Ebola Virus: How Prepared Is Nigeria?

Ebola Virus: How Prepared Is Nigeria?

  • Disease claims 110 lives in Africa
  • About 178 infected in Guinea and Liberia


By Odimegwu Onwumere


After a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja in April, the Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Labaran Maku declared that there had not been any testified case of Ebola Virus outbreak in Nigeria. This was a follow-up to the information the honourable minister said that the Federal Ministry of Health briefed the FEC on the believed outburst of Ebola Virus in Nigeria.


“The FEC was briefed by the Federal Ministry of Health on the alleged outbreak of Ebola virus in Nigeria. FEC was informed that the health ministry expert checked out the reports of purported outbreak of the disease and found none to be true,” Maku had said.


Continuing, Maku reassured that the health ministry was ever ready to control the virus in the dawn of an outbreak in the country. Maku counselled that, “Citizens are reassured that there is no Ebola fever in the country and all the checks so far undertaken declare clearly that we don’t have it. The ministry has assured that should there be anything like that within our boundary it will be quickly tackled.”

ebola virus

Nigerians were warned to always be concerned about their health statuses. The Ministry of Health had also admonished those citizens with symptoms such as high fever, headache, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea and bleeding to report to the health authorities.


The warning was on-the-cards for Nigerian citizens who had travelled to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia believed to be countries that have been dealt with by the syndrome.


Health professionals around the world are worried over the disorganized medical infrastructure to deal with the epidemic, which according to the World Health Organisation, WHO, is novel to western Africa. It is believed that the virus had claimed over two-thirds of the infected patients in the areas that the bug had been noticed.


According to a report by WHO, about 110 people had seemingly died from the virus in Guinea and about 10 people were kneel-bent by the virus in Liberia. Commenting on the danger of the disease, Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general, WHO, had said: “This is one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks we have ever faced.”


With a population of over 1.5 million, Conakry, the capital of Guinea was reported with about 20 of the creepy-crawly cases. Senegal had shut her border with Guinea, with presupposed patients with the disease reported in Sierra Leone. A source said that one of the suspected cases was discovered to have died in a desolated ward.


How prepared the Federal Government of Nigeria is against this backdrop is left for time to tell. Eva Marie Coll Seck, Senegal’s health minister, was quoted as saying by AFP: “We have everything in place to take measures against Ebola. We have a well-oiled system, which we are perfecting daily.”


While the Nigerian Government was reassuring its citizens of an Ebola Virus-free country, seven out of nine suspected patients were confirmed in Mali. The neighbouring Ghana also has feared that the virus had entered the country even though that she discarded the presence of the virus in the country just like her neighbouring Nigeria.


But while the Federal Government was with high hopes and giving gratuitous hopes to its citizens, Stephane Hugonnet, a WHO medical officer, reportedly said: “Obviously there is a risk that other countries might be affected, therefore we absolutely need to remain vigilant.”


National Health Bill

The Nigerian Senate had recently passed what was regarded as “the highly controversial National Health Bill 2014” into law. This followed its third reading in the house. How this law would assist the country in being vigilant about the Ebola Virus cannot be ascertained, even though that it has been said that the bill was targeted to establish a support for the directive, supervision and development of the country’s health system.


It’s an acknowledged fact that before the bill was passed into law it suffered numerous hiccups since Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa (PDP-Delta), who was the sponsor, submitted it. Although, the senator on one occasion had said that the bill that was once regarded as controversial, would help the country to realize the Universal Health Coverage and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target.


“We all know that the primary health care is within the purview of the local government councils, the states and the Federal Government actually do give support programmes apart from technical support.


“This bill also seeks to provide one per cent of the consolidated revenue fund for the purpose of the development of the primary health care.


“The bill is also for the purpose of providing health care insurance to certain class of people who are actually deprived.



“The 50 per cent of the one percent fund that is provided for in clause 11 under a Basic Health Care Fund will be utilised by the NHIS for providing health coverage.



“This will cover pregnant women, children who are under five and the elderly and physically challenged persons,” Okowa had said.



Okowa was of the belief that part of the funds would be used to endow the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) as well as train and re-train health experts, adding that the country needed PHC dearly with at least each ward having one PHC; but he feared that the country was yet to have well trained personnel. He added that the country needed to train such experts and have the effective drugs, facilities and equipments in place.



