IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, the Inspector-General of Police, has issued a heartfelt plea to healthcare practitioners across Nigeria. His impassioned message encourages medical professionals to extend swift and compassionate care to victims of gunshot wounds and accidents, with or without the presence of a formal police report.
In a statement relayed by ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer, the IGP emphasized the necessity of upholding the Gunshot Victims Act of 2017 in its entirety. He noted that this directive comes in response to the relentless calls from concerned citizens and the wider community who have decried the tragic loss of lives stemming from the neglect of individuals affected by gunshot injuries and accidents.
Egbetokun underlined, “This directive aligns with the full enforcement of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act of 2017, which mandates that all healthcare providers prioritize the immediate care and stabilization of such patients, recognizing the critical importance of timely medical attention in saving lives.”
He went on to emphasize the ethical duty of medical practitioners to honor the sanctity of life and deliver life-saving treatment to those in dire need. He mentioned the goal of bridging the gap between law enforcement agencies and healthcare providers to facilitate a more efficient and compassionate response to emergency situations while still ensuring that necessary law enforcement assessments can occur concurrently.
The Inspector-General urged all medical institutions and professionals to adhere to these directives and maintain a high level of cooperation with law enforcement agencies whenever the need arises.
Furthermore, the IGP announced the readiness of the police force to collaborate with relevant government entities, particularly the Federal Ministry of Health, in the full enforcement of the Act’s provisions. This collaborative effort aims to ensure that the lives of those affected by gunshots and accidents are safeguarded through immediate and effective medical attention, thereby reducing the impact of such incidents on society.