Sign language interpreter stabbed days after elections was protecting girl from rapists

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A sign language interpreter who worked for Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the just concluded 2019 polls was stabbed while trying to save a girl from a gang of rapists.

Family members told TODAY NEWS AFRICA in the Nigerian capital Abuja that Peter Oyekale had just returned home from a long day at work last Tuesday March 19 when he heard loud screams from a girl under attack.

He rushed out of the house to help her, only to find out she was about being gang-raped by some adolescents in the community.

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The area, called Lugbe, is located along Airport Road Abuja.

Peter Oyekale at the hospital

His sin: he was able to clearly identify some of the attackers who also lived in the same community.

To his greatest surprise, one of the attackers came back the next day March 20, pretending to apologize.

He distracted Oyekale and stabbed him deep into the upper part of his belly, not just once, but twice, before he ran away.

Neighbors and Passersby quickly took him to a nearby hospital where he was rejected because he already had a ruptured intestine from the stab.

In Nigeria, doctors often require that victims of armed robbery attacks or those who have been badly shot or stabbed, produdce a police report, even under excruciating pain, before they are treated, fearing they might die in their care, and their angry, grieving relatives might come for them, and perhaps kill them.

In Nigeria, doctors often require that victims of armed robbery attacks or those who have been badly shot or stabbed, produdce a police report, even under excruciating pain, before they are treated, fearing they might die in their care, and their angry grieving relatives might come for them, and perhaps kill them.

Peter Oyekale during the 2019 general elections in Nigeria

After he was rejected from the first hospital, Oyekale, who was, luckily still alive but fast losing blood from the stab, was latter admitted into the Federal Medical Centre in Jabi where a team of doctors rushed him into the Theatre for an initial operation that lasted for over seven long hours to save his life.

His intestine was badly damaged from the stab.

His condition seems to be stable for now, but he is on a long road towards recovery as family members, friends and well-wishers, have not stopped visiting him, and hoping as well as praying for a full recovery.

Peter Oyekale during the 2019 general elections in Nigeria

Speaking to TODAY NEWS AFRICA, a relative expressed gratitude to God for sparing his life and thankful to all Nigerians for their concern.

The suspect was still at large at the time of writing this story.

. Reported from Abuja by Oladipupo Oni

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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