Emergency responders have confirmed that 11 persons comprising one female Plateau delegate and five other members of the All Progressives Congress collapsed at the just concluded presidential primary.
The PUNCH gathered that the incidents attracted the attention of security operatives and sympathisers, who often carried them to waiting ambulances positioned at strategic locations at the venue.
Some of the victims allegedly showed strains of burnout, fatigue, and chronic health challenges like seizures and had to be ferried out in ambulances with speed for further treatment.
While approaching the ‘Disaster Management Rescue’ team stationed at the convention ground by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, our correspondent saw another patient being driven out in an ambulance on Wednesday.
A health official, who identified himself only as Ade, confirmed that the victim came down with fatigue and couldn’t walk.
He, however, couldn’t tell whether he was a delegate or one of the party supporters who turned out in large numbers for the presidential primary.
“He is just one of those who have been ferried away from the Eagle Square for urgent treatment. Between yesterday and today, we have conveyed one female delegate from Plateau and three elderly men who I suspected must be party supporters from here.
“The lady in question collapsed and was brought here in that state, so we had to drive her out in the ambulance around 6.12 pm. I may not know much about others but I can confirm she was a delegate. Those were the four cases we have so far attended to.
“But I learnt the FCT Disaster Management guys also have two similar cases like that. Their ambulance drove out one yesterday and they recorded another case today.
“They are not here, I would have asked you to talk to them. Though we are from the same NSCDC, they work with the national headquarters.
“When you combine the number of their patients with ours, that should give us in all. Except for this last person we took, the others are okay now. I heard they have even been discharged,” he said.
Asked about their ailments or diagnoses, the health official said that some were patients placed on ethical drugs, who forgot to come with their medication while others were cases of burnout.
“Few said they forgot to bring their drugs, some told us they didn’t remember to take them before coming to the convention. One can’t really blame them because they are aging.
“All the people I have attended to so far are in their 50s and it is obvious they have not attended an event where they will remain standing for over two hours without slumping,” he said.
Ade also directed the reporter to another ambulance painted in the colours of the Federal Road Safety Corp close to the entrance of the Eagle Square.
When our correspondent got to the ambulance, the driver was not around.
APC primary: It’s time to reconcile, Akeredolu congratulates Tinubu
However, one of the officials, who craved anonymity, confirmed that they have had the privilege of taking two party members for treatment.
“Those were the ones I know of. I can’t say if they attended to more patients after I left between last night and now,” he said.
He, however, refused to disclose their ailments.
Squatting in another location, a team of young doctors wearing customised vests with the emblems of Federal Medical Centre, told our reporter that they were at the convention ground to attend to emergencies.
One of the medical team, who preferred not to be mentioned, told The PUNCH that except for three unusual cases where some patients slumped without anybody touching them, they treated a number of emergencies ranging from bleeding to bruises, especially during the stampede that occurred at the venue.
“Those three cases were people with hyperglycemia, seizure disorder, and hypoglycemia. So they have to be rushed from here to the main clinic because they are emergencies,” he said.
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which blood sugar (glucose) level is lower than the standard range while Hyperglycemia, on the other hand, is when blood sugar is high.
Apart from the FMC officials, our correspondent put a call through to the National Hospital in Abuja to find out if more people were brought from the presidential primary for medical attention.
But the NHA Spokesman, Tayo Haastrup, confirmed that no patient was brought to their facility.
“I have asked around. Nobody was brought here from the APC convention,” he said.
The development was coming in the wake of a similar case where a Jigawa delegate, identified as Malam Isah Baba-Buji, slumped and died while taking his breakfast before preparing for the party’s convention at Eagle Square.
Baba-Buji was the APC vice chairman for Jigawa South-West.
The Jigawa APC Spokesman, Bashir Kundu, who confirmed Baba-Buji‘s death, added that the remains of the deceased had been taken back home for burial in accordance with Islamic rites.