Nigerian Students endangered by pathetic toilet facilities, defecate in bush

By Odimegwu Onwumere

A greater part of public nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary schools across the country do not have lavatories, experts said. Some of them that have toilets, either the restrooms do not have doors or water system for users’ convenience.

Confirming this, Mr. Ishaya Dare Akawu, as the chairman of the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), apparently said that he had visited most Nigerian schools and they do not have toilets and many do not have contact to water.

For example, checks discovered that about 80% of primary schools in Enugu North had no toilet amenities and both the students and teachers defecated in the bush, especially in 2013. The schools that were affected were given as those in Udenu, Igbo-Eze North, Igbo-Eze South, Igbo-Etiti, Nsukka and Uzo-Uwani local government areas.

toilet

(Photo: from Daily Independent, Nigeria)

A primary school teacher, who said that he had been in the profession of teaching for the past 20 years, outwardly said: The issue of non-provision of toilet facilities has become part of the public school system in this part of the country. It is not even being regarded as a priority at all. So, over the years, we have become accustomed to using the bush, where it is available.

Teachers and students in many of the schools do not know when this will end. According to professionals, defecating in the bush by the students is very dangerous as many do not have sandals. They come to school barefooted and might be attacked by snake or bitten by poisonous ants when they go to the bush to defecate. The teacher added that it was a reprehensible feature for a teacher like him to rush into the bush like a hunter to answer the call of nature.

Investigation, however, revealed that the trend in Nigerian schools is that authorities build infrastructures without the provision for toilet and many that have, the toilets are under lock and key. Many of the teachers use the same toilet facilities with their students due to none are attached to their offices, therefore creating unfriendly environment in the schools.

A 400 level Adult Education/Political Science student at a tertiary institution in Lagos State said that the toilet situation in her school was appalling, which had to compel them to shut the windows of their kitchen while cooking to evade the offensive smell that oozed out from the toilet. Another student said that he contracted diarrhea from their school toilet and could not stay at home, but had to come to school, because he had an examination. Nevertheless, he messed his trouser up, which moved his colleagues into getting him another trouser to cover up.

Some of the schools have no water or are constantly in short of water, which make the toilets unclean. Students most times create an avenue for ‘water boy’, but that often fail. The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, frowned that the country was far from having child friendly school concept.

It said that this was widespread in various states in the country: A majority of primary schools, especially in rural areas, lack water, electricity and toilet facilities. For example, on average, there is only one toilet for 600 pupils in the primary school system. Despite political commitment to trying to reverse years of neglect in the education sector and a significant increase of the Federal funding, investment in basic education is still low compared to other Sub-Saharan countries.

Speaking in an investigation of some universities in the country on April 15 2012, some newsmen in the persons of Samuel Awoyinfa (Lagos), Mike Odiegwu (Yenagoa), Akinwale Aboluwade (Ibadan), Mudiaga Affe (Calabar), Femi Makinde (Ekiti), Success Nwogu (Ilorin), and James Azania (Edo), had this to say: Except for the new ones, the average public university in Nigeria is at least three decades old. Unlike old wines that mature with age, however, facilities in these tertiary institutions seem to age as the year passes, with many vice-chancellors promising to upgrade them.

They added that from their explorations, many of the universities lack basic infrastructure like regular water supply, sufficient accommodation, well-equipped libraries or functional rest rooms in the halls of residence or in lecture arenas. In a discussion of March 24 2013, the likes of James Azania, Success Nwogu, Gbenga Adeniji and Motunrayo Aboderin who went on a tour of some tertiary institutions did not sing a different song.

They reported that the schools sanitary conditions were in an appalling state, although there were imposing edifices and attention-catching frontage which usually welcomed visitors into many universities in Nigeria, the toilet facilities in many of the hall of residence in the institutions were in an unpleasant state. Across the country, students were lamenting the poor state of toilets and bathrooms in higher institutions.

In their account, the Aliyu Makama Bida female hostel of the University of Lagos, the toilet had unpleasant odour that could be perceived from the walkway leading to the hostel, which was helped by the smell of urine and garbage littering a corner of the toilet. One of the students, who gave his name as Mary Otobong, said: Promises are made by the hall management at the beginning of the year to improve on the facilities, but that they are yet to be fulfilled.

She also said that students were made to fetch water to flush the toilet, because the water system was faulty. Another student, Simi Omobode, whom they said was studying social studies in the institution at the time of the review, said that the toilets were in a terrible state. And that she usually had to contain herself from defecating until she was at a convenient place. Even when she said that she knew it was not good for her system, she had no choice.

Omobode continued that the cleaners who were employed to see that the toilets were kept clean hardly keep to the reason they were employed. According to the source, at Madam Tinubu Hall of the university, which was also a female hostel, student of educational studies, Ayomide Olabanji, said: Sometimes, the toilets are messed up with human waste for days without being washed. Taking our bath is usually a tug of war. The stench is terrible. So we have to hold our breath while bathing. If there was running water, it would help the situation.