One of the suggestions that Okowa gave that could help in the fight against the arrival of the Ebola Virus in the country and other diseases was that states could also partake in civilizing primary health centres through a complementary fund that would enable them to profit from the combined revenue fund.



In his words: “Fifty per cent of the fund shall be used for the provision of basic minimum package of health services to citizens in eligible primary or secondary health care facilities through the NHIS. Twenty per cent of the fund shall provide essential vaccines and consumables for eligible primary healthcare facilities. Fifteen per cent shall be for the provision and maintenance of facilities, equipment and transport for PHC facilities.”



Investigations revealed that one of the benefits of the National Health Bill was to put an end to the incessant squabbles that had existed among professional bodies in the health sector, making a roadmap for the duties and responsibilities of each of the professional body.



No Restrictions To The Affected Areas

According to a source, Ebola Virus first had its presence in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976. In 2012, about 29 people died of the virus in Guinea. It was an inspirational experience in Guinea, when experts said that they saw victims that recovered from the virus, even though that it’s believed that the outbreak is not over in that country, just as Nigeria should not rule out the outbreak of the virus in the country someday, as long as it’s not earnestly being controlled in the country.


Dr Marie-Claire Lamah from Medecins Sans Frontieres in Conakry, and MSF spokesperson Sam Taylor, were among the persons who had expressed enchantment at seeing patients hale and hearty again from the disease. This was on the hill that in 2000, about 224 people died out of a total of 425 inveterate, contaminated patients in Uganda, making it the year that the country witnessed the largest-known Ebola scourge.


In all of this, reports nonetheless, were that WHO had not suggested any travel or trade constraints to Guinea, Liberia, Mali or Sierra Leone, even though that the world health body had not stopped showing great concern about it. Even though that Nigeria had not recorded any case of the virus, on April 9 2014, the Federal Government did not shy away to own-up that Nigeria was in threat owing to the level the virus was ravaging other African countries.


“Ebola has been moving eastward towards Nigeria as well and we are already facing danger from the Central African Republic, even with what is happening in Congo, people are also migrating to Chad and, Cameroon are also in our borders. So, Nigeria is in danger but we have recently said that in addition to the leaflets that we are producing for Lassa and other fevers, we will now emphasise Ebola fever,” said Onyebuchi Chukwu, minister of health, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.



Connoisseurs had advised that the Federal Government had to secure the country’s borders and make sure that those coming into and going out of the country are well monitored. In a statement apparently by Osahon Enabulele, President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA): “Anywhere you have movement of people from one location to the other. The likelihood of having the virus spread is high. That calls to attention the need for us to check our borders.”


Enabulele continued: “More often than not, when there are movements of people from the affected countries, especially when you have a very defective, weak surveillance system at the entry points – land, air and sea – people from infected regions or localities can be given access into your country. That leads to the possibility of having it spread into new territories, especially if there is contact with those infected persons.”


He added: “If those surveillance mechanisms are not on ground and if the level of suspicion is not high, then you could have an infected person coming into your environment. An Ebola patient will start manifesting the symptoms no more than 25 days after he contracts the virus.”


The director-general, Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, Innocent Ujah had suggested to the country and the citizens to maintain a high level of hygiene and sanitation, since there is nonexistence of qualitative treatment and human vaccine for the virus.


He maintained that there should be severe awareness in the country about the dreaded virus in the areas of sensitization, for people to go for medical checkups regularly. Adding, he said that in the event of the virus, citizens should be attended to by professionals wearing protective equipments such as gloves, since the disease is believed to be transmittable.


Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com



A cripple struggling through a flooded road in Nigeria

Today in Nigeria, there are governors who use chattered aircrafts for their journeys that amount to billions of naira, tax-payers’ money, in order to equivocate travelling on the pit-of-hell called Nigerian roads that their governments are uninterested to construct or reconstruct.

 A cripple in the Rain at Omuma Road in Aba. (Photo by Odimegwu Onwumere

In the city of Aba, Abia State, Odimegwu Onwumere, a Port Harcourt-based media expert took this picture of a cripple struggling through a flooded road at Omuma Road of the area in his wheelchair.

