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Wednesday, 25 May 2016


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

“Welcome, Miss Yetunde. Please I’d love to have a word with you.” Naomi’s teacher greeted while dropping the little girl in her class. Yetunde was instantly worried because she knew what Mrs. Aderigbibe would discuss with her. In the whole state, they were about seven good nursery schools for children and “Violets & Petals Nursery/Primary school” was one of them. Although she was struggling, she had vowed not to let her child suffer, she had promised herself to give Naomi the best in all things. But sadly, money had come to stand before her dreams, her heart sank a bit lower, but she wiped the moisture from her eyes. No way, she couldn’t cry now, she signed up for this. She had to fight back and stay strong. But she felt her hope swim farther into the river of despair. What if the loan wasn’t given to her? How would she survive? She recalled begging her parents the previous years to help her with some money but they had bluntly refused. She was alone now, and she needed to do what loners do: survive.
“Hello Miss Yetunde, you seem to be in a hurry.” Yetunde nodded quickly as she checked her leather band wristwatch. “I guess you know what this is about. I’m tired of covering for you, you have to try and pay the girl’s fees or she wouldn’t be allowed into the class from next week.” The woman paused after delivering her message. She watched the young woman who seemed to be in her mid twenties and shook her head sadly. She really wished she could help but the times were so hard. Sometimes she was tempted to ask about the girl’s father but she refrained from it. “I understand Madam…just give me a few more weeks ….please I would pay all am owing.” She even began to cry but the woman had already walked away. “God please help me…please forgive me am tired of paying for my sins.” She cried as she settled in the car. “Just help me obtain this loan, I promise to go to church…please Jesus.”
She took a deep breath and stepped into the bank with some documents she had been asked to bring. One of the bankers directed her to the Manager’s office as he was aware of her prior application for loan. She had never felt this nervous in her life but she was as she knocked timidly on the door and awaited a response. “Come in’ a breaking voice called, she greeted the man who directed her to a seat reserved for customers. She wondered if Mr Bassey Ekpeyong was a kind man as he flipped through the documents. “Miss Peters I have gone through these documents and you haven’t presented any documents on any property that has real value.” She was frightened, what property did she have beside her old car? “Sir but my car documents are there.” He chuckled softly feeling amused by the desperate woman that sat before him. “Look Madam, to get this kind of loan, you must have valuable properties which the bank could fall back to in case you fail to pay the loan,” he explained and paused to sip his morning coffee, clearing his throat afterwards. “I believe I have seen your car before. Trust me, it’s worth nothing.”
She felt the words sting her to her bones, where was God right now she needed Him? Before she could react, she heard some noise and the door opened. For a moment she wished she could disappear but it was too late as the man she had slapped earlier stepped into the office beaming with smiles till he spotted her and his face went dead.

What was he doing here? She thought. She had to leave immediately. She didn’t want anyone, especially this man knowing she had money problems and needed a loan to fix it. She planned on what to do next as she watched a sudden change in Mr Bassey’s behavior. He was all smiles and looked very afraid of the young man before him which made Yetunde smirk. Who did Mr perfect think he was anyway? She had to run as quickly as possible as she heard Mr. Bassey’s words: “Good Morning Boss”. She had enough, she had to run out but they were other bankers coming into the room, she had never felt so stupid. The man exchanged pleasantries with Mr Bassey and turned to her again. “You,” was all he said before she ran out of the office.


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

“Momma…ma,” Naomi stuttered as she frowned her angelic face at her mother who had snatched her favorite toy away. “Eat baby or you will be late to school,” she urged the toddler to finish her pancakes while trying to arrange some snacks into her lunchbox. She watched her angel grow every day. She was so proud of her little daughter who was the smartest kid ever. Looking at her face alone made her day and prevented her from getting depressed. She had abandoned the world because they abandoned her. No church member in her father’s Parish had bothered to check on her or know about her whereabouts. She felt so hurt by their neglect that she vowed never to attend any church again because all her life, her religious parents had taught her that Christianity was a religion of love but from what she had experienced, she felt the opposite.
“Stay here baby, the drive to school won’t be long now.” She kissed Naomi as she tucked her at the backseat of the old car she had bought. She liked the way she felt now, she was happy and no man could ruin that but right now Money was her biggest problem. She hadn’t paid her rent in three months and she felt guilty about this. Although the landlady understood she was a single and struggling young mother, one of these days, she was quite sure the woman could run out patience. She had to go back to school and complete her course and there were bills to be paid, like the electricity bill, water bill, etc. This meeting she had this morning with the Bank Manager was very important to her, she needed a loan badly. She had thought of starting her own business, she would get her own supermarket and make it big. She really prayed for god’s intervention or else she would go mad in debts.
Suddenly she felt something hit her bumper and she brought the car to an abrupt halt. She glanced at the window to check out Naomi who was alright, obviously coloring a book. She sighted the lunatic that had just broken her car light. “My god!” She screamed. “You will pay dearly for this you psycho.” She took him in with her eyes, he was obviously a rich and well to do person. She saw the quality of his well ironed suit that fitted him like another skin. He looked very handsome and tall and she hated him immediately. She hated all men, they all reminded her of Femi, the liar who had cheated on her many times and made her steal from her parents. Immediately she stood face to face with this man, she felt all her blood freeze with hate.