The source continued that the story was not different from the male hotel; they were too dirty that many would prefer to hold what they should have given out freely from their systems till they get to a convenient place.

In the hostels it was noted: You can’t believe what goes on in Hall 1. When it’s dawn, students come out to take their bath in the open. It is even worse in Hall 2, where there is hardly a divide between the female and male hostels; you can trust some of the boys will want to catch a glimpse. They intentionally walk by to peep on the ladies who are taking their bath.

The story goes on: The toilets are nothing to write home about, and many of the ladies prefer to use the alternative, by defecating in nylon bags and flinging it across the walls; that is the in-thing and the best way to keep away from getting infected. Sanitary facilities there are simply inadequate and that’s why many prefer off-campus accommodation. In a room of four, you have legal and illegal squatters, it is so bad, but the students just have to move on until they get a better alternative.

Sanitation friendly-ethic in Nigerian schools is in sorry state. A visit to a school in Bayelsa State, this reporter was faced with a very scraggy-scruffy, dirty and soiled toilet. The toilet was a total despondency. A friend who went to the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), the Imo State University as well as their corresponding ones in Uturu, Kwara, Abakiliki and Ekpoma etcetera, even said that their toilet situations were better mentioned in the dream.

Open defecation has become a tradition amongst students and teachers in the schools, which is against the World Health Organization (WHO) prescription of a healthy living. In its report of 2004, WHO said: 88% of diarrhea disease is accredited to hazardous water supply, derisory sanitation and hygiene and that enhanced water provision reduces diarrhea by between 6% and 25%. Improved sanitation decreases diarrhea by 32%.

This information was maintained by the scientific breakthrough that one gram of feaces can contain 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1 thousand parasite cysts, and a hundred worm eggs. The CEO of Rural Africa Water Development Project (RAWDP), a Nigerian Water and Sanitation NGO based in Owerri, Imo State, said: The unsanitary conditions typical of many school toilets send the wrong message to students about the importance of sanitation and hygiene; schools can become ideal places to establish good hygiene (and other) behaviours as well as to provide strong environmental models that can serve as examples.

Perhaps, Nigerians forgot that children/students who learn good hygiene in school, the source said, can also become important health promoters everywhere especially at home. The RAWDP scrutinized further: There is no doubt therefore that poor sanitation and its consequences particularly ill-health adversely affects school participation, lowering enrollment rates, increasing absenteeism, and contributing to poor classroom performance and early school dropout.

The source also said that such decreases learning capacity as measured in educational performance, outcomes, and productivity. The lack of appropriate sanitary facilities may discourage students/pupils from attending school; girls, who are menstruating, in particular, would rather not go to school than have to deal with the lack of privacy.

According to a statement credited to UNICEF Specialist, Amos Kudzala, while speaking at a two-day media dialogue on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), in Enugu recently, said: Advocating for the provision of WASH facilities in schools and hospitals across the country, he noted that every child, rich or poor, has the right to survive, the right to health, the right to access to improved water supply.

However, authorities believed that most of the toilet situations in the schools were not their fault, even when some students volunteer to put up some comatosed toilets in their schools, it was learnt that the students still do not use them properly, especially students at the tertiary level.  To many of the students, sanitation is only a word that should be confined in the Dictionary.

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

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

http://www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Amaechi, Contractors and the Future of Rivers State

By Odimegwu Onwumere

A time came in Rivers State when the contracts awarded in the state were mainly intended for the indigenes of the state. That was when Governor Chibuike Amaechi was leading the state with indigenous-biased coloration, being a man who loved his indigenous peoples he was close to before he became governor.

Amaechi exalted the indigenes of Rivers State and gave them rights and considerations. That was the period he said that the Rivers money was for Rivers people. But when the people he so-much loved were betraying him, he reversed his seemingly social stance to ‘Rivers money is for competent people’.

Governor Chibuike Amaechi

Contracts were being awarded in Rivers State and many of them were not completed or were abandoned or were politicized. Some of the contractors are those fighting Amaechi today in one way or the other even though that when you ask them to bring the proof that they completed the contracts that were given them to do, you see them bringing Kangaroo proofs that the contracts that were awarded to them were completed.

Amaechi seemingly did not tighten up how contracts were awarded in Rivers State. He might say that it was not in his office to award contracts, but since this concerned his government, the criteria with which contracts were awarded then to mostly indigenes, were not committed to assiduous supervision.

The contracts were like largesse to his indigenous fellows because in earnest, the governor loved his ‘pals’ to a fault. It is today not certain if Amaechi still remember his inaugural speech of Oct. 26 2007 after he won his case with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the court that ousted Sir Celestine Omehia, when he said, “I will serve you with humility, and above all, with fear of God. I will listen to your opinion and will be guided by your views and together we will make Rivers State great again”.