Abia where meats are burn with tyres causing heavy environmental pollution

By Odimegwu Onwumere

A walk through the railway that crossed the popular Ama-Ogbonna junction, otherwise called Over-rail, Aba in Abia State, as if you are heading to the Apostolic, Onitsha and Aguata Streets by Omuma Road or to Cemetery Road axis through the railway, leads to this place.

It is a place where a few perceived against-the-law meat sellers have taken as abattoir to prepare meat before zooming off to who knows where to sell them. As unkempt as the place is, huge refuse dumps of animal bones characterize this illegitimate abattoir at Over-rail, Aba.


Just yesterday (June 25 2014) when the writer investigated the place, the quantity of bones of animals that the unlawful animal butchers have killed compel them to package the mountainous bones in sack bags.

Many borns are heaped on the scraggy-scruffy un-weeded ground. Apart from the environmental pollution they cause with tyres they use as fuel in burning the killed animals, the site is unhygienic, smelling like a morgue that ran out of electricity supply for days.

The writer observed that this is an unethical practice of some butchers and abattoir-workers in Aba – especially cattles and goats – during the processing of raw-meat in preparation for sales and expenditure.

The hurry mood they are at this site in burning parts of meat and washing them in dirty plastic rubbers is a case of suspicion that they apparently have a glimpse idea that what they are doing is illegal.

Although, this type of practice was what actually pulled the leadership of all the seven associations under the umbrella of the National Union of Butchers’ Association, Ibadan, Oyo State chapter, in the recent past to swing into action, warning members to stop such unhealthy practices.

Apart from Oyo State, the previously General Manager of Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), Mr. Cosmos Ndukwe, reportedly in 2009 raised the alarm over health implications of consuming goats roasted with tyres.

Ostensibly, Ndukwe made the disclosure when the executive of Correspondents Chapel of Abia State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) paid him a visit in his office in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.

Ndukwe, according to a source, lamented that the act of burning meat with tyre could cause cancer, kidney problems and madness, among others, he had informed that efforts were on to relocate slaughterers from Aba river. He, also, had promised that the government would stop them from using tyres to roast goats, because of its grave health hazards.

“Despite repeated warnings, the slaughterers still roast killed animals with imported scrapped tyres, thereby contaminating the meats with heavy metals such as lead, which could hardly be removed through boiling,” Ndukwe had said.

It was not certain during the time of filing this report if the illegal meat-workers at the Over-rail were part of those who were said were at the Aba river, but took to their heels to operate the illegal abattoir at Over-rail when Aba river could perhaps not contain them.

Always disturbed by the incessant thick dark-cloud that their nefarious activities cause to the environment where streets like the Tenant street, Clifford street, Apostolic street, Onitsha street and many others are, the residents who were interviewed by the writer bemoaned that Aba is one place that residents think it is their fundamental rights to behave or do things the way they like without considering the social implication of their action to the other person or the surroundings.

A man who gave his name as Dr. Ambrose Uko said that as a medical practitioner, his worry is the toxic that the flames deposit in not only the meat but also in the human body.

“Apart from me, you must have read that emissions from burning tyres contain significant amounts of the following known human carcinogens: benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and benz[a]pyrene. If tyres are burned, small particles containing zinc oxide produces inflammation in the lungs.


“Lung damage has been documented in animal studies at levels lower than OSHA and EPA standards. They also include metals such as arsenic, cadmium, nickel, zinc, mercury, chromium, and vanadium.


“Both criteria and HAP emissions from an open tyre fire can represent significant acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) health hazards to firefighters and nearby residents.


“My dear, I know all of that, but what can man do since one has not built his own house; and even at that if such practice is not severely stopped by the government, residences by the river and around abattoirs where scrap tyres are used will continue to suffer,” he told the writer.


Another resident of the area who gave his name as Edmund Hart said, “I have read about the menaces such action could cause to human health. I can remember going at that place they burn the animals to plead with them that they use another means in burning their animals instead of using tyre.


“All I got was, ‘Go and mind your business and stop disturbing us.’ They even told me if I was the only person living in the neighbourhood that I could not mind myself and stop disturbing them.


