Randy pastors prey on minors

By Odimegwu Onwumere

 

Nigeria is encumbered by the dissipated acts committed virtually on a daily basis by those supposed to be the watchdogs of the society. It has reached the level that many teenage girls are defiled by those supposed to be their spiritual fathers. The infuriating part of it is that many of the girls whose so-called pastors encompass and ‘taste’ their ‘forbidden fruits,’ are asked by their abusers to keep quiet. But eventually, the parents or guardians of the victimised girls will find out, hence they report the pastors to the authorities to be investigated.

 

Many of the bawdy rape videos are made public on media platforms such as the U-tube and circulated on social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, 2Go, Badoo, etc, hoping that people – especially parents and guardians – would be sensitised enough to take the appropriate steps to protect their children and wards from randy pastors.

 

It is believed that the reason for circulating the videos is to stem the tide, but unfortunately it has not. Some clerics are like the proverbial dog which masticate the bone fixed on its neck for keep. Unfortunately also, many of the girls the amorous pastors defile are under-aged girls, making the supposed men of God paedophiles, which is a crime under the United Nations law. Based on the number of those arraigned in court or paraded by the police, many Nigerians have called for the castration of such pastors.

 

This, according to them, is because no amount of rehabilitation could remould such pastors’ lives. Like Okonkwo in the fictitious Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe who kills Ikemefuna, a boy that calls him father, some of the pastors are raping under-aged daughters of their friends who are also their church members and hold them in high esteem. A pastor of one Faith Ministry in Awaka, Egbu, Owerri, Imo State, reportedly had carnal knowledge of two of his female members, aged seven and nine. The parents, said to have trusted the pastor, found out the damage done to their children, when they noticed stains of blood on the girls’ clothes. When it was reported that the pastor defiled the girls, members of the church, who had thought that their pastor was as holy as he had always preached, were stunned.

Randy-pastors-prey-on-minors-Rape

A newspaper reported that a 12-year-old girl confessed in September 2013 how her pastor raped her throughout the night, as if it was a ‘holy ghost’ vigil. Members of the church situated at Oyeagu Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, were speechless when the girl said that the randy pastor lured her to a hotel under the pretence that he was going to exorcise her of impure spirits, known in Nigeria as “deliverance”. The victim was said to have told a Magistrates’ Court in Abagana that she reminded the pastor it was a sin but the lecherous cleric refused to listen. “It started on a Tuesday when I went to the church for prayers. I have not been hearing clearly with my ears for some time. So, I went to the pastor for prayers and when I told him my problem, he said I should stay behind that he would pray for me after everyone had gone.

 

“He poured anointing oil into my ear and mouth. He now ordered me to remove my dress and he poured on my tummy and started massaging it,” she reportedly said. “After the service, only the pastor and his friend were left. He said he would take me to the house and pray for me, but when I objected and told him that my father would kill me, he said I should not mind; that nothing would happen to me,” she added. The girl said that the pastor later took her to a hotel, ran upstairs and came back and ordered her and his friend to come with him. “He took us upstairs and put his friend in another room and took me to a separate room. He ordered food for me and alcoholic drink, to which I objected. He said the drink was part of the ‘deliverance’ that I had to drink it,” she said. Earlier in September 2011, police in Edo State arrested a pastor, who reportedly defiled a 12-year-old choir member of his church at Afuda-Uromi in Esan North-East Local Government Area.

 

The pastor-from-hell was detained at the Uromi Police Divisional Headquarters. The girl, whose name could not be given for “legal reasons,” said that her pastor, who drove to the church in his Mercedes Benz car on that faithful day, immediately started enquiring about her name and that of her two female friends, who were with her in the auditorium. Mr. Ngozi Anjorin will not forget December 15, 2012 in a hurry. It was a day her niece was allegedly sexually abused by Pastor Alasco Sobowale at Epe in Lagos State. According to report, the 12-year-old girl was raped at her house at 10, Togodo Street, Temu Town. Anjorin said that her niece was brought to Lagos about two weeks earlier, so that she could send her to school. According to Anjorin, her niece only spoke Igbo, of which only the pastor and she, who was their neighbour, did speak Igbo. On that particular night, according to the woman, her children were in the room watching television, but she couldn’t find her niece. Anjorin said that she called her but got no response.

 

According to her, she then went to the toilet, which was detached from the building, to check if her niece was using the lavatory. She said: “I knocked on the door of the toilet and the pastor immediately ran out and I saw her inside the toilet. When I asked her what she was doing inside the toilet with the pastor, she said he lured her into the toilet and covered her mouth with his palm, so she wouldn’t scream and raped her.” On February 21, 2013, members of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), in Abeokuta, arrested a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) for allegedly raping a 12-year-old housemaid. According to report, the pastor, who was an interpreter with the church, committed the crime in his home at 6, Shamusideen, Oke-Sokori area of the town, while his wife was said to have been away. After the show of shame, the girl reported the incident to her parents, hence his arrest.