“I’m so sorry ma’am, I didn’t see you trafficate…I’m so sorry,” he apologized kindly but she ignored his pretence. He was mocking her, she could feel it in his words. She had not signaled that she was branching into the next street because her car was old and some parts weren’t working. She looked at the shiny black Honda Civic beside him and couldn’t stare at her tattered Toyota. She felt so ashamed but she quickly covered it up. No, no man could make her feel ashamed. She walked towards him and mustered up all the courage in her and gave him a dirty slap which made him stagger in astonishment. “Serves you right Mr. Perfect...and for the records, that slap is for my car light!” She yelled as she drove away angrily. Now, the idiot had added another item on her list of wants.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

PAWS 1 --by Nickz

(Image source: bundlr.com)

The paw prints were there on the soggy earth. Tonia could see the marks cutting into the wet mud and the wide sole, bigger than that of any dog or cat she’d ever seen. It looked wild and dreadful. She was a strong girl but the strange events that she’d been experiencing–the midnight mews of the strange black cat, the dead animal by her backyard in the morning–were causes for concern. Now, there was another source of panic to it; the footprints of a strange creature. Tonia was a tough girl, a hell of a kind. The fact that she left the heart of town where her family was, to live in the wood house in the rural community, was a confirmation. The wood house was her father’s property where they usually spent special times like Christmas. Her Mom was the most worried about her travelling there and staying on her own for days. But she was a young lady of 21 who knew what she wanted. She had begged for permission to stay in the wood house for a week so she could gain access to the materials she needed for her art project. Her younger sister, Precious, 19, had promised to be driving down and be checking on her every two days. When Tonia arrived at the wood house, she called her Mom and has been doing so very often, assuring her of her well-being. There was food and everything stocked in for her. She really needed the distance and space.

But the truth remained about her desire to be alone: Tonia needed a break from her parents. She didn’t like the way things were going between them recently. It was driving her mental. How could they be pretending to be one sweet couple outside but when home, it was cat and dog? The other night, it was lipstick stain. One time, it was smell of alcohol in his breath—one problem or another. Her Mom and Dad had been together for more than 22 years but he started giving her reasons to doubt her trust in him. Each evening after work, it was verbal war. Her Mom was secretly worried it was because they didn’t have a male child. Tonia could not gain peace of mind. Even Precious, the nonchalant-in-nature-type began to fret and would try her best to play mediator. It started to look childish. She needed to clear her head. She needed the break and only one place she could think of possessed the necessary tranquility.

The wood house bore the solitude and calmness she needed; far from the usual hustles in town–the nosiness of blaring horns, the sight of hundreds of commuters and pedestrians–she just felt more at home in this isolated crib. Her nearest neighbour was about a football field away, an elderly man of about 70 whose only company was a small white cat. So far, it was her fifth night in the wood house. She had acquainted herself with the few in the environs. She even went to their cultural masquerade dance and filled her phone with shots of masquerades and their unimaginable stunts. It wouldn’t make meaning if her stay was not enjoyable. She had once stopped by the old man’s house–her neighbour–to hail him, but he was not the talking type. “Hello Sir, good afternoon. I’m Tonia.” He only stared at her like she was the reason for his missing teeth. His bald-headed face was all saggy and his thin, bent frame relied on his walking stick. He had yawned and rose inside with his cat following him. She had left, feeling the old man needed his space. There was something strange about him.

Again, she had heard the cat mew continuously by her window. It had been that way the past two nights, just an hour after midnight. Like other times, she cut her sleep and picked up her flashlight. She was pissed that she couldn’t have her sleep in peace. It was always by the back window of the kitchen.  Walking to inspect the cause of alarm, from her window, she saw the shiny eyes of the black cat fixed offensively at her window. It ran away when she directed the flash beam at it. It was all weird. Every other thing seemed normal but there were some patterns on the earth which her flashlight revealed. She couldn’t see clearly through the kitchen glass so she went back to bed, having difficulties relaxing her mind. About an hour later, she found favour in the sight of sleep as it overshadowed her till dawn.