Without trumpeting my own praise, I was one of the frontrunners that guided and guarded Amaechi when he served with ‘humility and fear of God’, when he was listening to ‘our opinions and was guided by our views’ as commentators. These attributes of the governor unfortunately have all been engulfed and gulped by politics of the Titans in the midst of those he once loved and assisted.

Many of the contracts were not reviewed if they were actually completed or not. I had written in my articles then that it was as if the governor had the indigenes of Rivers State at heart when he was making that inaugural speech, but many of them later betrayed him. He knows what I am writing about his ‘people betraying him’ if he would relax and reflect on the whole issue.

The ‘focused’ Ameachi then had put in excellent plans by restoring most of play fields particularly in old Port Harcourt Township and had all insisted on good sports arena for the new primary school buildings embarked upon in all the LGA of Rivers State. Today, is it not about President Jonathan and the presidency that Amaechi has focused all his attention to?

As ‘history would absorb me’ concerning my genuine contributions in Rivers State, I single-handedly fought for the integration of non-indigenes in the affairs of the government and many of them are today enjoying the fruits of that labour which I carried out through massive media briefs on the need non-indigenes should be incorporated in Amaechi’s government and he did not betray. The records are there!

At a point Amaechi was disappointed in the indigenous contractors. This was evident in the TheNEWS, January 18, 2010, with the article titled, “Amaechi’s Dilemma”. The paper succinctly stated that Amaechi expressed his frustrations and his government’s failures during a chat with Rivers stakeholders and the media.

Amaechi laid bare his feelings on the grim realities confronting his administration while presenting the 2010 proposed budget estimate of N429 billion to the state House of Assembly on 23 December 2009. Prominent among his worries was the drop from the state’s 2009 budget of N432.28 billion in the 2010 fiscal estimate.

This was heralded, as due to the reduction of revenue from the Federation Account, as a result of the ceding of about 200 oil wells from the state to Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa and other bordering states by the National Boundary Commission, NBC, and the Revenue Allocation, Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (which that of Akwa Ibom 86 oil wells ceded to her have been reclaimed by Rivers State, 2011).

I had written then that not only how to shore up the revenue base of the state to meet the increasing challenge of sustaining the economic profile of the state should be the challenge confronting Amaechi in the face of many multi-nationals that fled the state in the wake of kidnappings and violent attacks on the management and staff of oil companies in the state, but, also, the plight of non-indigenes that had been left in abject penury in Rivers State. Today, I must say that it is the entire state that has been left in abject penury and not non-indigenes anymore.

When I look back, I’m yet to see the benefits of the many groups in the entertainment industry who were implored to stage shows in Port Harcourt, starting with ‘Diplomatic Unplugged’ by Akas Baba, followed by Friends of WAZOBIA FM, ECOWAS Beauty Pageant, AY Live, ION Film Festival and CARNIRIV 2009/2010, which was the Rivers’ government’s clone of the Calabar end-of-year Carnival. Other shows organised were CRACK YA RIBS by ace comedian Julius Agwu, THISDAY Musical Entertainment Night, and the 2009 version of Nite of A Thousand Laughs, entreated to pep up Rivers State. You may say, just frivolities!

His indigenous contractors conversely betrayed his government. Amaechi affirmed this again during an interactive session with the media one time at the Government House, Port Harcourt. Amaechi then frowned at the woeful performance of his administration in the hands of those he loved, in this regard: “I can confess that since I assumed office, waste disposal has [posed] a serious challenge to my administration. But the problems are that we inherited waste disposal contractors who are mainly (indigenous?) politicians in the state who receive between N4 and N5 million monthly but hardly evacuate the refuse.”

We once saw ex-militants who were camped at Aluu for training in various skills, near Port-Harcourt, after the amnesty programme of President Musa Yar’Adua was granted them, went on rampage, because of lack of adequacy to their welfare. This is the fate of the state today.

The truth is that Amaechi knew at the back of his heart that he had sacrificed the future of the state on the altar of indigenous political patronage of politicians who were in the corridors of power. The truth of the matter again was hinged on the fact that the individuals behind the brouhahas that Amaechi is today facing were those he could not look straight in the face and tell them how they betrayed the trust he had for them, hence pummeling the future of the state.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: nirivpol@gmail.com

Rivers: Those That Would Abandon Amaechi

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State was in his unafraid and freehand way of making comments recently. He said that President Goodluck Jonathan had abandoned Rivers State, development-wise. This was contained in an interview he granted a national daily.