 

Mothers’ concern

In an interview with New Telegraph, Mary Ikoku, the President of Working Moms Africa, WMA, publishers of Working Moms Africa (WMA) magazine, expressed concern over the spate of pregnancy among teenage girls out of wedlock in the country as well as the illegitimate baby factories. Ikoku, who served as Special Assistant, Media, to the late Prof. Dora Akunyili, said ‘Ogbako ndi Nne’, (dialectical name of Working Moms Africa), said she was gathering mothers in South-East zone of Nigeria, to find answers to the baby factory threat devastating the country. According to a report, over 20 baby factories have been discovered in the South-East since 2011. In a statement by the Campaign for Democracy (CD), no fewer than 2,500 teenagers were rescued from baby factories in the South-East in the past one year.

 

The Chairman of South-East Zone of CD, Uzor A. Uzor, said in a statement that in Abia and Imo states alone, about 1,800 pregnant teenagers and babies were rescued from ‘baby factories’ in the last 12 months. The number, according to him, is still rising. Ikoku expressed dismay over the growing trend. She said: “We read in the newspapers and watch on TV the atrocious activities of these people, but going down East and having a convergence of real people is a different thing entirely. “We got to learn that apart from those teenage girls who are lured into the business by their abductors, some gullible parents give consent for their female children to be taken away by the operators of the business for a monthly pay arrangement. The girls are put into family way by a young man hired by the factory operators.”

 

According to Ikoku, the babies given birth to by the girls are sold between N300,000 and N500,000, depending on the gender while the parents or guardians may only be receiving just a meagre sum as recompense. She said that they in WMA were stunned by the imminent catastrophe, if nothing was done fast. According to her, women do not openly opt for adoption, therefore many would rather plant fake pregnancies until nine months when they will go and ‘deliver’ their babies or ‘harvest’ babies from the baby factories.

 

NAPTIP can’t save the situation

Ikoku said alongside the people working assiduously to stop it, several others were thwarting their efforts. She said: “The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) that many thought would have saved the situation, is more or less a toothless bulldog. “There has thus far been no constitutional backing for them to arrest the situation.

 

The NAPTIP team in Enugu State is ready to do its job but it needs to be empowered. “They don’t have the constitutional backing to do much and they can’t do anything outside the scope of their mandate.” Many Nigerians believe that the atrocities being committed by the so-called men of God represent apocalyptic signs. Others believe that any pastor caught indulging in such acts should be held responsible for his actions and not the church. It is a pastor that commits an offence not the church, so blaming the churches whose pastors are involved in this show of shame does not worth it. There should be a proper follow-up and justice should prevail. The Bible says “the soul that sinneth shall die”. Apostle Paul, in Galatians, 19 enumerated the embodiment of ‘flesh’ for which the pastor has fallen victim. Being a pastor can’t take anyone to heaven.

 

  • Onwumere writes from Rivers State

SOURCE: http://newtelegraphonline.com/randy-pastors-prey-on-minors/

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Governor Amaechi’s N1.406B Ebola fund

By Odimegwu Onwumere

On October 15 2014, Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State stole the show at the formal declaration of former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, to run for president in 2015. Amaechi surprised many onlookers, not because he was at the occasion, but because he swaggered that his government spent N1.406billion to curb the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the state.

amaechi and jonathan

He did not see N1.406billion as too much money to restrain the EVD that barely was noticed in Rivers State; he nagged that President Goodluck Jonathan government should stop making mouth that it also fought to humiliate the disease in Rivers State.

In the words of the governor: “I hear PDP and Mr. President claiming the glory of having fought Ebola. I asked one simple question: Rivers state government spent 1,406 billion to fight Ebola, the Federal Government brought N200m just last week. If we were waiting for that N200m, Ebola would have spread round Rivers State.”

To me, this is an amount bloated too high that one might wonder if the governor was saying that he used N1.406billion to fight against the EVD in the whole of West Africa. Amaechi did not see that amount as seeming too bloated for fighting EVD that was not upto a month we heard about its emergence in Rivers State.

It wouldn’t be wise to say that such money has shown that sleaze is the benchmark of our leaders. However, Amaechi did not give us the statistics of how he spent the money. How many hospitals, health villages, health centres did he build to fight the EVD? Even the USA that had flown about 6 patients in private jets to best hospitals, the logistics for flying those patients and their medication might not be upto $4, 000, 000. Amaechi cannot take all Nigerians as fools in this matter, thinking that he was drawing the public sympathy at mentioning such an outrageous amount while fighting Jonathan.

For one, I have supported many of Amaechi’s sentiments against Jonathan, but I beg to disagree on this amount, because it is really annoying that our politicians have taken Nigerians for a ride too long. We are talking about nearly N2B that Amaechi said that he used to fight the EVD in Rivers, and I see that he was taking his politics too far that he might thought that we were fools that would swallow his boast lead, hook and sinker.