“Don’t think that some of us in this neighbourhood are not aware about experts’ recommendations that tyres are not designed to be burned as a fuel because they contain hazardous ingredients (the rubber in tyres contains 25% extender oils derived from benzene, 25% styrene, a derivative of benzene, and 25% 1,3 butadiene – both benzene and 1,3 butadiene are suspected human carcinogens). Tyre derived fuel (TDF) is also said contains remnants of wire that is difficult to totally remove,” Hart cried to the writer.


Other residents who spoke to the writer bared their fears about the operations of the butchers, because of the health hazards through the inhaling of carbon monoxide from the tyres they burn, pose. Many said that if you go around the environment, many people are sick. Dr. Uko further said that in the ‘Alternative Medicine Encyclopedia: Lead Poisoning’ it is clear that “Lead can damage almost every system in the human body, and it can also cause high blood pressure (hypertension).


“It is particularly harmful to the developing brain of fetuses and young children. The higher the level of lead in a child’s blood, and the longer this elevated level lasts, the greater the chance of ill effects.


“Over the long term, lead poisoning in a child can lead to learning disabilities, behaviour problems, and even mental retardation. At very high levels, lead poisoning can cause seizures, coma, and even death.”


When the writer contacted the prohibited abattoir-operators to know why they are at the place, one of them roared, “Oga, can you not see that we are busy?” When persuaded to get their opinion, they became hostile and chased the writer away.


But when contacted to lend his voice on the matter, a man whom residents simply identified as ‘Honourable’ from the popular Ogbonna family of the area who are believed to be the natives of the area where the monstrous meat workers operate, simply said: “I will draw the attention of the government to this even though that I fully hope that your report would hasten my aspiration before I do.”


(Reports and photo by Odimegwu Onwumere).

UBEC: Dishonesty mars 2015 target for Universal Primary Education

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Primary education is seen as the fundamental right of every child. The United Nations, UN, identifies this under its Millennium Development Goals, MDG. It targets universal primary education for all children of school age by 2015. Against this backdrop, the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1999 established the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). The aim was to ensure quality of basic education throughout the country and provide access to 9-year formal education to every child of school-going age and, also, provide free and obligatory basic education.


Nevertheless pundits, dons, opinion leaders and stakeholders have bemoaned that education in the country has been fraught with corruption, strikes… A Professor of Educational Management at the University of Ilorin, Noha Bisi Oyedeji, while delivering the 140th Inaugural Lecture of the University on Thursday, December 5, 2013, reportedly said, “When strike or students riot occurs, school activities are disturbed, leading to some other distortions, such as lowered students’ academic performance, social menace by idle students…”

One of the manifests of the dishonesty in UBEC is that over 56 million Nigerians are illiterates, according to an account in a national broadsheet. Amongst others, it’s believed that if the UBEC has lived up to its expectation, the story would have been different. Owing to the revelations by investigation, it was certain that the UN was clairvoyance in forecasting that Nigeria would not keep to the MDG on education. Today, the education sector is loaded with dirt like lack of basic infrastructures, unfortunate funding, bad management, lack of learning materials in schools…

These are as a result of poor policies and faulty implementation of them, which are most times the handiwork of lack of genuine and transparent officials monitoring these policies. It was observed that even where the learning materials are available, they are not redistributed for the purposes they are created. This, Nigerians have clamoured about how teachers’ salaries and allowances in some states across the country, are seemingly being withheld for political reasons and many teachers face the avoidable issues of promotion and transfer as at when due them.

Scrutiny has proved that states and UBEC are in loggerhead over who has the right to the ostensible funds meant for UBEC that are in billions of naira haboured in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for project development. The cost of this is that some students have died in many decrepit schools across the country. The infirm schools are said were without roofs, walls, doors or windows. The issue of having desks, electricity and its appliances are said to be a tall dream.

Recently, there is an account that at a community primary school in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, a pupil died and four others wounded when the school’s wall fell down. At Idimu Community Primary School of Lagos State and, Ikeja, Oshodi, Agege and Iju respectively, it’s observed that the students were meant to endure leaking zincs and ceilings and many sat on windows and cement blocks to take lectures. These are infinitesimal evident that UBEC has not lived up to the reason it was formed, according to sources, because in some states in the South-East – like Anambra and Imo – pupils still take studies from their teachers under trees and on the bare ground.

