A Lagos-based wig maker, Udoh Rejoice, may undergo surgery after she was injured in the eye during an attack on a bus by an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.
Our correspondent learnt that the official, identified as Kehinde Sonoiki, smashed the mirror of the bus, which Rejoice boarded on Wednesday, over a traffic offence.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro on Thursday, the 22-year-old said the incident, which occurred around 6pm, left her with a bleeding eye.
“I was on a commercial bus and there was traffic around the Jibowu area. The driver was caught speeding and the LASTMA officer became angry. We also shouted at the driver. But before we knew it, we saw splattered glass everywhere in the bus,” she added.
According to Rejoice, Sonoiki hit the driver’s mirror with a stick and the glass splattered into her left eye.
She said, “I was sitting at the back of the driver. Blood just started gushing out of my eyes.”
The female passenger told our correspondent that she was taken to a nearby clinic from where she was referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, Surulere.
I was rushed to a nearby hospital but they rejected me. They gave me pain reliever and referred me to LUTH. When we got to LUTH, the nurse on duty said she could not handle it until her boss was around. I was checked and told to thank God because it didn’t touch my cornea. I would have gone blind,” she added.
Rejoice disclosed that based on the report from the hospital, she might undergo surgery.
She said, “They washed the particles off and today (Thursday), I went there and they said I might have to undergo surgery. They said I should be on eye-drop until Monday when they would finally decide.”
Asked if she had informed the LASTMA authorities, Rejoice said she spoke to Sonoiki on Thursday, but he invited her to Jibowu, where the incident occurred.
“I called the LASTMA (officer). I told him about the bills and all. He asked when I would be coming to Yaba or Jibowu for me to meet him. I told him I am the victim here. I’m in pain. Out of anger, I had to cut the call because he was emphasising on me coming to Yaba,” she said.
Expressing her current predicament, the young lady said she was straining the injured eye for good sight.
PUNCH Metro reached out to Sonoiki on the telephone, but he hung up immediately our correspondent told him the purpose of the call.
The spokesperson for LASTMA, Olumide Filade, who confirmed the incident, said the bus driver broke a traffic law forbidding one-way driving.
He said, “The woman (Rejoice) was in the minibus. He (driver) took one way through Jibowu from Herbert Macaulay Way. The officer that was involved broke the side mirror inadvertently.”
Filade explained that while the bus driver evaded arrest, Rejoice alighted from the bus and was taken to a nearby hospital by the officer.
Asked if any disciplinary action would be taken against the officer, FIlade said the case was under investigation.
“I can’t say such and such disciplinary measures will be taken, but the provost is on the case,” he added.
On the lady’s medical care, the spokesman said another officer was speaking with her to know her condition.
He said, “The management will see that through.”