This amount is suspicious, revealing what perhaps had happened even at the federal level: some persons might have found the EVD as a vital issue to launder money that they are now watering down our throats to accept the figures by fire, by force. Do politicians like Amaechi care about the common man in the street?

It behoves on Nigerians to know that the difference between the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congresss, APC, is just in name. Party affiliations do not matter again till Amaechi tells Nigerians how he spent N1.406B to fight the EVD that barely came to Rivers State. Till then, his statement that Nigerians should, “Line up behind APC, go back home and get your voters card, we will punish this people with voters’ card” remains as balderdash.

We would see other of his comments thus that PDP was banking on using security against the APC, but the members shall teach PDP the Osun lesson as a mere hypocrisy. According to him: “We will fight with our body and our lives, because there must be change this time; there is no aspirant in APC that is not better than the aspirant in PDP; APC stands for anti-corruption and the money being diverted to private pockets now can be used to provide light; Mr. President said to us on Live TV that he is the most abused leader in 2012 and that by 2013, there will be so much power in Nigeria, that citizens will be dancing for him on the streets, are you dancing now? Do you have Power?”

Notwithstanding, it has become a common knowledge that Amaechi, like other leaders in the country, would run to the press to outline how he spent such a despicable sum on the EVD and hardly would any person or group be probing further to sieve the truth from lies. This time, Amaechi cannot fool us in Rivers State with the pretence that he was fighting Jonathan.

Let him not make us see the APC as a house of revulsion. Not even the Lagos State, where the world noticed the EVD to be significant has come out with such shocking sum that Amaechi came out with that he used for fighting the EVD; then, if Governor Babatunde Fashola should behave as Amaechi has done, his own amount would be above N5B. Let Amadioha have mercy for us!

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

Governor Amaechi’s incapability to enforce ban on street hawking

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s Rivers State is with about 90 percent of its residents living beneath poverty line. Doubtlessly, this could have necessitated the reason the state has been witnessing expansion in street hawking by its residents upon the ban to that effect some four years ago.

The hawkers were said to be those who could not afford to pay for stall. Conversely, unemployment in the state is skyrocketing per second, thereby making hawking a thing that cannot be discouraged no matter who is implementing laws to checkmate street trading.

 

The hawkers are petty traders that start their trade with little or no capital in the oil state, where a store costs as much as N15, 000 to N30, 000 per month. A potential tenant for a stall is mandated by the landlord to pay money in arrears for two years or more. This habit makes it uncomfortable for an average or financially poor resident to afford to pay for a shop.

Against the ban of street hawking in the state, the government has not provided for, sufficient market before forestalling hawking in the state. The population explosion in the state, occasioned by those who were once residing in the war-ravaged east-northern Nigeria but migrated to the state, has made hawking by most people inevitable.

In the attempt to prevent street trading in Rivers State, the then mortified Obio/Akpor council chairman, Prince Timothy Nsirim built and commissioned an international-like market with about 800 stalls in his Local Government Area, LGA, making him the only elected government officials to achieve such a feat since 2007 that Amaechi mounted the saddle as governor, having also served as Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly between the period of 1999-2007.

Law against street trading

In 2010, the Rivers State House of Assembly legislated against street trading. This was aimed mostly at stopping children of school age from trading during school hours. The Child Rights Act was cultivated in the state, consequently making it obligatory for every child of school age to be mandatorily enrolled in school.

Against the backdrop that many people had thought that street trading was providing job opportunities for most residents, the lawmakers hinged that it was dangerous to be trading along the roads as traders could be straightforwardly beaten down by moving vehicles.

The law which has since been unofficially relegated to the background by both the government and the traders, there was a belief by the violators that the harsh economic realities was it that did not permit them to keep to the law. The violation of the law, it is not only non-indigenes in the state that are culprits, the indigenes too, are involved.

Rampaging hawking in Oyigbo; for example

Street trading is predominant in most streets and towns in Rivers State. This practice is conspicuous along the Port Harcourt-Aba expressway, Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State. From Borokiri to Rumuokoro-Tank axis of the East West Road, the story is not different.

In Oyigbo, a conurbation of Rivers State, street trading is posing a precarious hazard as traders have taken most of the streets and major roads in the area for sampling of their wares. Those involved in this loathsome habit are not from the blues, but men and women, boys and girls. They use wheelbarrows and makeshift stalls to sample their items beside the roads and in the streets, before the glaring eyes of the law enforcement agents.

It used to be majorly Igbo people that were into this habit say about five years ago; but in the recent times, Hausas and Fulanis and Kanuris are taking the lead. These people, for example, occupy the Shell Location Road with wares like Watermelon, Yam, Onions, Carrots and so on. They have even made the Express Junction of the city their abode. They sample these items in their different wheelbarrows and, therefore, make the roads difficult to pass through by motorists and perambulators.