Anyone who was not following Amaechi and the way he presents issues of such import might think that he was afraid or confused. But in earnest, he was not. As someone in Rivers State who has contributed his quota from afar for the government of Amaechi from 2007 when he was in court to reclaim his mandate (being that public opinion is part of government), I can confidently say that Jonathan has abandoned Rivers State today, likewise Amaechi.

amaechi and jonathan

My real fear is not that Amaechi has said that Jonathan has abandoned Rivers State, but those that work with Amaechi or are close to him that would abandon him very soon. Many have! The ones that are still around him could be said are just watching their wristwatches. You may call them sheep in wolf’s clothing or whatever name.

From an observer’s calculation, this set of people that would abandon Amaechi are those who would stop or end at nothing in making sure that they continue to make more money in his government to the detriment of a host of others who have in one way or the other been fans or faraway well-wishers and supporters of the governor. They have been sidelined and marooned to nothingness.

But for such people’s love for the governor, they recoiled to their shelves and refused to vent their anger on the pages of the newspapers like many do. Needless to mention names, except condition permits. The question Amaechi should be asking himself today is how his once overwhelming popularity came to a sudden halt.

The popularity he enjoys today is on the off-putting that posterity would think that there was a governor of Rivers State called Amaechi who was always set for every kind of fight; they would not know that the wars that the governor was fighting were those he insignificantly knew were created for him by those who would abandon him. The dreadful news of militancy that once characterised the state is even a small thing to the disaster that sycophants have caused Amaechi is Rivers State.

Around Amaechi are people one could call spoilers within. They are sharks that swallow both the small and big for the hunger of wealth. They make the government of Amaechi to sound mingy before the general public even though that Amaechi radiates of discoloration to wealth circulation, whereas they pocket whatever that was meant for those they should have lengthened their hands to.

They betray trust and hang their positions as the real ‘His Excellencies’. They would prefer to build choice houses and acquire state-of-the-arts property than settle some of the customers of theirs they owed. From Lagos to Abuja, they now own enviable houses and property, whereas Amaechi is fighting a fight he was not certain the direction of the compass and how it would end.

Amaechi’s once magnanimous forbearance in making sure that peace was returned in the state suddenly disappeared. This was a man who refused making an offer that could endanger Nigeria, to the militants, now referred to as ex-militants. In his face, those that would abandon him after would tarnish the image of those that Amaechi might want to assist for the lucre they enjoy in the government and as well preach the obverse to tarnish his image at back.

We have seen this from people of Rivers State origin residing in Abuja. In the real sense, Amaechi was never against Mr. President, but those who would abandon him could be fingered as the real source of his problems today. Amaechi was a man who once regarded militancy as an irresponsible move against the Federal Government of Nigeria, but didn’t hide his voice for a true agitation for the emancipation of the Niger Delta region in Nigeria, where criminality would be sent on errand.

I’ve commented at a different time that Amaechi saw militancy as an act that was targeted against the Federal Government and as a bad policy that was capable of establishing lingering repercussion in the whole country if not checked with fierce measure. The fact was that he ignored to extend any olive garden to the people he described as ‘criminals’. He refused to abide by their pressure so that posterity does not, in any form of future agitation, say ‘unless you carry arms and use force, you would not be heard’.

The real turmoil around Amaechi today is that those he trusted are the ones deceiving him without him knowing that they are greedy for power; hence they make the government to look like one that is unimaginable. They have localised the governor’s government, whereas Amaechi was a man who had made it his responsibility to take care of development in Rivers State.

But this could be said is no more within the previous years, due to fisticuffs here and there around him. They have made him to be spending more time thinking of the next strategy of the federal government against him than he would think about the progress of Rivers State or think about some unsung residents who had many times spread their backs for traducers of his government to match on instead of match on Amaechi’s.

The responsibility the government thinks it has today is its obvious political fight with the presidency than making sure that it sees to the welfare of all the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria dwelling in the state. Many of the places in the state are today glorified abyss occasioned by unsustainably development in those areas. Oyigbo LGAs is one abandoned abyss in Rivers State. Go to the place and imagine a war-torn environment!

Without mincing words, Amaechi has maintained his government by not allowing anything dumpy of the many brews he had encountered in the state seed for anarchy. But what is anarchy if not for the pauperisation of the led. And many of those around him are not helping matters for him in this stead. His media aides may be gluttons, as journalists in the state complain against them a lot. Amaechi should check if his media aides are like an over-fed baby elephant that has wasted a lot of weight for reasoning. More details, later.

Odimegwu Onwumere is Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes in Rivers State (CONIRIV). Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Kalu, Mu’azu call for prayers and support for Jonathan

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu is always a delight, knowing what to do with words at every given point in time and at the right time.

This is apparent in a well circulated position of the former Governor of Abia State, when he said recently that the duos of President Goodluck Jonathan and, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) national Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu need Nigerians support and prayers for a successful government that would not lack in its heralded transformation agenda.

