“I want to go home!”, cried Nigerian national, Saubana Bello.
Bello entered Trinidad in November 2005 illegally from Venezuela, after the economic crisis created uncertainty.
He was seeking refuge and Trinidad appeared to be the next option to look for a better life.
“I arrived on November 5th with a friend, we looked for work and we found work at a security firm. I started immediately however on November 11th, I was stationed alone at business in Maraval”, he said, “Whilst on duty there was a robbery at a building to the front I hid but the bandits saw me and ran and they pursued me, they shot at me and I was hit six times”.
Bello said that he was shot in the head, upper and lower back and the leg.
“I was drenched in blood, I realised my feet and arms could not move, the last thing I remember was saying the word hospital to the those who came to my assistance, he said.
Bello woke up in the hospital three days after the incident at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
“I was in excruciating pain, the company I worked for came to visit me and when their insurance agent was informed I was an illegal immigrant, that was the last time, he explained, I was lying there at the hospital and my life was shattered when doctors told me that I am paralysed from the waist down.”
Bello spent two years at the hospital when he was discharged he had nowhere to go and no one to receive him.
He was then placed at the Senior Citizens home which was funded by the Ministry of Social Development.
However, this arrangement was cancelled in 2017 and now he owes the home in Chagunas money for the two years he spent in its care.
Bello said he is grateful to Trinidad and Tobago for the help he has received thus far.
He added he received two life-threatening surgeries courtesy the government and Health Ministry. Bello thanked the churches and many for assisting him during the difficult time he spent here. But now Bello said he wants to go home.
“My time here is done, I came to Trinidad in the search of a better life and with not being able to walk, it is time for me to go home”, he lamented.
Bello is a father of one.
“My son is now 17 years old and my wife is waiting on me to come home but either of us has the funding to help me”, he said, “I have contacted friends and family home, it’s extremely difficult to raise the funds, life is hard in Nigeria.”
Bello has also reached out to the Nigerian Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago.
“The embassy knows of my case, they say am not the only one wanting their assistance to return home and they are faced with limited funding’, he noted.
With one of the six bullets lodged in Mr Bello’s back, he hopes that he can see his family soon and continue living his life in Nigeria.
Reporter: Otto Carrington