Very early in the morning, Tonia went out to check around the house. She could see the imprints of the paws. This was far from the imprints of a cat or dog. They had told her there was no such thing as wild animals in the community. She bent over it to have a closer look. She tried to trace the path the steps took, if the prints would vanish somewhere into the surrounding bush but strangely, the prints always ended just by the steps to her back porch. How could it be? Should she inform her mother? No. she wouldn’t. That would be an abrupt end to her stay. Her mother was already having her heart in her mouth about her safety. Such news to her would be disastrous.
She made up her mind to observe for one more night. Maybe it was the old man trying to scare her with whatever means so she could leave the house. While she was casually contemplating his involvement, she looked up and saw the old and bald-headed man was standing on his lobby, staring at her. She could see him clearly. He stared offensively at her too, just like the black cat stared at her. He was a suspect. Instinctively, she started moving across the shrubs to meet him. He must have something to say this time. But as she got closer to the old man, she noticed he was moving back into his mud house. On getting to the old house, the old man had completely retired inside. Her anger began to grow. For a moment, she felt like bringing down the door and going in to confront the wicked monster who was most likely the man behind her torment. But she won’t–not just yet. She would do it the right way. When Precious visited her tomorrow, together they’ll go to the Community Head and make a complaint of threat.

It was exactly 1am when she heard the mews again, very wild and bizarre. It was like the sound of a million cats. It came from her backyard as usual. Tonight, there was something more unusual which almost made her heart jump out of the cage. The kitchen door was wide open in the middle of the night. She can swear by any god she had locked the door–she clearly remembered doing that after taking her dinner of milk and cornflakes. The dirty plate was still in the sink. She had left it there because water wasn’t rushing from the tap. She recalled clearly. Her steps became stone-frozen, her pupil dilated, adrenaline pumping into her bloodstream. Her flashlight started to shake in her hand as the beam landed on something in the doorway: the strange paws marks, in blood, inside her house. Now, she was sure she was in real danger. Her movement began to reverse slowly, in the process, causing her to bump blindly into a huge object. Her torchlight fell from her grasp and turned off, leaving her in panic. Groping on the floor, she found and picked the torchlight. She had bumped into the fridge. She wanted to run out of the house but where would she run to? Her only closest neighbour was probably responsible for her affliction. She rushed to the cabinet and pulled out a knife, just in case something popped from anywhere. By now, the sounds of the cat had died out and everywhere was dead silent, except for the nocturnal sounds of crickets. She took in a lungful of breath and tried to calm herself. She listened carefully. There was no movement in the house. That meant whatever had got in had probably left. It was what she wanted to believe. The bloodstained footprints were still there which sent fresh chills down her spine. She steadied the knife in her hand, still anticipating a hostile. With the torch in one hand and her weapon in her right, she searched the house, room by room but found nothing threatening. She returned to the kitchen.

The night breeze gradually increased speed and started to blow heavily. A heavy fall was imminent. Leaves and flying debris were getting into the house and she quickly gathered strength to reach to the door. She slammed it shut and to her shock, discovered the bolts and locks were not broken—it was not a forced entry. She had no time to think that out now, her major concern was safety. She engaged the locks again, wedging the door with a locker as an additional measure. Tonia retired to her bedroom. She switched on the bed lamp and sat on her dressing chair–knife in hand, keeping watch till daybreak.

Saturday, 21 May 2016


A Gist Creek Interview with Dr. Otu Etta

It was a beautiful Tuesday morning when a section of the Gist Creek team walked into the hospital building for a special purpose. The expected air of antiseptics and drugs welcomed us as we exchanged pleasantries with the smartly dressed nurses at the desk. We would have loved to watch the TV at the reception area a little more but it was a business movement; we came to interview Dr. Etta.

Dr. Otu Etta is a young and distinguished Medical Consultant, an Anesthesiologist and an Intensivist in one of the country’s recognized hospitals, a successful medical practitioner who bags many years of medical experience within and outside the country. The cheerful-looking and happily-married father of four hails from Oron Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Amidst his busy schedule, he honoured our request for an interview.

Gist Creek: Thank you Sir for the introduction. Looking at the death rate in our society today, we believe that certain causes that could have been prevented are responsible for this. Please educate us on some of these common causes of death from the medical perspective, and how they could be prevented.

Dr. Etta: Thank you very much. It is appalling that coming from Africa, being an African and a Nigerian, puts you at risk of dying young. Statistics have shown that the average life expectancy of a male Nigerian is 47 years and female is 49 years, compared to life expectancy in the advanced countries like the US; the UK which is about 80-something years; India, about  61, Sweden, over 80 and so on.
Originally, we know that from Bible, we’ve seen that the days of man are about 120 years. Then if you’re in Africa, you begin to ask yourself; why are our people dying young? You know at 60 years, 70 years, you still have a lot of things to do, but our people are going so young. If you walk around the streets, you see obituary posters, average age is not far from what I’ve told you; 40 years, painful exit, gone too soon, and what have you, you know. It causes for concern, especially when the causes of these deaths are preventable. It’s saddening; it saddens you both as a doctor and as a human being. And what are the things that are killing our people? We realize that the causes of these deaths are things that we can prevent.