Riot by street hawkers

In 2010, when the Rivers State House of Assembly legislated against street trading, the hawkers in what was seen as drama, but a serious matter, turned unruly and vented their anger on the enforcers of the laws who were the officials of the State Ministry of Environment, particularly workers of Environmental Sanitation Authority and some policemen that were with them in making sure that the ban was truly enforced.

At the 82nd Division of Nigerian Army, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt, it was reportedly that three vehicles belonging to the State Environmental Sanitation Authority were destroyed by the union-less hawkers. They also sent a policeman to experience coma, by beating him to a pulp. The same fate befell the officials at Artillery.

Government reacts

The Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor then, Mr. Blessing Wikina said the action had long-established that hooligans costume themselves as hawkers to cause pandemonium in Port Harcourt.

He added that the assault by hawkers on the taskforce along Port Harcourt–Aba Expressway had exposed the reason government banned hawking; he reiterated that street trading remained prohibited and that anyone arrested would be prosecuted.

Government made arrests of about 32 street hawkers. Confirming this, the Divisional Police Officer of Elekahia Police Station Mr. West, as at the time, said the hawkers in his custody would be prosecuted.

Laxity in implementing the laws

It is the common mindset of residents that street hawkers are mainly criminals who disguise as street hawkers to perpetrate their criminal agenda. A source wondered that if they were not, it would not have been easy for them to gang up and take on officials meant to checkmate the ban.

Residents had thought that the beating of the officials would have brought to an end the issue of street trading in the state, but this is 2014 and the ability is growing in torrents than it was in 2010, when the ban was meted out against such trading.

Rather than carry out the laws, some indigenes resorted to saying that it was non-indigenes who were in the act of breaking the laws that banned street hawking, even though that everyone has the right to reside in any state of his or her choice. They forgot that the hawkers were against what they said were the hostile nature of the officials of the Ministry of Environment, whom they alleged were manhandling them, hence riot ensued.

Giving unemployment as reason for hawking

Many residents had since called for the review of the law banning street trading in the state with emphasis that the economic crunch in the state is tellingly. They did not end, they said that the reason many people take to hawking in the street was because of unemployment.

And there was no how these persons into hawking would have taken to stealing, they had said. Many students who were into street hawking said that they engaged in the trade, because there was hardly any advantageously employment anywhere.

The Rivers State Government led by Governor Chibuike Amaechi in September 2012 justified the ban on street trading in Port Harcourt and its environs, when difficult pressure was mounted on it by some residents.

Government explains the ban

In a joint press briefing by the Commissioners of Works and Transport, Mr. Victor Giadom and Hon. George Tolofari, the Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Semenitari reiterated that the ban was imposed due to the dangers associated with street hawking.

In Semenitari’s account, “There is no sane society that would allow its citizens to sell their wares along highways and in the streets, because traders are supposed to do their business in properly designated areas and not turn themselves into nuisance…

“Before the ban, street trading had become a complete menace, where streets and highways are littered with waste materials resulting from the activities of street traders… although some members of the public may not have known that beyond littering the streets and causing social nuisance some hawkers also carry arms and, so, have criminal capacity to rub unsuspecting motorists and members of the public.

“As a result of these reasons the State Government decided to end street trading in Port Harcourt for the safety of lives and property because even economically, it will be out of order for government to allow a group of persons do their business without paying tax to government, since a lot of them come from neighbouring States on daily basis and do their business, to go by the close of the day’s business.”

Officials shove hawker’s goods

What could have made the hawkers to confront the officials of the Ministry of Environment might not be unconnected with the allegation that the officials arrest the hawkers and would later shove their wares displayed on tables, break them and set them ablaze.

It was a support that the officials instead of respect the law and the fundamental human rights of the hawkers, would manhandle them.

The street traders always scamper for safety at sighting the sanitary officials who most times come in numbers, not minding the revelation by psychologists that hawking is identical with poverty. But these have belonged to history, as street hawkers have since gone back to the streets fully and, are now the lords of the manor.

Review street trading

Especially the young people who always run after moving vehicles, the government should provide gainfully job opportunities for them, said establishments. The government should note that most roads and streets in the state have been converted to make-shift markets by street traders, they added.

Connoisseurs had said that it behooves on Amaechi to retrospect that Section II (xx) and 35(i) of the Environmental Sanitation Authority Law of Rivers State (Cap 52, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999) requires the punishment for appealing in peddling goods on the roads.

According to the law, “It is a criminal offence, punishable with three months imprisonment, for any person to sell or offer for sale, any goods or other articles of trade, at traffic light junctions or in any other unauthorised places in Rivers State.”

A source added that the government requires making use of the “stick-and-carrot approach”, because “for any government to make a constructive scratch in the attitudinal modification of its people, it must be compact in putting in force its laws, while on condition that needed the prerequisites.”

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

2015: Nigerians are again hearing sugercoated manifestoes

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Nigerian politicians are hyping 2015 with many of them recently picking up forms for different elective positions from their different political parties. This move is being laced with many of them sermonising their manifestoes that are appealing to the ears and arresting hearts, at least, for now.

