Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Greatness Olorunfemi And Why Abuja Needs A New Public Transportation System 

 By Temitope Atiba

In the heart of Abuja, Citizen Greatness Olorunfemi embarked on a taxi ride after a long day’s work, unaware of the fateful journey that awaited her. This incident along the notorious “one chance” route highlights a pressing policy issue that demands our immediate attention.

Little did Citizen Greatness know that this would be her final voyage, a journey from which she would never return. She fell victim to a harrowing attack by armed robbers operating in the infamous “one chance” vehicle. She was robbed, mercilessly assaulted, ejected from a moving vehicle, and tragically run over by her assailants.

Compassionate bystanders promptly rushed Citizen Greatness to the Maitama District Hospital, a government healthcare facility administered by the Federal Capital Territory Authority. According to those who aided her, she was still alive upon her arrival at the hospital. It is at this point that our collective accountability comes into question.

By now, many of us have read or heard about the disturbing display of heartlessness, cruelty, and inhumanity exhibited by the staff and management of Maitama District Hospital when they callously refused to provide medical care or admit the wounded and dying Citizen Greatness Olorunfemi. We witnessed, with horror and dismay, as the hospital’s personnel callously shut their doors to the dying woman and her compassionate helpers.

One would expect that a hospital should be a place of refuge, a sanctuary where the highest levels of compassion and humanity are on display. Hospitals should epitomize our most empathetic qualities, where, in addition to their medical duties, patients are enveloped in love and care. But, regrettably, this promising young lady was left to perish as the last remnants of life slipped away from her pained body.

We are all responsible for the loss of Citizen Greatness, not only the hospital staff and her attackers, but each and every one of us as Nigerians bears a share of this responsibility. From the Honourable Minister of the FCT and the bureaucracy overseeing the territory, to every citizen, we must reflect upon our collective guilt. We must as a people do better, we must show a higher level of compassion towards one another, being a brothers keeper must indeed begin to matter. Being a “fellow Nigerian” must count for something.

Having resided in the FCT for nearly a decade now, it’s become pertinent that FCT Minister urgently addresses the poor public transportation systems that makes many fall prey to these “one chance” criminals.

The incident involving Citizen Greatness Olorunfemi underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reforms in the public transportation system of the Federal Capital Territory. A safer and more efficient system should be a top priority to protect the lives of citizens like Greatness.

To prevent situations like this in the future, I recommend the establishment of clear protocols for dealing with emergency cases and those declared “brought in dead” in healthcare facilities. Such protocols should ensure that every life is treated with respect and dignity.

In cases of negligence, we must institute a mechanism that allows for swift accountability. Personnel involved in such incidents should be suspended pending thorough investigations. Accountability should be a cornerstone of our healthcare and public service systems.

Additionally, It is incumbent upon us as a nation to promote a nationwide campaign for a culture of compassion and responsibility among citizens. Being a “fellow Nigerian” must carry with it a sense of responsibility toward one another.

This tragic incident is not just an isolated event but a reflection of broader challenges facing our society. It’s a stark reminder that the lives of ordinary Nigerians must matter more.

I appreciate the interventions and investigations initiated by the Nigerian Police Force, the Senate, the FCCPC, and the Ministry of FCT. However, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that justice is not only served but also visibly and unquestionably done. Greatness Olorunfemi deserves justice, and this justice is not just for her but for all of us who are left behind.

The time has come for us to demand systemic change, and these policy recommendations are the first steps towards building a safer and more compassionate society.

Evidently, we require a national reorientation. If we, as a nation, aspire to a higher quality of life, it must commence with how we hold ourselves accountable as citizens, and subsequently, how we demand accountability from our government.

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