old corps member from Ila Orangun, in Osun State, who died a few days after arriving at the orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Kano State, has continued to elicit emotions. Her father, sister and a relation, who spoke to Saturday Tribune, bared their minds on the events that led up to her sudden death. Excerpts:

    They killed her through negligence —Mr Olawale Oladepo (father)

    Did your late daughter have any medical challenge?

    No. She was hale and hearty. She was always very healthy. She had no illness or any terminal disease.

    What does the family want to do regarding this unfortunate incident?

    I can’t really answer that now. This is because from all indications, she died because of the negligence of the NYSC. During the short period of her illness, we called her. My friend, who is a consultant doctor, called the corper doctor in charge of the camp clinic and the doctor said they gave her placebo.

    ‘FG, NYSC killed my daughter’: Anguish over death of First Class graduate in NYSC camp

    Her father

    Anybody given placebo would just be resting in bed, which means they did not give her anything until the situation got out of hand. Definitely, they killed her through negligence. They did not attend to her. Some of her colleagues that spoke to us said my daughter complained to the people that asked her to partake in the parade that she was sick but they did not listen to her. They said she wanted to dodge the parade.

    How would you describe Dolapo?

    She was cool and easy going. She was very quiet.

    What do you want to tell the Federal Government?

    They ought to ensure that all the health facilities in their various camps are well equipped for emergency situations. Had it been this happened in the South-West, South-East or South-South, they would not treat the matter like that because there are well equipped hospitals here. They take care of the corpers very well in the South. I wonder why the situation is different in the North.

    FG, NYSC killed my sister —Mrs Abimbola Oladepo-Olayode (elder sister)

    I am Dolapo’s elder sister. She went to NYSC camp in Kano Thursday last week hale and hearty. She called me two days after saying that the place was stressful and there was no light to charge her phones. We joked and that was all until Monday morning when she sent me a text that read: ‘Hello, sister. Have you seen the pictures I sent to you?’ I checked my phone and I downloaded the pictures and used one of them as my display picture. Soon afterwards, she sent another message that she was having malaria. I asked if she took any anti-malaria drugs along and she said no. Then, I told her to go to the NYSC clinic. She told me that they would not allow her; that they insisted she went to the parade ground. I asked her if there was any Yoruba person around that I could talk to. She said yes and I spoke to a friend of hers at the camp. The friend followed her to the clinic.

    ‘FG, NYSC killed my daughter’: Anguish over death of First Class graduate in NYSC camp

    Oladepo Olaode (sister)

    Dolapo was holding a plastic bottle of a soft drink in her hands. She explained to them at the clinic that she was not feeling well but everybody told her that she was just pretending because she did not want to go for the parade. So, she called me that they were not attending to her and I said that she should give the phone to any of the medical personnel but she said nobody was ready to speak with me. I said I was a registered accident emergency nurse and that she should give the phone to a nurse on duty so he or she would know that I was a colleague. A male nurse took the phone and told me that she was complaining of pains and her temperature was a little bit high. I begged him to treat my sister and he assured me that everything was under control.

    ‘FG, NYSC killed my daughter’: Anguish over death of First Class graduate in NYSC camp

    Dolapo later called one of our uncles, Dr Ilupeju Adeola, who works at the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, and told him that she could not communicate with me because my phone was switched off. She told Dr Ilupeju that she was not feeling fine. Dr Ilupeju said Dolapo should give the phone to the doctor there since he (Ilupeju) is a consultant at LAUTECH. The doctor who took the phone told Dr Ilupeju that Dolapo was only pretending as nothing was wrong with her; that she only did not want to join parade. The doctor said they would give her placebo. Immediately she was given placebo, she called me because she knew what placebo was. This is my 11th year in the nursing profession. Dr Ilupeju wondered why they would give her placebo when she was complaining of pains and high temperature. Dr Ilupeju said they should give her pain reliever and not placebo.