Explanations accounted that in Kwara, Kano, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo, Benue and Nasarawa States, the story is not different. “It is absurd that this is happening in a country where free primary education was initiated in Africa by one of its regions in 1955… It is rather tragic that all the 36 states and the FCT combined have failed to draw down up to N44 billion of the sums provided as federal subsidies for primary education since 2005 through the Universal Basic Education Commission,” said a source.

In May 2010, there was a conviction that there were deceitful awards of contracts somewhat in surplus of N161 million to six companies for the “procurement of instructional materials for children with special needs” that took place in the UBEC, which was aimed at improving the wellbeing of the physically challenged children. The items, according to a source, included wheelchairs, Braille, hearing aids and other audio-visual devices. The funds were said to have come from an Education Trust Funds, ETF, grant.

According to Sahara Reporters: “The ministerial tenders board at its meeting of Friday, 19th December, 2008, approved the award of the contract for the procurement of instructional materials for children with special needs in favour of the following contractors – Al-Mala Nig. Ltd – N29, 286,000 (North west), Triangular Communications Ltd. – N35, 453,000 (North east); Binwa Press Ltd. N36,721,300 (North central), Infinity Telecoms N24, 703, 000 (South east), Isani Ventures N31, 104, 000 (South-south) and Giniyike Ltd-N30,704 (South west),” concluding, “You are pleased (sic) requested to award the contract accordingly”.

The source continued: “The total contract sum came to N167 million. Our investigations revealed that not a single pin was supplied to the physically challenged children, in whose name the ETF grant was drawn. Besides, a certified copy of a search report of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) revealed that Binwa Press Ltd., RC816457, one of the six companies that benefited from the December 19th, 2008 contract awarded by UBEC, was not even incorporated until five months later.

“The company’s incorporation took place on 7th May 2009, with its registered address, as 17 Atiku Abubakar Road, Jimeta, Yola. According to the CAC records in the possession of Saharareporters, three persons were listed as directors. According to CAC records, the company has 1,600,001 in total share capital. Of these, Aishatu Dahiru (Modibbo’s wife) owns 1,600,000, her sister, Hauwa Dahiru, has one share, whilst the third director, Ali Biu Adams, has none. Even though Binwa Press Ltd. had not been registered as at December 19th, 2008, Dukku and Modibbo nonetheless awarded the ‘company’ a supply contract in the sum of N36, 721, 300…”

The level of racket in the UBEC goes unscathed. Only in January this year, in a matter that commenced in 2009, N787m alleged case of fraud was discharged and acquitted and the legal team of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was thrown into a muddled situation over the judgment. The accused persons were given as four directors of UBEC – Molkat Mutfwang, Michael Aule, Andrew Ekpunobi and Prof Bridget Sokan – who were given as “all members of the commission’s Bid Evaluation Committee”, as well as an American contractor, Alexander Cozma and two companies allegedly used to siphon the funds, Intermarkets USA LLC and Intermarkets Nigeria.

Spectators are of the view that the fingered sums meant for UBEC that have seemingly gone into the pocket of few individuals are alarming. One commentator exclaimed: “Nigeria is finished with this kind of financial recklessness! It is disheartening to note the level of decay in the system.” The sad side of the matter is that all those who are players in the UBEC’s purportedly scams have not been really made to cough out the money and face the wrath of the law of the country.

Gov. Jonah Jang of Plateau freshly decried in Jos, while receiving the Senate Committee on Education, the discrepancy in policies as what have been destroying the country’s education sector. He, however, admonished that the National Assembly must quickly rise to this challenge before it gets out of control and destroys the future of the younger generation.

Giving instances, he said: “Nations like Germany practise the 6-3-3-4 (system) like Nigeria, but they have gone far because they have been very consistent with it.’’ He avowed that each administration in Nigeria should stop discarding the old policies for the introduction of new ones.  Professor Pius Adesanmi, a Professor of English, French, and African Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada also warned in a discussion with a Gbenga Adeniji.

Adesanmi said that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, says any country that wishes to become part of the 21st Century should be devoting 30-40 per cent of her total annual budget to education. Authorities are, however, of the analysis that the disconnect between the education sector and the educated is enormous laced with the spiteful attributes of politicians and elites that have set the pace of improving on education in the country back for too long. Experts have deprecated such as not the way to run a country.

