A pregnant woman has choked as another coughed up blood after police officers threw tear-gas at them in Lagos.
The scene of the incident
A woman coughed up blood and collapsed, just as many people sustained injuries when officers attached to the Mobile Police (MOPOL) division of the Nigeria Police Force fired teargas canisters at residents of Ikorodu who came to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), SaharaReporters reports.
The incident occurred on Friday at the Ikorodu Local Government Area (LGA) office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC had earlier announced Friday as the deadline for the collection of PVCs. However, collection has subsequently been extended till Monday, February 11.
The order to teargas the residents was given by one officer, identified as Ifeanyi Ohuruzu.
Children, pregnant women, physically-challenged persons, among others were affected by the smoke from the teargas canisters.
Two people collapsed and were rushed to the hospital, while others sustained injuries.
A pregnant woman was one of those who developed a choking fit, while others were rushed away from the area.
Mrs Ademuwagun Olubunkola, who suffres from asthma, vomited blood during the teargas incident, spoke to SaharaReporters, saying: “What they did today was very bad, and thank God I didn’t die. In fact, I am not in the mood to talk right now. Speak with the man that saved me.”
Mr. Orisunmibare Babatola, the man who took care of some of those who sustained injuries, said there wasn't any violence to have warranted the policemen firing teargas canisters.
His words: “A mobile policeman took a drastic decision and all of a sudden, after the OP MESA left, my son was affected. They quickly rushed two babies to the hospital. Why did INEC ask us to come when they know our PVCs aren’t ready?”
When he was challenged by the residents on why he gave the order, Ohuruzu said: “There must be casualties in places like this."
The exercise continued after the incident; still, many residents are yet to get their PVCs.