But this is not the first time we are hearing them make speeches that appeal to the heart, but have no commensurable outcome to show for the electorates’ unruly approach in electing them into various political offices. It is about 15yrs of this democracy and we are still battling with motions without actions, orchestrated by the governments at all levels.

The democracy that we had thought would redeem the country and its citizens from the cluster of backwardness, the country is today worst than the military left it. If the military was using weapons to humiliate the citizens, the democratic-politicians are using bloated intelligence, narrow-minded brilliance and paper-education to humiliate the citizens. We have virtually everything that was supposed to be working for us in this country, but mediocrity has killed them all.

prez jona

Nigerians are tired of the same old story in a democracy where habits of 419ners and politicians have peculiarity, by all standards. We have civilians in power today who are most stubborn than the military. They make promises they do not fulfill. It is shameful that elective positions have become conduit pipe through which the elected milk their constituents dry and bleak their eyelids as if nothing is happening.

When many of these politicians were supposed to go and sit down for failing the aspirations and hopes the electorates had in them, they are again deafening our ears with manifestoes that they will not keep to, as soon as they are elected into offices again. In this country, politicians have made democracy as a government without transparency, as against the contrary. For example, the allocations to the states and local government areas in the country are not audited year in year out, including the security votes.

Many of us had expected that democracy would usher in a new lease of life to Nigerians, but we are still battling corruption in the ways contracts are awarded, how fuel is imported, school system, healthcare, just name them. In the name of amnesty criminals are empowered to the utopian height, whereas they would have been in jail by now. This is democracy, where the rule of law is only meant for the papers where it is written. This is democracy where the purchase of arms is a subject of controversy and leaves many with the mindset about the difference between 419 and official corruption.

About 15yrs after, democracy in our country has become a hideous burden on our lean shoulders. Many of our politicians that were broke like riffraff when they escaped from the hangman’s noose during the military are the ones today calling the shots and have become trillionaires overnight. These politicians have become burdens to our democracy, with their ever-present posturing as subjects of discussion in our everyday life.

It is imperative to say that these politicians are not in the habit of thinking for the betterment of the citizens but theirselves. And this habit has left everything in the country not working, except corruption, which has become a monster that we are battling seriously with to stem. This fight has been going on for over a decade today, without any sign that it would be won in the near future.

What the politicians do is to rant when they have fallout with the system and as soon as they are back to the system, they forget the followers who were there with and for them. They have made democracy in Nigeria to look like Nigeria’s version of the holocaust.

One Robert Half has warned that ability is useless unless it’s used. It is a curious thing that our leaders do the needful to assuage the tension at every quarter in the country. Our politicians should stop handling the citizens’ affairs with their heads when they ought to use their hearts. They should stop sharing fears in the country when they should share courage.

Our leaders should borrow a leaf from John C. Maxwell as we journey towards the 2015 elections, which is, leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts; it is about one life influencing another.

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

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

http://www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Experts Explain That Germs Cause Pneumonia, Not Cold

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Those who keep warm or wear sweater or avoid cold drinks or cold weather with the view that these are the factors that cause pneumonia are disappointed. Investigations have revealed that the dreaded pneumonia is a transmissible disease caused by bacteria, fungi or virus gotten from grubby environment.

This is against the belief of about 90 percent of Nigerians that pneumonia is caused by cold: Either by drinking cold water or contact with air conditioning or cold climate. A public health and child health consultant, Dr. Rotimi Adesanya, according to a report by the trios of Mudiaga Affe, Bukola Adebayo and Sodiq Oyeleke of The Punch, said this in a forum in November 2013.

“The organisms that cause pneumonia are highly contagious, the viruses or bacteria can be spread to others by coughing and sneezing, inhaling germs from dirty environments,” Adesanya said.

The health expert who was reportedly said is the founder of a child care foundation – Betterlifemission – continued, saying that research fêted unawareness, environmental effluence and poor inoculation rates as reasons Nigeria had on its chat the high rate of victims of the disease with over 170,000 pneumonia-related deaths among Nigerian children yearly, out of an estimated one million children that die of pneumonia globally.

In the event marking the 2013 World Pneumonia Day, the wife of the Cross River State Governor, Mrs. Obioma Imoke with Adesanya in their individual awareness campaign, said, “Pneumonia is a silent killer. At least one child dies every 20 seconds in Nigeria. It is the number one killer of children in the world and second in Nigeria…”

It was practical from the connoisseurs, warning that no one prevents or treats pneumonia by wearing sweaters or observance of temperature. “Use of cough mixtures in children does not stop pneumonia. Drinking cold drinks does not cause pneumonia. Eating hot meals and keeping warm is not a solution to pneumonia,” they said.

pneumonia pics

Germs in daycare

A testimony by Mamalette, January 3, 2014, has it that those who were always suspicious that their children in the daycare might contract pneumonia and other contagious diseases might not be wrong. According to the source, “Researchers from the University of Buffalo have found that some objects found in daycare settings may be contaminated for up to one month with common viruses including Streptococcus pneumonia, the leading cause of ear and respiratory tract infection in children, and Streptococcus pyogenes, the bacteria that causes strep throat and skin infections.”

