In the aftermath of the deaths of innocents at the Lekki toll gate, the #EndSARS protests continue to drag on across the country, even in the face of curfews enforced in various states. The past few days have shown that the safety of the lives of those protesting on the streets is not guaranteed – not even by those expected to defend them.

As we saw from social media reports at the Lekki toll gate, some protesters were unfortunately on the receiving end of gunfire from soldiers stationed at the Lekki Toll Gate, with several dying on the street, and others giving up the ghost later. Some others were fortunate enough to receive subsequent medical attention.

This sad incident just goes to show the danger faced by the protesters, who want nothing more than to ensure that they achieve the objective of the #EndSARS struggle; that their collective voice is heard. It’s a struggle that has already seen some pay needlessly – unlike these youths – with their lives.

Whether intentional or not, whether within a crowd, or isolated, whether it was a stray bullet or not, some youths have had to make the ultimate sacrifice – whether they were prepared to or not.

Who knows whether you reading this article might see someone get hit by a bullet, as you join thousands of youths in support of the #EndSARS movement?

We do pray and hope that that doesn’t happen; but again, we can never know. Those youths who have died in Ogbomosho and in other areas, did not have the slightest idea that the day they died would be their last.

Those who lost their lives among the protesters at the Lekki toll gate had no premonition that that fateful night would be their last on this earth. And even for those not in the midst of protesters in crowded areas, it’s not like their chances are much better.

If someone had told Jimoh Isiaq that he would be slain by a stray bullet, far away from any crowds, it’s doubtful whether he would have believed the person. But he did get slain by a stray bullet.

So, the possibility of death at this time, especially by a stray bullet, is as real as it gets, and the likelihood of getting shot especially in crowds only increases.

A bullet may or may not hit you, but it may hit someone close to you; and in some cases, the victim may not die immediately. The bullet may not be what kills the person. Other factors come into play, like loss of blood.

Don’t be deceived by what you see in the movies or on TV shows; even if the bullet does not hit any vital organs, a single shot in the leg or arm is enough to make the victim bleed to death.

Before first aid arrives, here’s how you can help a victim of a gunshot wound:

–  Don’t pull out the bullet. It now acts as a plug inside the body of the victim; so, any haphazard attempt to pull out the bullet in the victim’s body may lead to more loss of blood, which could result in death for the victim.

–  You first need to try and stop the bleeding. Apply manual pressure on the wound to prevent more blood loss; use your hands, cloth, etc. and press directly against the wound.

–  Look for any exit wounds (of the bullet), as well as entry wounds, in the victim’s body, and apply pressure there try to stop the bleeding.

–  Don’t give the victim water, even if the wounded person cries out for it. The reason is because the victim is being sustained by the blood in their body, which they are losing at that point; water causes dilution of the blood, and the victim could lose consciousness and die on the spot.

–  Don’t move the victim yet, in case the bullet hit vital areas in the stomach or other essential internal organs in their body, before first aid arrives.

– Try to ensure the victim remains conscious. Reassure them, tell them they’ll be okay, assure them that help is on the way. Encourage them verbally to fight for their life. If you don’t challenge them to stay strong, they may not challenge themselves.

These youths you see here, as shown during the visit of the Lagos State governor to the hospital where they being treated, are not in the best of shape; but at least they were more fortunate to make it in time to the hospital than those who were alive in the morning with them, but sadly, were gone by nightfall.

At least they survived the horrors of the slaughter at the Lekki toll gate, and are alive like the rest of us. They owe their lives to the people who were on ground to ensure that they remained alive until help came for them. Others were not so lucky.

In the event that someone close to you gets shot, take these steps to increase their chances of survival, so that, like these youths who survived, they may survive too.

This struggle will be continued only by those that fight and run away, so that they live to fight another day. If the possibility of being hit by a bullet increases, endeavor to preserve your life so that you can continue with the Struggle.

Dead Men don’t fight!

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