Let us take for instance, the commonest cause of death in this country still remains trauma; trauma-related deaths, like accidents, falls, collapsed buildings, and all that. You can bear me witness that in the days where motorcycles were allowed in Uyo, the number of accidents and accident-related death was so high but since the ban came, some of those deaths have reduced. And if you look at accidents, if we have a good legislation on ground, the country can actually sort out all these things. Number one, why do accidents occur? The problem could be because of the roads; if our roads are not good, the driver; if he’s not authorized to use the road. So these are some of the factors. Now, what is the problem? Why can’t we fix our roads, is it that our country is so poor that we cannot fix roads? No. Our leaders, our governors, people who have sat on the wealth of the nation, you know, appropriate these things to themselves and will not use it for the purpose it was meant.

You and I also know that if you need a Nigerian driver’s license today–whether or not you have been trained to drive–you can be offered within few minutes but in those days, still in this country, before you get a driver’s license, you’ll have to go through series of tests for them to know who you are; for them to examine your sights, if your vision is normal. They’ll assess your mental status, whether it’s stable or not, they’ll interview you, whether you have epilepsy, they’ll get to know your history. If you have a bad history–you’ve been a drunkard or what–the certificate will not be offered to you. And even those who have the license, how experienced are they? Which driving school did they go?  Nobody asks all these things. That is how we allow these people infiltrate the society and when these people sit behind the wheels, it constitutes a risk to himself and other people.

At the hospital recently, we had a case of a pedestrian who was knocked down. The story has it that he was knocked down by a 19 year old mechanic apprentice who carried a customer’s car that was taken to his boss’ workshop for repairs. He wasn’t licensed to use the road but he entered the car and began to drive and unfortunately for this young man, he was just walking after work, in the evening and he was knocked down. We tried everything we could do to keep him alive but that was all. So, if our legislation will be very, very forceful in ensuring that the right people use the road, many of these accidents, we’ll not hear them. Studies have shown that in advanced countries, they don’t have as much death from trauma like we have here. And also, the highway codes are not observed. There’re some areas where heavy duty trucks should not enter. If you live in a residential area, there’re some vehicles that shouldn’t enter and we have a limit of speed. But here, you know nobody takes care of all those things. So trauma, trauma, trauma, is the number one cause of death among our people.

The other cause of death–of preventable death–is infection; infection–related causes, okay? When we talk about infection, it’s a whole lot. The chief among this is HIV/AIDS. We all know how many people are dying from HIV/AIDS. It’s better now because those international organizations have come in to help with treatment of people living with HIV; NGOs like USAID, Pathfinder, FHI and all that. Those organizations are really helping our people that are living with HIV. Some of them are even paid to come out and be tested. The test is totally free and the care for you after you’ve been started of this treatment is also totally free. People are offered some incentives now, you know, you come out and you’re tested, you’re offered cash and all that to encourage you to take your treatment.

Nigerians have benefited, those who are working with these agencies have benefited so much. They’ve given employment to people, you know, and these things are not done by the Nigerian government. The international organizations are funding these things for our people. Before these agencies came in, the story was very bad. If you had HIV, it was like a curse; it was a death sentence because the drugs were so costly then. Before you access drugs that would take you for one month, it was going for like N20,000. That’s as far back as ‘99/2000. Cast your mind back, how many people could afford it? If you have HIV and you go to the hospital and you’re tested positive, doctors will wash their hands off you. But now, there’re programs and programs that have come in to even induce some doctors and nurses to take care of patients that are living with HIV/AIDS so it’s helping.

 And, prevention of HIV–you’ve heard of ABCs of HIV: Abstinence, Be faithful, Condom Use–we’ve come to realize that some of these things are not working for us. For instance the condom use, people still don’t think it should be used. Some still go ahead and have unprotected sex, not knowing the state of their partner, not to talk of Be Faithful. It’s known that the doctrine of Be Faithful doesn’t work so the condom use is what is being advocated now. Nobody talks about it, even in the churches, you know, because some pastors are also involved. So, condom use, condom use, condom use. If you’re able to abstain from sex completely, it’s good. If you must have it, be faithful to your partner who is equally faithful because you can be faithful but your partner is not. If your partner is not, then he/she puts you at risk. If you do not trust your partner, even if you’re faithful, you’re encouraged to use a condom. Okay? So if you do this, you’ll be able to keep HIV at a distance from us.
Other causes of infection are tuberculosis, measles, tetanus, all that and the good thing is that all those things have immunization.
Another cause of death is pregnancy-related causes. We want to talk about things like bleeding during pregnancy, hypertension during pregnancy, infection–all those things contribute to what we call maternal mortality.

