When Muktar Shuaibu, one of the victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack in the West African nation of Nigeria, was shot by terrorists at the train station, surviving beyond a day was not part of the thoughts that run through his mind.
His feeling of hopelessness and despair further deepened after the doctor engaged by the terrorists failed to recover the bullet in his stomach after inserting his fingers and a pair of scissors into his wounds.
Eighty-five days after his release from captivity, he still has the bullet stuck in an unknown part of his body and believes he is alive because of divine intervention.
“When the doctor in the employ of the terrorists came, he immediately put on his hand gloves. He pushed his fingers through the bullet holes into my stomach and started touching my intestines looking for the bullet,” Shuaibu told reporters in Nigeria.
He recounted that the doctor later inserted scissors into the wounds with the hope of tracing the bullet, but, he was unsuccessful.
“I burst out in a loud cry during this procedure. I was in so much pain,” he added.
Shuaibu said the doctor left him to die after his failure to bring him relief, adding that “he just put bandage round my stomach and walked out of the room.” He also owes his survival to a hostage doctor who saved him when he realized he had sustained the gun wounds.
“When he saw blood oozing from my ribs, he asked me to lie down. He removed my clothes and looked for a piece of cloth to cover the spot where I was shot,” he said.
He said the hostage doctor attended to him at every turn of his dilemma of having a bullet stuck within him.
Shaibu was part of the 61 victims who were kidnapped in the Abuja-Kaduna attack on March 28. According to him, even though he is alive, he would require proper medical care to get the bullet that perforated his stomach out.
He observed that despite the dire situation he found himself in, he mustered the courage to participate in the negotiation that saw the release of five hostages this week.
“The past four months has been one of the worst nightmares of my life. There was no rest of mind because you had guns pointed at you every turn you make,” he recounted.
According to him, what breaks his spirit is the traumatic experience children and women including the aged are subjected to. He wants the federal government of Nigeria to double its efforts to rescue the remaining victims in captivity.