Kalu who sees issues without sentiment attached and Nigerians know him as a man who says his mind without fear or favour, has said that no matter who was calling for the president’s head or to rubbish his government, that Mr. President has done everything within the ambits of law to keep the country from down spiraling.

Jonathan

According to him, “I have taken time to study the man Jonathan and his vision for Nigeria and have arrived at the decision that he means well for Nigeria. The level he has reached is such that it will be suicidal to abandon the ship at this time for the simple reason that some persons may not like his face.”

This is not even as Kalu extolled the security agents for assisting Jonathan in the phenomenal task of securing the country. According to Kalu, “I am excited at the new awareness among the Nigerian people, particularly the voting class. They have demonstrated some maturity and courage in the discharge of their civic duties.

“The control of states by different political parties today is a sharp departure from what we used to have. There was a time it seemed as if we were heading for one-party state. All of that have given way to politics of inclusion and restraint.

“This new development is one of the ways the Jonathan administration is refocusing Nigeria. Conducting free, fair and credible elections is one of the pillars on which any democratic structure stands.”

Meanwhile, illuminating the desirable-qualities of Mu’azu, Kalu has said, “The philosophy of Adamu M’uazu is hinged on justice and fairness. It was the absence of these essential ingredients that almost destroyed the soul of PDP. By creating a level playing field he has also opened a new vista for the founding fathers of the party who were frustrated out of the party to return. It would have been unthinkable for people like me to return to PDP if internal democracy were absent.

I am very glad that PDP is gradually returning to those ideals for which we founded it. So much is happening on the political front despite the insecurity and other man-made problems that have dogged our march to 2015.”

OUKng

In his calculation, Kalu has said that he sees as most discouraging of all, were the issues of the “Chibok girls’ kidnap saga”. According to him, the saga had leaned on blacking the numerous mouthwatering efforts and achievements of the Jonathan-led federal administration and the new leadership of PDP under M’uazu. He, however, averred that both the presidency and the PDP leadership have been doing everything that was internationally applauded not to join behaviour with the snobbish behavours of opposing views.

On his part at a meeting in Akwa Ibom recently, the National Chairman of the PDP, Mu’azu has called on Nigerians to assist in finding resolutions that would assist in no-less ways for the growth of the country. Mu’azu who has always been adjudged as a gentle and transparent man, has also called for prayers for the federal government.

He enclosed this owing to the issues of terrorism and other matters that the federal government has been toiling assiduously in making sure that what unites Nigerians is greater than what anybody has been doing to kill their spirits.

It is a truism that ahead of the 2015 elections Kalu and the likes of Adamu have been working tirelessly in making sure that the present government does not bite the dust that might have been dished out for it to bite by dissenters and political interests.

Kalu who says that he frowns at mischief and its peddlers, freshly dedicated a column in an edition of Saturday Sun, to Jonathan and M’uazu, in what he termed, “to correct some of the misleading impressions being created in the media by disgruntled elements about them, PDP and 2015.”

He has said that it beats his imagination why some people, those he tagged ‘mischief makers’, would concoct stories against Jonathan and Mu’azu for their selfish interest. Kalu has warned about such people to discontinue from fanning the embers “hate and disunity” among Nigerians.

According to Kalu, “Such persons have found a veritable platform in the kidnap of the Chibok girls and have never rested for a single day as they stoke the fire of instability and dish out incendiary messages embellished with ethnic and religious verbiage.

“There is no question that the kidnap of the Chibok schoolgirls has caused the nation unquantifiable pain and agony. For over 100 days now, the entire nation has waited in suspense for the release of the girls.

“Nigerians have spoken with one voice in condemnation of the kidnap of the innocent girls, which could only happen in times of war. Nigeria is not at war. And this is what has continued to worry me.

“Why should some of our fellow citizens gang up against Nigeria working in tandem with other subterranean forces to destroy it? The level of bitterness and spite spewing from these people is such that if nothing is done very fast they could succeed in their wicked mission.”

AdamuMuazu

Alhaji Mu’azu in the visit to Akwa Ibom State, where he laid the foundation stone of the Akwa Ibom State secretariat of the PDP and instating of 31 buses for the 2015 election campaigns in the state, (where he courageously did not mind the heavy downpour), has called on Nigerians to be law-abiding citizens and that the members of the PDP in the state should lead the pact in the state by their continued efforts in supporting the party in the state.

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

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

http://www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

The Killings In Abia: Why Gov. T.A Orji Won’t Be Trusted

By Odimegwu Onwumere

One Kenneth Nwosu, until ‘they’ shot him on July 9 this year, was the Commissioner for Agriculture Abia State. He was shot by yet to be identified gunman or gunwoman or gunmen or gunwomen in the Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji’s Abia State and, he died later.

Playing politics where it is unnecessary, the governor later vowed that his government would apply every means necessary in making sure that the killer(s) was brought to book and face the long arm of the law.