Adesanmi further revealed that these groups run the public education like they are rigging elections or stealing public funds on a “stratospheric scale that suggests mental illness”. He wept that these groups have seen using impunity of ignorance and poverty among the majority as the raw materials they think they need to manufacture a followership ready to defend their perversities to death on the basis of ethnicity or religion.

“You will weep for Nigeria if you knew how much Europe and America are currently devoting to education… Sadly, only the elite have the means and the resources to impose their own meaning of education on Nigeria. Hence, they underfund and destroy it while sending their kids abroad to acquire that which they deny the people at home,” Adesanmi lamented.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com


Orji has no moral justification to congratulate Fayose

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji of Abia State has no shame to congratulate with the INEC-declared Governor-elect of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, in the June 21st gubernatorial election in that state widely acclaimed as a bunch of professors.


The skeletal-brained Orji who has sent in his congratulatory message was unashamed to tell the world previously that he had these, as achievement for eight years in office, as governor: a conference centre, 22-room house of assembly office complex and workers secretariat.

These have not even been investigated. They could be lies, because this is a government that derives pleasure in blame-game and propaganda. The question Abia people have been asking him that he has not answered (before he goes to congratulate with a Fayose who may not like his name be mentioned alongside Orji because of the bad ordeal that Orji has become) is how do those titular building translate to people-oriented programmes that the ‘common’ man in the street of Abia State is yarning for.

It is only in Orji’s Abia State that a government could not account for the money it had so far received from the Federation Account, when the presidency and Federal Finance minister had called on the oil producing states to do so. It was evident that the ignominious leader receives monthly allocations that are more than the annual budget of many African countries. Yet, there is nothing to write home about in Abia State, except the deafening jingles and intimidating bill-boards of “Ochendo Global” that Abia State has been forcefully compelled to accept as its own form of the dividend of democracy.

That was where the state money goes to. If not, the minute investments that the governor brags as achievements are what a ‘common’ Igbo trader in Onitsha or Lagos can build and donate to his community and yet will be crying of being financially poor not to assist his community the way he had wanted. This is a government that cannot differentiate between structures and infrastructures. Did you say it is a shame? Orji is one governor that is yet to lay down any plan for his Abia State for nearly 8yrs he has been saddling that state as a dictatorial governor he is. He owes workers good sums of salaries and allowances for nearly a year now and rules with security operatives and forcefully taxes the residents through their nostrils.

ayo fayose

Orji’s voice among the millions of Nigerians in congratulating the Ekiti Governor-elect, Ayo Fayose on his victory is balderdash, let alone describing what had transpired in the election as “democracy in action” whereas Orji is a despot under a democratic government. Orji lauded as “maturity and sportsmanship demonstrated by the incumbent Gov. Kayode Fayemi in accepting defeat and accepting to support the Governor – elect” whereas he is the most unsophisticated and immature human being that the world has ever produced in the 20s century. Let this be a story for another day.

If the world sees what has happened in Ekiti State as democracy at work, then they are yet to see the un-democracy at work under the leadership of Orji in Abia State. What Fayemi had exhibited that the world is applauding him for, was what T.A Orji would have sent his notorious son Chinedum “Ikuku” to go for the spoil. Orji who was praising the outcome of the Ekiti elections preferred to work with touts, instead of dissenters. In the government’s definition of democracy, any dissenters should be labeled a kidnapper, rapist, armed robber, and many other useless names and attributes. In Orji’s diary, he has no effective and easy ways to run Abia State, except the glaring imposition of a government of pettiness and intimidation, bickering, tinkering, backbiting and brickbats…on the people.

kayode fayemi

Orji sees talk as cheap and is quick to throw his voice when well-meaning and enterprising Nigerians in respective positions are lending their voices, when he is yet to conduct local government elections in Abia State. He is not very careful doing same, because of the irritant he has made himself before the people of Nigeria, which his arsenal of media propaganda has not redeemed. Today, is Orji government not fanning the embers of tribal and religious sentiments, playing politics with the issue of terrorism, in its usual bid to be in the news always? but regrettably on the wrong side of the news. Always paranoid! He would prefer buying “icon of democracy” while the people of Abia State are suffering the effects of ‘Icon of Dictatorship. It is a shame!

