By Charly Agwam – Bauchi
A middle-aged Bauchi man and a father of four, Yusuf Haladu, who lost one of his hands after an alleged encounter with a police unit, Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Bauchi is calling for public support to enable him to meet up with his fatherly role of providing for his family.
Haladu told Vanguard how he left his house on a fateful Sunday morning three months ago in search of his daily bread on his motorcycle when he suddenly felt something hit him from the back which made him bled profusely and lost consciousness.
He said that he was helped to the hospital by some good samaritans who were returning from church service and spent three months receiving treatment at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH) where, eventually, his hand was amputated.
“On that fateful Sunday, I came out of my house around 11 am in Baraya quarters Bauchi to look for what my family will eat. I was going to where I was working because I am a labourer. On my way there, I picked up a stranded woman who was going the same way I was headed at Angwan Borehole, Yelwa.
“Suddenly, I felt something hit me from behind, which I later discovered was a police van belonging to the Rapid Response Squad of the Nigeria Police, Bauchi. A viral video taken by a good samaritan showed everything that happened that day.
“Because of the force we felt from behind, I fell down with the woman. When the policemen saw that I was unconscious, they drove away thinking I was dead. Thankfully, some good Samaritans who were going home after church service saw what happened and took us to Yelwa Clinic for treatment.
“The woman’s case wasn’t as serious as mine because I was bleeding seriously which was why they referred only me to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH).
“While I was at ATBUTH, they tried to treat my wounds for three months but the wound on my right hand was getting worse so the doctor handling my case advised that it should be amputated before it affects other organs of my body.
“My relatives rallied around our neighbours and friends and were able to raise N70,000 for the amputation. At a point, they sold my bike to offset my medical bills of almost N200,000. Later, a representative from the Bauchi State government came to see me and told us that the governor will come to see me that night but he never came.
“I have four children and a wife that look up to me for everything, I feel really sad that I am now helpless. I am begging Nigerians to support me in whatever way they can. They can reach my brother, Umar Khalid on 08030492962,” he continued. “I am a tiler and I am ready to re-learn tiling with one hand to fend for my children.”
Corroborating Haladu’s story, Managing Director of Prison Inmates Development Initiative (PIDI-Nigeria), Illiya Mbami said his organisation and the National Human Right Council (NHRC) have written to the government of Bauchi State for intervention but it hasn’t yielded any results.
According to him, “Yes, I remember the young man who lost his hand after his encounter with Babayola boys (RRS). We went to the hospital to the hospital to visit him throughout his three months of treatment. We’ve not written to the police yet, but we will.”
However, when Vanguard contacted the Police Public Relations Officer of the Command, Ahmed Wakil, said he was yet to receive any petition concerning the matter.
Several months ago, Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, as a result of the spike in a COVID-19 number of COVID-19 cases in his state banned commercial motorcycle riders from operating in Bauchi but Haladu who believes he was assaulted because he was riding a bike, stressed that he was on his bike to his place of work when the incident occurred.