Kenneth Nwosu photo by SouthEastNigeria

(Kenneth Nwosu in the hospital)

The irony of the governor’s statement was when he said that there would be no hiding place for the killers. Perhaps, he forgot that his government was unable to protect the citizens and the killer(s) invaded Nwosu. But here was Orji saying that there would be no hiding place for the gangster(s).

Gov. T.A Orji was still making claims of how his government combated kidnappers in the state in 2010, whereas in the real sense, it was the federal might that descended on insurrectionary in the Osisikankwu’s ring and destabilize the ring of the charlatans.

The governor was talking about how his government had destabilized kidnappers, whereas many people were recently being kidnapped and killed in the state.

According to The City Reporters: The spate of kidnappings recently going on in Abia State have shown no sign of abating as the State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Chief Sunny Nwakodo, was reportedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen as he was driving to his village, in Umuahia, the State capital.

The source went further: The Chief Executive Officer of Apples Fast Food, Mr. Felix Udensi Okwuobasi, was abducted in front of his resident and was found dead just two weeks after another businessman (name withhold) was also kidnapped in the same manner.

In his customary unreliable manner, Gov. Orji had said about the Kenneth Nwosu thus: “We are determined to give the killers a fight; Abia must be free for all to live and do business”, whereas the world could see that his government and him were unable to provide security in the state to evade the mobster(s) from striking in the first place.

It is pertinent to say that the serial killer(s) may not be too far from the state and the government is paying just lip service to the whole menace that can be seen is about to becloud our people. It may also be observed that the seemingly killer(s) strikes whenever the victim challenged the government in Abia State.

Nigerians know about the ill-fate that befell one John Ndubuka in February this in which the governor’s son, Chinedu, was seriously fingered as the one who ordered his police orderly to shoot Ndubuka who was said happened to be his Personal Assistant (PA) until his death.

While Nigerians were told that police had swooped into action to investigate the matter, the government of Abia State quickly exonerated the son of the governor from all the implications that were in the media against him about the death.

The government did not allow the police to complete the investigation; Ndubuka was hurriedly buried amidst hues and cries by well-meaning Nigerians. The government of Orji in its tragic ways of announcing that it would get the killer(s) of the young man to book, is yet to tell us who the marauder(s) was.

Since the ugly incident, anybody that writes about the death of Ndubuka asking why the killer(s) has not been brought to book, you see the attack dogs of the government coming after the person in the media with their misleading stories that many informed people have stopped to read or discuss in the public, because they have known that the government in Abia State is one that operates on deceit and falsehood and blame game.

What we were reading in the far lands is now happening in our state. Many states are replicating good economies to better the lots of their people, but this is not the case with Gov. T.A Orji’s Abia State, where anyone who says what the government does not want to hear – truth – the person’s head is called for.

But there is no how truth can break no matter how it is bent. Other states are emulating advanced economies, but the Abia State Government is hinged on the activities of the mask people who may be one’s next neighbour and calls for the person’s head as soon as the person challenges the government in Abia State.

We do not have security in all ramifications in Abia State; the worst is that the economy’s security is a story for another day. Violence in the democracy in Abia State, in the current dispensation, is uncalled for and alarming.

TA

The government in Umuahia has refused to understand that security is such a defining important thing for the socio-eco growth of the state. Why Gov. T.A Orji cannot be trusted in everything positive in Abia State and the issues surrounding the death of Kenneth Nwosu was again that Chidi Nwosu, a human rights activist and campaigner for democracy in the state, was brutally murdered in his home, Ameke Abam, in Abia State, by yet to be identified killer(s) on December 29 2010. Gov. T.A Orji and his government immediately told the world that the perpetrator(s) must be brought to book, but to no avail nearly four years after.

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

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

http://www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Unsafe abortion: Young girls die out of lack of knowledge

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Unsafe abortion has lingered as one of the chief factors for the increasing maternal death ring in the country. The level at which unsafe abortion is destroying the lives of young Nigerian women has become a cause for concern among many Nigerians.

In a recent figure relayed by the President General of Umuada Igbo Nigeria and in the Diaspora, Dr. Kate Ezeofor, it was reprehensibly pragmatic that more than 34,000 young women in Nigeria die from abortion and its complications every year. This, according to Bankole and Henshaw et al, means that 1 in 10 Nigerian women have an abortion in her lifetime.

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The source sustained that there are 760,000 abortions cases every year in Nigeria, 60 percent of which are unsafe. These figures even look like a charade compared to a survey conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2007, which divulged that over 25% of young women in Nigeria have their first sexual intercourse by the age of 15; and by the age of 18 years, over 60% of adolescents have had sexual intercourse, many leading to unwanted pregnancy, hence abortion.