Gist Creek: Are there certain ways of preventing maternal mortality?

Dr. Etta: Yeah, Sure, sure. Reducing maternal mortality in the days of MDGs, I think it was Goal 5. You know, there are many things that could cause the death of a woman while pregnant. The commonest cause is what I’ve told you, bleeding, what we call hemorrhage. This could occur when a woman is pregnant or occur after the delivery. There are some women who are at risk of bleeding; maybe one has had more than four children or five children, first pregnancy, pregnancy with a woman with fibroid, placenta problems; those are causes of bleeding during pregnancy and every pregnancy should be managed by somebody trained.   But we see that in our society, we still have a lot of TBAs taking care of the majorities of the deliveries…

Gist Creek: TBA is…?

Dr. Etta: Traditional Birth Attendants…taking care of the women. Because people are religious in this part of the world, some of them attach church thinking, you know. They even preach to them that if the doctor says they have to operate on you before you put to bed, that it’s not the will of God for you. In our language, they say, “Abasi akan uman ikwa,” meaning, “God forbids delivery by knife”. You’ll be amazed that this belief is also held strongly by educated ones. You see people with their Masters going to TBAs, PhDs, you know, so our society really needs a lot of legislation, you know, proper law in place. How will the TBA know a patience that is not going to bleed? Apart from those signals I told you–first timer, patient with fibroid, patient with placenta problem–apart from all these, you still see that even when a woman does not have all these risk factors, after delivery, some of them still bleed and you didn’t expect.  If the woman goes to deliver in a center that is not equipped to handle all these things, what is her fate?
Recently, we saw a woman, at the hospital, we’ve been seeing several. The last one was a case of a twin, a woman who had multiple pregnancies and she delivered the first twin there. The TBAs, maybe didn’t know she was having a twin, while trying to clean her up, saw the hand of the second twin. The patient was rushed down here, she was bleeding. I came out around 2am. I was called that a patient has been brought, the hand is out, you know, that, please doctor please come. I drove out of my house. I didn’t have a security escort and it was when the fuel price was still at N230. Driving out of the house, no security escort in a society that’s not very safe, you know how risky that puts a doctor. If anything happens to me, I’m on my own but because of the kind of work I’m doing, I came out. We operated on her. Of course the second twin died but thank God the woman is still alive. We have so many instances of patients who have lost babies and have lost their lives through instances like that, so many instances.

So what we are saying is that some of these deaths of women, there’re some countries that if two out of 100 women who are pregnant die in one year, it’s a very big issue. In our country, so many of them are dying, so many are dying, so these are some causes.

Gist Creek: So Sir, can we say TBAs should be scrapped or should be improvised?

Dr. Etta: You know, in the state now, the government of Akwa Ibom State is organizing a program to train TBAs on the act of deliveries and also training them on those red flags, you know, the cases you see and can refer and the ones you can take. But I tell you, these trainings have been done before now. My experience is that, and personally, I feel these things are not gonna work. It takes about 12 years to train an Obstetrician. First he becomes a General Duty Doctor and spends like 4-6 years for a specialist training to practice Obstetrics as an expert in that field. If it takes these numbers of years to train a doctor who has done primary school, secondary school, MBBS before the specialist course, then you want to tell me that the workshop of one week, one week training as TBA and giving them the license to practice will solve it? It’s not going to solve it. So personally, I believe that TBAs may cause more harm than good because if you give them some level of empowerment to do what they’re doing, when they’re not knowledgeable enough, you know, eventually, they’ll cause more harm.
At the same time, we have to balance the argument against our background. If I also advocate that TBAs should be outlawed, the alternatives they have is to come to government or private hospitals which are costly.

Gist Creek: It seems most of them run to the TBAs because of cost.

Dr. Etta: Yes, some of these women are pushed to the TBAs because of cost, because of cost. The alternative would have been, okay, if the government says that medical care to women who are pregnant is free and is accessible anywhere, not limited to government hospitals but to private hospitals too, that any woman who is pregnant can visit there, receive treatment free of charge, then the government picks up the bill–they really will come out. The primary cause why the women are going to TBAs and churches is because these things are costly. To do one Cesarean Section now in a moderate hospital is, let me put it at N100,000—N150,000 and you go to some parts in town, N500,000 and above, so these are some of the reasons why the TBAs may never go even if you outlaw them now. If insurance is not extended to them and you outlaw the TBAs, even in their bedrooms, the women will still go for them.
So the problem of the society is complex. And if we say we establish health centers where the people live, who’s going to run it? Where are the doctors? Doctors are not being employed, and you go and put a doctor in the rural area, who has spent all his life in the town, it’s not likely he’ll go. That’s why some of the doctors live in Uyo and may work in Oron. You know, sometimes, they don’t go to work, there’s no good road to drive. If they go and live there, their children will not go to good schools. So the problem is complex, it’s not like that abroad where everywhere you go to is a town, you have internet access everywhere, you have good access roads everywhere, you know. The situation is not the same here. So the problem is complex. There are a lot of things that can cause death for a pregnant woman including hypertension and infections and it requires somebody who is properly trained to take care of some of these.

