A cross-section of the residents of Bwari Area Council in the FCT, Abuja has appealed to government at all levels to make healthcare services affordable in rural communities.
The people made the appeal on Monday in separate interviews with The Tide’s source in Bwari, Abuja.
They argued that affordable healthcare for rural dwellers would help to encourage the people to patronise health facilities when they fall sick.
A security man, Mr Johnathan Awayi, said that many families in the rural parts of the counci were finding it difficult to access health services because of cost.
Awayi further said that many had lost their loved ones “because their relatives could not afford high medical bills” charged to treat serious ailments.
According to him, serious health challenges are also beyond the capacity of the primary health centers situated in the communities.
“When you visit a health center close to you, thinking your problem is malaria or typhoid and they run tests and find out it is more than that they refer you to a bigger hospital.
“Sometimes, even the transportation to the hospital becomes a problem.
“Moreover, when you get there, they subject you to more tests, which costs more money.
“It is even worse, when you are admitted because the cost of admission per night in a general hospital here is not what a rural dweller can afford”, Awayi said.
He further said some people return home to their fate once they have a referral to another hospital for a broader check on their health status and at the end of the day, they die without medical attention.
“Some cannot even afford to pay for routine tests or minor surgeries in government-owned hospitals, let alone the private ones.
“Things are really hard now so government and private hospitals should help the rural dwellers by subsidising the cost of medicare for them”, Awayi said.
Also, a house wife and mother of four, Madam Esther Jonah, said that she lost her baby because she could not afford to pay for incubator, when she had a premature delivery.
Jonah said, “My husband is a labourer, who earns daily income and has no savings to cater for such an emergency, when it happened”.
She also frowned at the “insultive attitude” of some health workers towards the poor and vulnerable at public health fscilities.
“The attitude of some of these health workers is barbaric and make some sick persons to go home out of frustration”, she said.
Jonah admonished health workers to show sympathy and empathy to the sick rather them mock them.
“The attitude of health workers matter a lot.
“They need reorientation on how to relate with patients battling with severe health cases”, she said, adding that “some of them, especially the women, can be inconsiderate and unreasonable.
“At least, even if someone cannot afford something, don’t rub it on their faces.
“Instead, find a means of helping them and not make them regret coming to the clinic”, she said.
Mr Yakubu Sabo said subsidising the cost of health care, including child delivery, would help to address child and maternal mortality in rural communities.
Sabo said: “I know some of us in the rural area need to be educated on family planning for birth control because we cannot afford the cost that comes with delivery sometime.
“However, in cases where the unplanned happens, I plead for assistance from the health providers.
“Let’s not be tired in doing good. Nothing is easy and I don’t pray for anyone to go to the hospital for anything now, I advise everyone to watch their lifestyle”, he said.
A health worker in Sabon-Gari area of the district, Mrs Deborah Gwazah, blamed some of the challenges in the healthcare services at the community level on the lack of sufficient medical personnel and facilities.
Reacting to the issue, the Chairman of Bwari Area Council, Mr John Gabaya, reaffirmed his administration’s resolve to continue to provide improved healthcare services in all the communities in the area.
Gabaya said in 2022, his administration organised a free medical outreach for the people of the area in line with the council’s mandate.
He also said that his administration implemented various vaccination campaigns, maternal, newborn and child health programmes across the district.
NEDC Distributes Palliatives To People With Disabilities In Borno
The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has commenced distribution of palliatives to people living with disability in Borno State.
During the exercise on Saturday in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, the Managing Director of the Commission, Mr Mohammed Alkali, said the gesture was in line with the commission’s mandate.
Alkali, who was represented by the NEDC Coordinator for Borno, Mr Mohammed Umaru, said the exercise started with the people with disability in Maiduguri metropolitant and would be extended to their members in the 26 LGAs of the state.
“What we are doing here today will also be done in remaining 26 LGAs of Borno.
“It has also commenced or has been done in other north east states as part of measures to ensure that everyone is given a sense of belonging in line with the NEDC mandate”, he said.
Responding, the Chairman of people living with disability in Borno, Mallam Mohammed Abubakar, thanked the commission for the gesture and assured of the leadership’s commitment to ensure fairness in sharing the 50 bags of rice and 50 cartons of spaghetti to its members in the metropolis.
Abubakar urged other organisations to emulate the gesture by the commission in reaching out to vulnerable groups in their support to victims of insurgency at this critical period.
Tribunal Upholds Gov Alia’s Election
The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on Saturday upheld the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 Governorship Election.
Delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and PDP.
Karaye, who read the unanimous judgment, stated that only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.
He further said the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.
He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.
Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.
He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election and therefore, dismissed the case.
The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.
The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election, not qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election.
They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.
They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, therefore, should be disqualified.
They therefore, prayed among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.
They also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC be withdrawn.
The Tide’s source reports that the petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.
However, the respondents in their counter arguments, urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.
The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division, had before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter which was filed by the petitioners but they did not appeal the judgment till date.
They also said the issues raised were all pre election matter and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.
The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners case was status bar and should be struck out.
They said the petitioners lacked locus standing to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.
PDP Chieftain Makes Case For Culture, Tradition Maintenance
A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Prince Dotun Babayemi, has called on traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders not to allow culture and traditions to go into extinction.
Babayemi gave the advice in Osogbo on Saturday to commemorate the Olojo festival celebration slated to hold between Septwmber 29 and October 2 in Ile-Ife.
The Tide’s source reports that Olojo festival is an ancient festival aimed at celebrating the remembrance of “Ogun”, god of iron, who is believed to be the first son of Oduduwa, progenitor of the Yoruba people.
Babayemi said relevant stakeholders in Yoruba land should rise up to rescue the culture and traditions as well as the language of the race from going into extinction.
“We have to go back to the days of yore because our known valued ethos and mores are fast ebbing.
“Sadly, these are already taking tolls on our value system as reflected in the moral decadence pervading our society today.
“It is sad that gradually our culture is being submerged by modernity/ civilisation and this portends a great danger for the future of the culture and traditions of Yoruba race.
“Unless everyone rises up to rescue this avoidable cultural eclipse, the future of our culture and traditions will be in jeopardy”, he said.
Babayemi, who is also a former PDP governorship aspirant in the state, congratulated the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, sons and daughters of Ile-Ife across the world on the celebration of the Olojo festival.
He said the constant celebration of the festival would not make the coming generations to lose touch with the history of the race, thereby rekindling cultural renaissance.
“I want to sincerely congratulate our highly revered traditional ruler of Ile-Ife, Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, and the good people of the ancient town home and abroad on the celebration of Olojo Festival.
“Sincerely speaking, unless we sustain the tempo of celebrating our culture in Yoruba land in the challenging face of modernity/civilisation, coming generations will lose touch with our history.
“Moreso, we are blessed with relics, artefacts and other cultural events worth celebrating”, he said.
The party stalwart urged custodians of Yoruba cultures and traditions to ensure cultural engagements that would continually ingrain the needed values in the subconscious of the younger generations.
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