In addition, the lead author of the study, Anders Hakansson, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences appended that, “This is the first paper to directly investigate that these bacteria can survive well on various surfaces, including hands, and potentially spread between individuals.” The account went further to suggest that ‘S. pneumoniae and S. pyogenes “survived for hours on human hands and persisted on books and soft and hard toys and surfaces in a daycare center, in some cases, even after being well-cleaned” after an experiment.

Prof. Hakansson was of the conviction that Streptococcus pneumonia is common in daycare centers and a frequent cause of hospital contaminations: “In developing countries, where fresh water, good nutrition and common antibiotics may be scarce, S. pneumoniae often leads to pneumonia and sepsis, killing one million children every year,” he said, adding, “Bacterial colonization doesn’t, by itself, cause infection, but it’s a necessary first step if an infection is going to become established in a human host.”

Why pneumonia kills more children

Due to the playful nature of children, they easily contract living things which are neither plants nor animals, while playing and lurching into all varieties of dirt like dust and waterlog. Authorities said that children most times contract germs from these places they play on if germs are hiding in such places.

According to a research online, “Once children come in contact with germs (bacteria, fungi, virus, and potozoa) the germs invade their body tissue/pores and get ready to stay for a while, these germs draw up energy from their host (the infected child). They damage or destroy healthy cells as they use the child’s energy and nutrients. They may produce proteins known as toxins, some of which cause annoying symptoms of common cold, or flu such as catarrh and cough. They can also cause diarrhoea but other toxins can cause high fever, increased heart rate, low blood pressure and even other life threatening illness.”

It was observable that bacteria are easily spread from children to children than they are spread from adults to adults due to the sportsmanship behaviours of children in the environment. Children are seen in stockpiles than adults are seen. Even when adults gather, they are not playing, unlike children who always enjoy bodily contact at every given point in time.

Appeal to check pneumonia

Mrs. Imoke has appealed to religious leaders, spiritual fathers, opinion leaders, youth organisations and faith-based organisations to sensitise the public on the dangers of pneumonia so that children will stay safe and alive, but reiterating that the approach of some religious leaders who forbid their members from taking orthodox medicine, is uncalled for and an act of wickedness.

“Parents should patronise healthcare facilities instead of unorthodox practitioners when they observe symptoms such as fever, cold or abdominal pains in their children,” she said.

The Executive Officer, Institute of Child Health, University of Benin, Oshodin Hope Osarumwense also appealed to parents to see that germs spread more in dirty environment, adding that cleanliness, they say, is next to godliness “as good hygiene and clean environment save the family from the cost of germs and illness.”

Osarumwense suggested that germs could be thwarted by habitual tidiness of the surrounding and glade of bushes around the homes, ensuring that wastes are not left in the house or near the house for too long.

“Periodically wipe down frequently handled objects such as toys, door knobs, light switches, sink fixtures and flushing handles in the toilets. Sweep the house and compound daily as well as washing the dishes and other cooking utensils regularly.

“Soap and water are perfectly adequate for cleaning, if you like you may try using antiseptic soap, which can kill or reduce bacterial content on an object, you can also use bleach, avoid chemical sprays on the floor, spray and use of chemical may irritate skins and eyes of children, children must also be taught not to eat food or snacks that fell off the plate onto the floor, they must also be informed about regular washing of fruits before eating.

“More so, use proper food handling techniques, separate cutting boards, clean utensils and towels for preparing food. Unfinished food and other food stuffs must be properly covered and kept. Create time for general and all round sanitation of the house,” the source said.

Conclusion

There was a call that those who expose themselves to smoke from cigarettes and the environment should desist as these also lead to pneumonia infections. Adesanya added, “Exclusive breast feeding naturally prevents and protects children from pneumonia, diarrhoea, malnutrition, and other diseases.

“A child with pneumonia in a crèche where hygiene practices are poor will quickly infect others. Parents must ensure that their children attend schools and day-care centres where the owners adhere to good personal hygiene.”

That was even as the National President, Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele said: “We want to appeal for the introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine into the routine immunisation schedule, as a primary prevention of the disease. Vaccination against pneumonia infections has been proven to be highly effective globally.”

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

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

http://www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Amaechi and the Jonathan Question: It appears Nigerians have been passive

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has been fighting a political battle with the presidency and its arsenal of political impostors that many Nigerians thought that by now he would have surrendered. But hardly does a warrior surrender in a battle that he finds to be just unless justice is achieved, no matter who may be in support or against.