    After about 15 minutes, she called me again and said the doctor had given her another drug but she, still, was not feeling fine. She said immediately they gave her the drug, she started seeing rashes on her body and all her fingers and toes were turning black. She took photographs of herself and sent the pictures to my phone. I called her and told her to give the phone to the doctor. Immediately the doctor saw the rashes on her body, he said he did not want to talk to anybody again. He asked if we would come over to Kano and take care of her ourselves. They later sent all her friends out of the clinic and left her on the couch with a reaction clearly showing on her body. I heard the doctor say they should give her hydrocortisone. They set lines and gave her hydrocortisone. She snapped herself again with IV lines on her hands and sent the pictures to me. There was blood under her skin. I told them that it was a case they could not handle. I said they should take her to the teaching hospital and the doctor said we should give them one hour. That was 12.00 pm. After checking her and there was no improvement, they promised to take her to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano. About 15 minutes later, she called me and said her tongue was twisting and she was already having a slurred speech. I told her to give the phone to her friend. Her friend told me that they had taken her to another side of the ward and there was nobody with her.

    ‘FG, NYSC killed my daughter’: Anguish over death of First Class graduate in NYSC camp

    I said they should take her to the teaching hospital but they refused until 4.45 p.m. when her friend hinted me that they had taken her in an ambulance to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. I said that was okay. The corper nurse that followed them, a Yoruba lady, told me that they took her to Gwarzo General Hospital. At the hospital, there was nothing to resuscitate her. They said we just could not interfere because Dolapo, being a corp member, was a Federal Government’s child. The Federal Government has sent her to her early grave. At Gwarzo Gemeral Hospital, there was no doctor on duty. The only nurse on duty was the one going to the pharmacy to buy cetrasone. I took a night bus from Ibadan down to Kano. At 3.00 a.m., they called me that she had died. They could not resuscitate a dying patient – no oxygen cylinder, no resuscitator. The NYSC, the Federal Government have sent my sister to her early grave. She convocated and made a First Class. The media were not there. Now everybody is here. The NYSC ambulance that brought her corpse was even rushing to go back to Kano. The doctor that refused to take my calls, I will do everything to make sure they revoke his licence. I recorded all the conversations. You are not worth handling a life.

    Ifedolapo’s 26 years of life was full of struggles but she was going to make it. She wanted to start her master’s degree. They refused to take her to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital because they wanted to hide all the incriminating evidence. If they had taken her there, they knew that they would be queried. For now, the grief is enough for us. I hope the Federal Government is listening: they just killed my sister.

    The sorrow is too much for her mother to bear —Oladele Bamiji, relation

    Who are you to the deceased corps member?

    I am a relative, a member of her church. I am like a brother to her.

    Some people are accusing the NYSC of complicity in her death. What do you think actually happened?

    That is what we heard. When Dolapo got to Kano, she was very tired after travelling for 16 hours on the road. She was fatigued. Unfortunately, we were told, she was forced out the next morning to partake in the military drills. This complicated the fatigue. She complained that she could not withstand the rigours but she was ignored. The officials said she was pretending and accused her of being lazy.

    ‘FG, NYSC killed my daughter’: Anguish over death of First Class graduate in NYSC camp

    Bamiji, relation

    They said her complaint was just a ploy to evade the drills. Instead of giving her attention, they ignored her. Soon, complications set in and before they realised it, they could not handle the ensuing emergency and the camp clinic was so badly equipped such that there was virtually nothing on ground to address such a situation. One thing led to another because there were no capable medical personnel on ground. They could not transfer her to a bigger hospital like the Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital in Kano. They retained her there and she was only being attended to by auxiliary nurses and she died eventually.

    Did she have any medical challenge or disease?

    Before she left home, she did not have any health challenge. She was hale and hearty. She was okay, enthusiastic about where she was going to serve. She read Transport Management at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, and she made a First Class. You know how protracted the programmes at that university have been. She passed through the rigours and still made a First Class. She was mobilised for the mandatory national service but, unfortunately, she met a sad end.

    With all that has happened, what do you want to say to the government?

    There was absolute negligence on the part of the NYSC. What I want to say is that if the NYSC cannot be scrapped outright, the scheme should be restructured such that graduates are able to serve in their states of origin or neighbouring states. If possible, all these military drills should be abolished. These graduates are not being recruited into the army, so I don’t see the essence of the drills. Dolapo was a fragile girl with a skinny stature. She could not withstand those kinds of drills. It is either they scrap NYSC or they restructure it. To me, it has outlived its usefulness.

    What does the family want to do now?

    The family is really down now. The mother has been in and out of coma for the past three days. Doctors are trying to rescue her. She was sedated but she could not sleep. But for God, we would have had a double tragedy on our hands.

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