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com


Hate Kalu or like him, he is a hero

By Odimegwu Onwumere


Anyone who has taken a keen study of the former Governor of Abia State and the President Slok Group, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, will attest to the fact that the mature man, who has achieved majority of the things that a normal human being is expected to achieve before he was 40, is a great hero.


This is a man who has sojourned on the paths of great hitches and loads to become the envy he is today. Hardly would many survive in the politics of over-the-rivers and the woods that are played in Nigeria, but here is Kalu still waxing stronger, after being betrayed by many he trusted.


Those that are closer to Kalu say that he is humble to the earth, not minding the ubiquitous accolades and powers that follow him anywhere he went. His name and personality resonate positively beyond the West. He has become a hero before he became significant in the murky political waters that characterize the country.


The most mind-blowing is that his friends and associates say that his type of leading-actor does not know class and does not segregate. Attesting to this, they say that Kalu is a super-hero, because he does anything positive within his reach, to make the world a better place than he met it.


Kalu talks about goals and refutes dreaming like most people are inadvertently or intentionally subjected to. He is admired by millions of people across all the walks of life, because he is a soldier of good fights and does not shy away from airing his views pointblank. His voice laced with truth is like a gunshot, especially in Nigeria, where people preferred to maintain quietness in the face of totalitarianism.


Different people have different standards with which they measure Kalu. To many, he is a hero, because he does things which people recognize and that which majority of the people lacks the qualities to do. In many people’s closets, without doubt, they want to be like Kalu.


It is aplomb to be satisfied with him. In the work, “Tomorrow, When the War Began” John Marsden writes: The Bible just said ‘Thou shalt not kill’, then told hundreds of stories of people killing each other and becoming heroes, like David with Goliath… Kalu is not this type of heroes!


One of the things that make Kalu a hero is that he is always thinking 10 minutes ahead of the time. It is only the jealous person or do-nothing that would say that heroes do not exist; here is one in Kalu. One thing again that puts Kalu out among the many heroes in the world is that he goes out and speaks unaided.


A look at him sends a message of how sweet and splendid the world goes, no matter certain sorrows that go together with human existence. One unique aspect of his fame is that he is garnering it while alive and will not fade anything he is old enough and goes to the great beyond.


He is one man who has been receiving admiration in this generation and will not be despised in the next generation. Where is the man that spreads his broad and large heart across all divides of human undertakings if not Kalu? A thing with him is that he allows many people who are closer to him to be famous, unlike many in his class that would want to be the only masquerade on the stage, except they exited.


It is overwhelming that the world has produced a man like Kalu in this generation. He exudes the bravery, potency, goodness, and is ever ready to withstand hard-times. He is not a product of murkiness, but of natural manifestation. He is a leading provider to humanity and their services. His, is not self-elevating.


Few people might argue that he is not a hero, but on a truly fair or impartial trial, he is. It is the wish of many that he continues to be fit in order to manage the classified networks of positive change he has been creating for long periods of time, which have hatched credible things, pleasant things that belong in and to the public sphere-of-influence.


He may not have won the appellation of his political rivals, but his efforts in bettering the environment he found himself, have never gone unnoticed. This is evident from Sokoto to Lokoja, from Abia to Abuja. Kalu is a mighty man in battle, a public figure, a man of the people, a man who heeds to his conscience and gives priority to the common people in the society.


No matter how anybody feels about Kalu, he understands the policies and programmes that govern mankind and, keep to them. These have kept him safe and, been keeping him safe.


Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com




Orji and terrorism

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Bravo to the gallant soldiers, who were said, arrested suspected blood-lickers in Abia State, on Sunday 15 2014. The stout soldiers were given as those from the Asa Military Base of 14 Brigade, Ohafia Barracks, Abia State. News reports were that the arrested were 486 including eight girls. Imagine!

This was coming a fortnight when one Gov. Shettima blatantly said that insurgents might shift their inglorious activities to the South from the northern part of the country they have held sway. Although, before the arrest, the people of Abia State had known terrorism, not of the type of the Osisikankwus, but of robbers of good governance, as the world could see under the government of Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji, their Ochendo Global.