At the age of 18, according to specialists, many are of the view that unwanted pregnancy cannot be avoided. But this is not the view of many parents and guidance. They said that no sensible parent would want to lengthen an Olive Branch to his or her daughter who got pregnant when she was not old enough to bear the consequences of the outcome.

In that view, a State Police Command apprehended a 21-year-old man that was identified as Ib Remigus, for the suspected murder of his 16-year-old girlfriend, who was identified as Ifeayinwa, through abortion pills. That was not even as men of the Bauchi State Police Command arrested four people in connection with the death of a 23-year-old pregnant lady, whose corpse was abandoned in Guru Village in the state.

Many of the girls have died in unsafe abortions out of ignorance. A young man in Rivers State confessed to the police recently of giving his now ex-girlfriend, an abortion pill he camouflaged as an antibiotic. The ex-girlfriend was barely 18yrs old. There was an unconfirmed story of a respected fertility doctor who caused her pregnant girlfriend to take medication that caused her to abort a barely two-months-old fetus.

A quack nurse was also arrested by the police detectives in Ondo State over the death of an 18-year-old girl. The victim’s name was given as Omolayo Afolabi, whom the nurse from hell was said to have helped lapse a two-month-old pregnancy in Iju/Itaogbolu area of the state. In Delta State, exploration revealed that about 23 young ladies, who sought their superfluous pregnancies ended, reportedly died after they consumed some herbal abortion mixture from a quack.

Health professionals were worried that many of the victims could have not died if not for what they termed anti-pregnancy regulations by some religious bodies. In ‎September ‎17, 2013 ‎the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Nigeria had reiterated its concern and vehemently kicked against attempts by foreign organisations to introduce what it termed as “sickly values into the country, such as same sex marriage and abortion.” Apparently, the bishops also condemned the use of condoms. The Catholic Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri, the same year, tackled Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State for signing what it characterized as “anti-life legislation” into law in the state; forces compelled the governor to rescind his position.

On Sunday ‎17, ‎2013, ‏ Senate President David Mark reaffirmed that the fight against the legalisation of abortion and homosexuality in the country remained. The Senate President had made this known in Abuja at the first plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). But investigation revealed that while most of the girls indulge in illicit sexual intercourse which often leads to unwanted pregnancy, many of them said that they were forced by the men or peers into it.

For example, two girls aged 15 and 19, according to a report provided by a non-governmental organization (NGO) known as IPAS, which says that it seeks to offer superior approach into the productive rights of women, had this confession of two young women: “After he forced me to have sex, he started sending my friend, a girl, to talk to me, because he knew I was mad at him and did not want to see him again. My friend convinced me that such things happen to every girl, so I should get used to it. So, I forgave the boy and went back.”

The other said: “One day, he told me that he wanted to introduce me to his relatives who would help in getting us married: I went there. He was alone. He locked the door; he threatened me saying: how could he marry me if I behaved like this? He beat me when I tried to get out.” Whichever way, abortion has become a game of a sort that any young woman who has not had knowledge of it has a mindset that she is not ‘wise’ or have not ‘grown’.

Health experts are alarmed over this menace, decrying that the future is bleak if the ugly situation is not curbed. Professor Olasurubomi Ogedengbe, an obstetrician and gynecologist (OB/GYN) at one of Lagos’ apex public hospitals reportedly explained that there are no guidelines about who can perform abortion, where it can be done, until what gestational age… a butcher can do an abortion and say it was to save a woman’s life, either. This is invariably making mockery of how abortion has been bastardized in the country.

However, one out of every five cases of pregnancy has been said to be unwanted and unplanned for by the pregnant persons; which professionals have said could be the result of consensual or aggressive sexual meetings like rape or incestuous contraventions. In the opinion of connoisseurs, Nigeria’s abortion law came into existence in 1861, which they said although legalises abortion, but part of the provisions of that law still makes abortion a criminal offence. Nigerians are, conversely, of the view that the law belongs to the 17th Century. According to them, it does not tally with the dictates of modern times.

In a 2010 account, Lemmy Ughegbe, the Guardian bureau office, Abuja, noted how the human rights advocate brought to limelight the position of Sarafina Ojimaduka, an advocate of Female Reproductive Rights, during a training of journalists conducted by IPAS. In the words of Ojimaduka as reported by Ughegbe:  “Criminalising abortion drives women from hospitals where they could get better medical attention and make them resort to the use of quarks and crude means all in the bid to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.”

Post Abortion Care Network, PAC-Net, which brags as a multi-disciplinary network of individuals and organizations caring for victims and would-be victims of abortion and its complications, and improving women’s reproductive health and rights, had said that it was out to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria through effective post abortion care and related reproductive health services, to promote women’s health and uplift their reproductive rights.

