The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Uchenna Anyanwu, denied the alleged deaths of the survivors, saying they “are alive and in stable condition’’.
Uchenna told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba on Friday that contrary to rumours, “ they all are very stable and responding to treatment. You can see for yourself.’’
“I heard that all of the victims of the shootings of last Friday who were brought into my hospital are all dead. Honestly, none of them is dead.
“Two days ago, I brought out the pellet lodged under the tongue of the last victim that was brought to me. He too is stable. When you people came here on Saturday he was not talking but now he is talking.
“The rumour that the victims are Biafran activists is also false. The young men are all shoemakers from Powerline Ariaria, going about their businesses when the bullets hit them. None of them claims to be an activist,” he said.
Anyanwu, however, reminded the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and the member representing Aba North at the House of Representatives, Mr Ossy Prestige of their promise to foot the victims’ bills.
He said that the patients were likely to be discharged next week.
A victim, Mr Cletus Uchenna, a shoemaker and father of three, told NAN that he was in his shop on Friday when he heard that NDLEA personnel visited their area to arrest a drug kingpin by the name of `Martin Luther King’.
“As we were working, we also heard that the NDLEA people had killed somebody at Powerline. So we went out to see what was happening. When I got there the NDLEA people were leaving the place but I saw the person they killed whom we call John “Three-Sixteen”.
“After I returned, I saw a growing crowd that were about to do a demonstration, so I closed my shop so that I could go home safely because I have sensed that there might be trouble.
“I was moving when I saw some military men in front of us who had started pursuing some persons in front of us.
“As I turned to run away, one military man shot me on the leg that was how I saw myself in the hospital, ” he said.
Another patient, Mr Anthony Chinedu, hit on the jaw by a bullet said that he was grateful to God for saving his life and to Anyanwu for admitting him when four hospitals had earlier rejected him.
Mr Omeje Peter, another victim said that he was hit on his left leg by a stray bullet while standing in front of his principal’s shop.
NAN reports that police operatives have taken statements from the patients on their sickbed. (NAN)