The first thing that happens to any person who enters Abia State is to first get sick due to the terrorism called mis-governance in the state. The critical infrastructures are not made available. The inhumane government in Abia State, in term of development, is worse than any act of terrorism as the word goes.

The government is unpopular and not ashamed of these umbrages of the difficulties that the people are passing through. Even when the people who have been very diplomatic are conveying their plights, they are not listened to, but humiliated to a first degree. It is not all about arresting suspected terrorists in the state, but, also, about what becomes of the state under Governor Orji.

The government is biased with pungent hobbies in mis-governance and the use of propaganda expediently designed to malign the people of Abia State, with sorrowful songs of regret, worse than the nuisance of Boko Haram. Terrorism like the ones the robbers of good governance are showing off in Abia State is a familiar enemy.

And the good people of Abia State have been doing everything within their reach to wedge a sensitive war against the widespread of mis-governance in the state, but the governor is bent on furthering the incapacitating of the development rearward of the state. A mental-stock taking of the activities of the government in Abia State will make any sensible person to leave the state for fear of being entrapped in indignation, just as many people are leaving the northern part of the country today to the South.

The non-performance of Gov. Orji in Abia State and his un-quenching rabid anger have made the serene state a shadow of itself. An enabling environment such that can make people live in peace and achieve their desired aspiration is elusive in the state; hence evil-mongers are on the prowl swimming in the euphoria that (there is not lively government in the state) to hatch their evils.

If not for the security men who arrested the supposedly goons, Gov. Orji’s media war-touts would have told the world that nothing was wrong even in the face of glaring difficulties. This is the extent they have defined the word propaganda in the once scintillating Abia State that was known as God’s Own State, but, now, Goons’ Own State.

It is not certain why Gov. Orji believes so much in deluge of non-performance when there are many works to do. He has refused to play back commitment except the ones on his shenaniganism of “Legacy Projects”. The capacity of his stewardship smells like the happenings in Chibok, where all the residents of Abia State have been kidnapped into the falsehood christened governance in Abia State. This is a government that inaugurates projects that the people will not see on ground. The annoying side is that Abia people never imagined that Gov. Orji will disappoint, but they have no option than to take their unimagined fate, while looking at the infrastructural dooms in the state.

The people’s cry has not touched the governor and his bunch of aides – over 500 of them. Rather, the cry of the people has been a stimulant that perhaps has suffered the governor not to perform and he is happy with that and is on a mission of always persuading his untutored aides to be spreading falsehood around and labeling dissenters with unprintable names without giving Abia State the expected new-dawn she had wished. The government has refused to pay back to the society.

While the official terrorism to the economic development of Abia State persists, it would be aplomb that the federal authorities questioned Gov. Shettima of who the arrested alleged terrorists in Abia State were, because he has been a whistleblower of the activities of the sect and, apart from being a governor, his name recently is seemingly synonymous with the militants’ activities of the Boko Haram sect, to a very controversial level.

His counterpart in Abia is into the intimidation that Abia State should not be developed. These acts are not mere political sentiments; they carelessly reveal how to make Abia State uncomfortable and inhabitable. Gov. Orji is busy with how far his alias – Ochendo Global – could reach. If he was serious to duty, by now many strategic areas in the Igbo place would have been guided and guarded since they said that he is the Chairman South-East Governors’ Forum.

But don’t be surprised that Governor Orji who has been unable to provide job opportunities to the people of Abia State or anywhere in the South-East zone might by tomorrow go in defense of the arrested with such noise that they are in Abia State to look for job opportunities. This is the way he may go just for political and cheap publicity. He may even go as far as building mosques for them for the benefit of warren pity.

Gov. Orji man whom they said is the South-East Governors’ chairman, but he has never replied Shettima in strong term when the later sent in his apocalyptic message of his Boko Haram agents ready to invade the South-east. Even as the arrested were made public, the north is now using propaganda that “refugees are now being treated like terrorists in Igbo land”. But Ndigbo are already refugees in Abia State to a significant level. Remember that the Gov. Orji government in not too far time sent Ndigbo who are not aboriginality from Abia State back to their respective states. Tell us what the meaning of this is if not terrorism.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com