A warrior does not mind losing his life in such a war, instead of allow himself to be cowed to accept peace and his voice muffled. For example, the Biafrans were apparently intimidated to a defeat in the 1967-1970 uncivil war that the federal might carried out against the peoples of the old Eastern Region. But forty-something years after the war ended in the battle bushes, Biafrans are still clamouring for justice and equity in the federal character on the map of the areas that were once known as the Republic of Biafra.

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While many people who are enjoying the debris they get from the presidency thought that Amaechi was talking too much, like a warrior he is, he was credited to have criticized the presidency, as always, when recently he visited Degema Local Government Area of the state, where he urged the youth to involve more in sporting activities and developments. Some folks, especially those from the Ijaw nation, have since then brought Amaechi to the cleaners, for what they said was an affront on their son, Jonathan.

But to be frank, the media handlers of President Goodluck Jonathan and many others close to him and the PDP in Rivers State, have only shown that they are too desperate for political offices: Power. They forgot that their desperations and attacks against Amaechi obviously make Jonathan look like a tyrant over the undefined issue between Governor Amaechi and him, of which Jonathan might not be a tyrant.

One such person is Barr Nyesom Wike who happens to be the Minister of Education. Wike was once quoted as saying that all the borders and airports and seaports would be closed if Jonathan was announced the winner of the 2015 election in order to stop Amaechi from escaping from the country. Wike categorically made this comment, depicting that something that would not follow the rule of law was cooking against Amaechi in the presidency, therefore buttressing the axiom which says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Nigerians saw how Governor Amaechi was insulted and molested like a no-body severally, when he flew his aircraft to some states in the country. The molestation that was meted out to him in Osun, during the state’s election, was one out of the many attempts by the ‘power from above’ to ridicule Amaechi, who is by the constitution was supposed to be enjoying the immunity, as enshrined in the constitution. One Gulak who served the president before he was disgracefully fired was also garrulous that Amaechi was always in the news for the wrong reasons only known to Gulak.

A keen observer would know that the reason these people have been calling for the head of Amaechi was because of his stoutly approach to unraveling issues that even the angels dread in the presidency. In June this year, his detractors saw it as a crime, when he called for the resistance of tyranny, which he said that was manifest in the country’s leadership. It was at the 3rd annual lecture of the Ogun State Correspondents’ chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, which held at the NUJ secretariat, Iwe Irohin, Abeokuta that he made the comment.

Hear Amaechi: “Leadership is an extremely important factor, if we are going to build a nation. Unless and until we have leaders with ability, integrity, commitment and vision, we cannot succeed as a country. We cannot succeed by leadership that is not functional…. It is in your hands to choose and to change the leadership. Nigerians must begin to insist that they deserve better than they are getting…. We believe that Nigeria of our dream is Nigeria with leaders who are not only consistent, transparent, but, also, passionate about our country….

“Can we say that the crop of leadership at various levels is passionate about us as a country? Can we say that the current crop of leadership at the federal level is transparent in their dealings? Can we say that the present crop of leadership at the federal is consistent with policies that will build the nation? I think that the answers to that is the reason why some of us left the Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress…. Nigerians must say no to tyranny. Nigerians must say no to dictatorship. The people get the kind of leadership they deserve…. It appears that Nigerians have been docile. Nigerians should insist that they deserve more than they are getting”.

Amaechi was barely through with that lecture, before the echo of his speech had been amplified by those who thought they loved Jonathan and that he was their better-half than the rest Nigerians. Amaechi was made a demon by Jonathan’s political yesmen; Amaechi was demonized for sermonizing what many Nigerians knew were the truths: the South-South and South-East people for example were just being sentimental in supporting Jonathan to the detriment of the zones truthful and collective awareness; the zones were developed in other administrations than in Jonathan’s.

Take for instance; all the Jonathan’s electioneering promises to the South-South and South-East seem like a ruse today, as virtually every federal project is left unattended to. Talk of the East-West Road, Eleme/Onne Road, Enugu/Port Harcourt expressway and many others; the second Niger Bridge and a host of others. Let’s see one federal project that the Jonathan-led government has gotten right, before Amaechi is called names.

When on April 24 2014 that Amaechi repeated his obligation to the All Progressives Congress, APC, they said that he was against Jonathan; Amaechi’s traducers perhaps forgot that Amaechi was only expressing his fundamental rights to speech. His detractors didn’t see the glaring propaganda and blackmail credited to Amaechi’s former Chief of Staff and Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, saying that Amaechi was planning a comeback to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, through the ‘back door’, which was the reason Amaechi made the comment.

All that they saw was that ‘Amaechi has spoken against Jonathan’. And you ask whether Amaechi was just saying the truth or blackmailing Jonathan, just like we have read in the media of the PDP, saying that Amaechi speaks like a motor-park tout: all for his critiques on the Jonathan-led government. Those that are against Amaechi, because of the trickily sentiment they have for Jonathan, should understand that you don’t beat a child and at the same time, say that he or she should not cry.