Gist Creek: Sir, from what you’ve been saying–the first one on trauma, then infection and pregnancy–do they all come down to the government?

Dr. Etta: When I talk of government, government as a whole; the leadership. The leadership being that the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, everybody is doing his job. And who’s the government? You and I are the government. If you’re a doctor, are you doing your work well as a doctor? If you’re a judge, are you doing your work well? If you’re a legislator, are you there to make laws that will advance the course of our society? If you’re a governor, the money that was appropriated for road, are you using it for something else?
If we all join our hands, then, we’ll have a society that would be better for all of us. It’s not for you to accumulate all the wealth meant for the society and send your children outside. They go and study outside but they’ll still come back here. Like in this our state where we live, I always tell myself, God help you, if you have a problem with your brain, maybe a trauma or injury to the brain, you’re unconscious, you’ve bled into your brain, into the head–no matter who you are, no matter what your parents or the government have spent on you, you may not make it. We don’t have a brain surgeon in Akwa Ibom State.

Gist Creek: Before we go, what do you have to say in summary to the readers out there?

Dr. Etta: In summary, my take is that I love my country Nigeria very much and we have the potentials to equate to any other developed country. The potentials are there. They abound in our natural resources and in our people. If we get our acts right, Nigeria can be like any other developed country in the world; and we have to do our best to reduce the causes of death among our people. It pains me a lot to hear that life expectancy in this country is at 47. They use to say that life begins at 40 because that’s when you’ve finished school, gotten married and settled down to begin life and you’re told your time is up. It’s a very painful thing. We can reverse this trend if we all contribute our parts or quota. Nigeria can be better indeed. Thank you.


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

Yetunde sighed as she watched the clouds giving birth to a mild yellow sun. Hopefully, today wasn’t going to be rainy. She hated rainy days as they made her feel very sick and depressed and with all she had gone through the past years, she always had to be on the bright side. Life had taught her one very good lesson: people only loved you when things were good with you but when life’s challenges knock on your door, they all disappear. She had managed not being admitted into a mental clinic as she had been so traumatized after what he had done to her. How could she ever love again?
She still saw him every day; although he was far away, she still saw him. Anytime she looked into the eyes of little Naomi, she was looking into his eyes. Those incredibly beautiful eyes that had seduced her once into her doom, those eyes were the same as her daughter’s. She remembered all his promises to her–heaven on earth. She had been a fool in love with a man who wanted nothing more but her body. It had been two years now, since her parents had disowned her, they couldn’t face the shame she had brought them.

She remembered her mother pleading with her, “Please Yetunde, don’t do this to me. When the church council asks you about the pregnancy, please tell them you were raped, at least there is pardon for that.” But she couldn’t do it. How could she lie? She was the choir mistress and assistant youth president. She had sinned and she couldn’t lie about it. “You have to claim rape or you abort that bastard you carry. You forget I am the Pastor-in-Charge of this Parish. What will people say about me?” Her father’s words thundered in her ear. She had tried lying but she couldn’t go through with it, she had lost everything already, her friends and church members who had such high hopes in her had abandoned her. She was now the new ‘bad girl’ whom mothers advised their young girls about. What hurt her most was the way the girls from the teenage class looked at her when she passed. They were also disappointed.

She had been thrown out and left to fend for herself and Naomi. Femi had abandoned her when she told him about the pregnancy. She even heard he had found a new girlfriend but she stayed strong and didn’t blame him. She wasn’t raped, no. It was a mutual sin and they enjoyed it. Now she was paying for her sins. She could barely feed. The pregnancy occurred during her third year of studying Accounting and she wasn’t sure of completion. Now, her parents had abandoned her. She had to fight to survive, she was lucky to find a job in a supermarket where she helped in balancing the sheets with her little knowledge of Accounting. Over time, she had saved enough and bought herself a low-grade vehicle, which embarrassed her most of the time but she pushed these thoughts away and tip-toed to the next side of the room to check on her baby. “Arise and shine, it’s a brand new day,” she hummed as she got into the shower to prepare for the meeting she had with the manager of the bank she saved with.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

LINDA THE HO --by Nickz

(Image source: www.pinterest.com)

The governor is in a very good mood tonight. His trusted friend is with him in his magnificent edifice. They talk about the success of their political plots and they open the costly bottle of red wine to merry. After so much fun, his friend is set to leave but he says, "Ah, you can't just leave yet!" He signals one of his aides and he comes close. "Bring in Linda," he whispers into his ear. Within seconds, they bring her in. She's very comely and beautiful. The aide hands her over to the friend. "She's all yours," the governor says. His friend is thrilled. He likes her already. He jokingly sniffs her scent and they all burst out laughing, but Linda doesn't find that funny. The friend thanks the governor and leaves.