Considering some sections of the law that could help women overcome quackery, Ughegbe had said: Specifically, Section 228 of the Criminal Code provides that “any person who, with intent to procure miscarriage of a woman whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Ughegbe went further, saying that Section 229 of Criminal Code provides that “any woman who, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, whether she is or is not with a child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Ughegbe also reiterated that: By a simple rule of interpretation, the phrase “any person” employed in Sections 228 and 229 of the Criminal Code acknowledges that besides medical doctors, there are other health care providers that render such services and specifically section 229 seems to suggest that all that the law requires of them is “Reasonable care and skill”. R V Bourne (1938). The import of this provision is that sadly, the law has failed to protect women from unsafe abortion in the hands of unqualified persons.

The statement goes more that the Criminal and Penal Codes, premised on a law based on a law, which came into force over a century and a half ago, can no longer respond to the realities of the modern times and instead leave the women vulnerable to unsafe abortions and their attendant complications. Nonetheless, Nigeria is signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), yet stipulations yielding assured reproductive health rights to women under the CEDAW regime are out-of-the-way, because they are yet to be cultivated by the Nigerian state through the acts of legislatures, hence there is a moral inconsistency around abortion in the country. This variation is where law, religion, health and human rights crisscross.

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

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

http://www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Orji admits failure: 80% of Abia IGR unaccounted for, he says

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Governor Theodore A. Orji of Abia State has encountered defeats and has accepted defeat and will continue to be defeated. On July 12 this year he cried out very loud that his government is incompetent to man the affairs of contractors it had assigned with the duty of collecting the state’s revenue, which has made over 80% of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to be unaccounted for.

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You can see what we have been talking about! This government in Umuahia is one that its major objective is penny-pinching. If not for its ham-fisted methodology of governance, a mindboggling 80% of the state’s revenue wouldn’t be missing in the hands of the governor’s cronies and stooges. This means that the government in Umuahia is not operational and does not follow the due process in its character of awarding contracts. If it was doing, the state’s auditor general would have gone into work and know or find out how an unbelievable 80% of the state’s money is missing and, here is Gov. T.A Orji opening his mouth without indignity to say that such has befallen the state.

In an organized environment, unlike ours, the governor would have been speaking from the gulag by now for his gross worthlessness and lackadaisical approach to handling the entire treasure of the people of Abia State. Perhaps, he thought that he was playing politics when he mounted the media to make his shamefaced comment not befitting a public office holder, let alone, a governor, that 80% state’s funds were missing.

Governor Theodore Orji as the governor of Abia State has become the brick walls which has kept the people of the state out and their development out too by not showing how they needed good governance badly. He is busy beating the wall when the people want him to open the door. This is how bad it has become in our once glorious Abia State.

Governor Theodore Orji has ended his relationship with our people in and with a failure. There is no amount of his make-believe love to our people which he does with the donation of Keke-NAPEP and cabs to the unsuspecting youth whom many are his cronies and stooges will save him from the pit of hell he has allowed himself and family name in. A periscope on him you will find out that what Gov. T.A Orji wants in Abia State are negative results, which maybe thinks are just as valuable to our people and that they will take them as positive results.

EhereAbia

With the governor’s mudslinging legs to governance there is every tendency that more failures are ahead in Abia State, because Gov. T.A Orji dreams failure, practices failure and exhibits failure. His reign as emperor-governor is characterized by seasons of failure, things are wrong in our Abia state and more things are getting wrong everyday and our people have been attending the state with huge disappointments; and the annoying thing is that they did not prepare for all these woes.

This Failure called government in Umuahia has opened our people’s eyes. We have been failed by their “Ochendo Global”. In Umuahia, at the maiden Abia State Revenue Summit, where he opened the Pandora’s Box that over 80 per cent of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is unaccounted for, he perhaps had thought or wanted our people to praise him with his alias – ‘Ochendo Global’ – that he was a man who makes better speech oblivious that he was revealing how thoughtless and murderous his government is to the collective wealth of Abia people.

If he had thought that the revenue collectors were “dubious” because, according to him, they were not accounting for the money they collect, it then means that his government is the worst hit by the tendencies of dubiousness and foolishness of administration and management. And if the “dubious revenue collection agents” were not his conduit pipes, what has the enforcement agencies done to them since our “auditor general-governor” found out the emptiness in the management of funds in the state.

Gov. T.A Orji, from the way he has spoken, does not take the internally generated revenue seriously, because he believes that Abuja will always pay, yet he will be crying and making noise in the media that Abia State receives minute funds from the federation accounts, whereas his government habours the most corrupt government officials that swindle public funds and all that they get for their inglorious work is the peck on their jaws as we can see the governor is doing and showing with his barren speech.

ariara international market

Gov. T.A Orji has failed Abia State, he has failed our people and Ndigbo in general and, he thinks that failure is an achievement and not a disgrace. He has missed it by holding our state back.

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

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

http://www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com