Here is a man whose state’s oil wells in Kalabari and Etche were ceded to neighbouring Bayelsa, Abia and Imo states by the Jonathan presidency, because of politics of animosity, which Amaechi has always ascribed as tyrannical on the part of the presidency. However, even though that truly Amaechi was not loyal to the president, should that have warranted this imbecilic approach against the Rivers State’s revenue generation means? The sad aspect is that the

Kalabaris who now think that Jonathan is their brother are fighting Amaechi, leaving Jonathan a free man, whereas the later is the one they should be asking the many questions that they want Amaechi to provide answers to.

Amaechi had told them that he was not returning to the PDP and had asked the people to check if Wike was okay for his talkative statement, which was that Amaechi was planning to return to the PDP. They wouldn’t allow the man to rest. But in the words of Amaechi: “I am not returning to the PDP. That man (Wike), they should check him whether he is okay. I have finished with the PDP…. Well, I had made a promise that if they returned the Kalabari oil wells I will return to the party; well that is a different thing. Let’s see that happen. The real thing is that there are issues that are fundamentally different between the APC, the PDP and myself.

“If I am progressive, I must be progressive and I must see it in the type of life I live, what I do and what I say and how I relate with the people, the type of governance. You can’t carry out a socialist programme like this free education, properly free education where children are given laptops, free uniforms, fed and sent home. There are so many of these things we run that are contrary to the ideology of PDP….”

These are happening, whereas in the media, we read from those in the PDP fighting Amaechi, as if ‘he is finished for his checks of Jonathan’, when at the back they go to beg of Amaechi to join the PDP. And Amaechi would say: “Beyond the oil wells, I have told them, they have approached me. If they want, I will call the names of those that approached me, but that is not an issue. There are issues that are fundamentally different. If I am a progressive, it must be seen in the type of life I live, in what I do, how I relate with people and the type of governance.

“I said people should ignore him (Wike). Are you sure that if I tell the PDP that I am coming back in 10 days, they will not send a dance party here? One problem with leadership in Nigeria is that when you are a president, a governor or a minister, what you say must be factual. You cannot be part of gossip. So, that young man (Wike), who claims to be Minister of State for Education, who does not know what it means to be a minister, is saying I am begging to come back to the PDP. What is the PDP? I beg you, please, do not ever ask me question about that young man (Wike), because I will not answer you”.

It is laughable that the likes of Wike want Amaechi to exhibit total loyalty to Jonathan, whereas they do not want to show same to Amaechi, being their state governor. Notwithstanding, it behooves on every intelligent person to support against any imposition of governorship aspirant by the presidency in Rivers State against the will of the Rivers masses. This is because according to a statement made available by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Amaechi, Mr. David Iyofor, partly said, “The people of Rivers State will strongly and bravely resist any attempt by anyone or institutions, including the presidency, to unconstitutionally install the preferred PDP aspirant as Governor of the State, now or in the 2015 election.

“There is no provision in the Nigerian Constitution and laws for the ‘installation’ of a preferred aspirant as governor of a state by the presidency. What our laws prescribe is a free and fair election that must be devoid of police and security forces coercion, harassment and intimidation of voters.

“Rivers voters must be allowed to and will freely choose and elect their governor in the 2015 elections. It is their inalienable democratic right that they will not and will never surrender to anyone or institution, including The Presidency.

 

“We must warn that the looming danger ahead for our polity and our country is indeed ominous, if this noxious script is acted out. This is an avoidable crisis that must be avoided by all parties mentioned in the reports”.

Who doubts Amaechi when he talks that a tyrant resides in Aso Rock?

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

Nightmare called Enugu/ Port Harcourt Expressway

By Odimegwu Onwumere

It is unmistakably secure to walk through the den of the Islamic sect called Boko Haram than drive on most roads in the South-East and South-South, especially on the Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway.

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Many motorists have constantly related their bad ordeals while plying the pit-of-hell. Apart from Okigwe and Umuahia, Umuahia and Isiala Ngwa South, and Aba/Imo River Bridge at the boundary with Abia and Rivers States where the Expressway has conspicuously damaged, it is a nightmare travelling on the Expressway along Umuebulu Junction near Oyigbo Local Government Area, Rivers State.

On October 8 2014, this reporter took the picture of a truck carrying goods suspected to be tomatoes and pepper that fell on the road the Federal Government had in 2012 said it had awarded contract for the modernization. The red motor in the picture had its bumper removed by a spot that has worsened at the Umuebulu Junction.

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These are infinitesimal tales of woes by motorists compared to the number of vehicles that get spoilt by the worsened highway per day, whereas the road was supposed to be so relevant. It used to be the economic hub for both the government and individuals to convey their services from one place to another.

One bystander who did not give her name while filing this report said, “It is appalling that this road remains thus considering the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan is from the region where the road is situated.”

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Many wondered if the people of South-South and South-East would vote for Mr. President in 2015 owing to his palpable aborted promise in 2011 that he would rebuild the road if voted into power.

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(Report and Photos by Odimegwu Onwumere, Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855).