Linda is sitting quietly in the front seat of his tinted Prado. She doesn't say anything and he doesn't either. It's business as usual. They get to his house and she spends the night there. 
In the late morning hours, the friend calls one of his boys to take Linda back to her pimp. But the boy is also human. He needs a taste of her sweetness. He secretly takes his share before taking her to the pimp. The pimp receives her and thanks the client for his patronage. 
She's back in the red light mansion. She sees many others like her. She is prettier than most of them. The clients are always coming, to pick or to drop. The messenger comes in and calls a not-so-pretty colleague of hers. She was nothing close to Linda's beauty but they still called her out. Well, all fingers aren't equal. Her value is higher. Few minutes later, they come in and call her. She's out there and can see the faces of the clients in the hall. The man who she had spent last night with had requested for the not-so-pretty one. The man sees her but she was sure he can't recognize her. Maybe he doesn't want to spend much. That's how it works. Well, it was business as usual. 

She looks into the face of her new client. He is very handsome, neatly dressed and looks like a very successful business man.
She went home with him and he used her like others. He shared her round to his friends and they were all happy.

Call me bad but soon, I'll get a share of Linda.

That was a metaphoric piece. The red light mansion is the bank. The messenger is the cashier. The pimp is the bank teller. We are the clients.

Linda is big bucks


(Image source: www.gettyimages.com)

“Yes I’m free, you can come over,” he squeezed her last picture and threw it into the bin. She was lost to him now and he was free from her lies. Rising from his study he gave instructions to the old chef and left for the bathroom. He was going to hurt Udeme the way she hurt him, he felt pained by her hasty betrayal. She couldn’t even stay by his side to care for him. But could she be that heartless? He paused and stared at the mirror.
“Olabode, you must leave that woman if you want to live long. That woman is engaged to another,” his mother’s voice reechoed in his mind. Something wasn’t right. How had his mother come across that information? Something was up but the other voice reminded him of the pictures where she was engulfed in breathless passion with another man while he lay dying.  He hurried into the shower and closed his eyes to the soothing effect of the warm water.
As he stepped out into his room, he met an unexpected guest. “Nike what are you doing here?” He stared at her shock. She smiled mischievously and showed him a key. “You forget so easily Bode, all the things we shared in this very room.” He didn’t return her smile, knowing Nike very well. She was up to something. “What do you want?” He asked impatiently as water dripped down his hair. This was going to be tough for her; seeing the man she loved with another but she had to do it. Udeme was a nice person and Bode deserved to know the truth about her.
“Sit down,” she waved to the king sized bed. He obeyed wondering what it was all about. “Bode, you know I have feelings for you, what I’m about telling you is the truth and you have to believe every word. You see, Barrister Edwards Udeme…” he held up his hand and stopped her.  “If this is about your hatred for her, I’ll advise you to pay her a visit ‘cause I have no business with her.”
“Not at all, just listen to me,” she urged. But his phone interrupted, he knew who the caller was. Nadine. He had invited her over. “Hello dear, I’m still waiting for you.” She smiled at the other end informing him she would delay a bit. “I’m sure that was Nadine.” Nike sounded confident. The devil was going to meet her end later that day, she trusted Yakubu. He ignored her comment and made to leave when her words stopped him. “Udeme was raped.” Feeling the bitterness of her words she looked away. He stood shocked for a moment dropping the bottled spray he held. “I don’t understand you. What do you mean?” Nike didn’t answer but she brought out some pictures and documents which Yakubu had presented to her.
Nadine stirred nervously in the back of the cab. She didn’t feel like driving. It was too risky for her plans. She was so happy he was finally hers and hers alone.  She had carved out her plans very neatly. If she could conceive for Bode, then she would tell Duncan she was raped. Since the baby needed its biological father, Duncan would leave her to Bode. She smiled to herself. But one nut was left to be fixed—Adenike. She had waited for this day. Sure, the thug she hired would deliver. Soon Adenike would be lying stiff in the mortuary. As for Udeme, she would come to hate Bode who raped her best friend. It was going to be perfect.

Suddenly the car pulled off into another route, different from where she was going. Her heart began to pace. Something was wrong. “Where are you taking me?” She yelled to the man but he only drove faster. She looked at the road that lay ahead; it was so lonely and eerie. She kept yelling but there was no one to hear her. She quickly removed her phone to reach out to someone but it was too late. Two gunshots were fired….


Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was a German political and military leader and one of the 20th century's most powerful dictators. Hitler converted Germany into a fully militarized society and launched World War II in 1939. He built the Nazi Party into a mass movement. He hoped to conquer the entire world, and for a time dominated most of Europe and much of North Africa. He instituted sterilization and euthanasia measures to enforce his idea of racial purity among German people and caused the slaughter of millions of Jews, Sinti and Roma (Gypsies), Slavic peoples, and many others, all of whom he considered inferior.

After he became a voice in the Nazi party, his good public speaking manner gave him many supporters. Hitler obtained enough support to have himself chosen as Führer (absolute leader) of the party on July 29, 1921.

Hitler appealed to a wide variety of people by combining an effective and carefully rehearsed speaking style with what looked like absolute sincerity and determination. He found a large audience for his program of national revival, racial pride in Germanic values, hatred for France and of Jews and other non-German races, and disdain for the Weimar Republic. Hitler asserted only a dictatorship could rescue Germany from the depths to which it had fallen. 

The victory of the Nazi Party, which had campaigned vigorously for the rejection of all of Germany's financial obligations, caused foreign investors to withdraw their money from Germany, and the German banking system collapsed due to lack of capital. As economic conditions worsened, the appeal of the Nazis was far more effective than that of other parties: The Nazis were the one group that claimed to have all the answers. In a short time, the other political parties lost voters to the Nazis. Unemployment rose drastically, and in this time of great economic hardship many who had never voted before were drawn to the Nazi Party, which offered simplistic but appealing solutions to their problems and was not tied to one class or interest group. Consequently, they believed it could establish a government that would be more effective than the republic. In elections held in 1932, the Nazis received more votes than any other party, and Hitler demanded that President Hindenburg appoint him chancellor.

Immediately upon becoming chancellor, Hitler moved to strengthen his power. He persuaded President Hindenburg to issue a decree suspending all civil liberties in Germany. A subservient legislature passed the Enabling Act, which permitted Hitler's government to make laws without legislative approval. The act effectively made the legislature powerless. Hitler then installed loyal Nazis in important posts in the bureaucracy, the judiciary, and the German provincial governments. He replaced all labor unions with the Nazi-controlled German Labor Front and banned all political parties except his own. The economy, the media, and all cultural activities were brought under Nazi authority. An individual's livelihood was made dependent on his or her political loyalty. Thousands of anti-Nazis were taken to concentration camps—the existence of which was widely publicized—and all signs of dissent were suppressed. A massive propaganda campaign celebrated the end of democracy in Germany, and huge, staged demonstrations gave the impression that everyone supported Hitler.

In 1933 Hitler initiated policies to rid the Aryan race of undesirable elements and eliminate other races that he considered inferior and dangerous to the Germans. The first discriminatory laws against Jews came in 1933. These laws barred Jews from government employment and restricted their admission to universities. In subsequent years, the anti-Semitic laws became increasingly harsh, as Jews were deprived of citizenship, excluded from more and more jobs, forbidden to own cars, thrown out of public schools, and stripped of their property. He later began the process of German rearmament and militarization which eventually lead to World War II. He waged war with Poland, with Slovakia, Belgium, Luxemburg and other surrounding countries. He intended attacking USA but was shorthanded. His troops planned to kill all Jews in the portions of the USSR they occupied and began the process in 1941. 

In late July 1941, Hitler decided to extend the systematic killing of Jews to all of German-occupied Europe. After the renewed German offensive in the USSR in October 1941 appeared to make great progress, he decided the time had come to go even further: All Jews on earth would be killed. However, the Nazis found that German police and soldiers who did the killing were often traumatized by the experience. To make the slaughter faster and less stressful, the Germans built specially designed death camps, primarily in occupied Poland, to which Jews and other prisoners from all over Europe were transported. These camps contained large gas chambers where hundreds of prisoners at a time could be quickly, easily, and impersonally murdered by poison gas. 

When some of his military strategies started to fail and british and American bombers started to destroy his industries, even assassination attempts made on him, he appointed Karl Dönitz, the head of the navy and a devoted Nazi, as his successor. He then married his mistress Eva Braun and committed suicide in Berlin on April 30, 1945.

Ugly Experiments Facilitated By Hitler... 

nazi human experiments
Despite the obvious evils that Nazis inflicted on the world, behind closed doors doctors and scientists were conducting some of the most abhorrent and disturbing experiments on human subjects.
According to NOVA, there were 30 such Nazi human experiments performed on concentration camp prisoners.
The result was unimaginable pain, mutilation, disability and ultimately death.

Here is a list of the most shocking and evil experiments that you may not have ever heard about.
1. Freezing
Nazi doctors submerged victims in vats of icy water for periods of up to five hours in an attempt to find ways to treat German pilots forced to eject into icy ocean water. The victims were either naked or dressed in aviator suits and submerged in water. Others were taken outside into the freezing cold and strapped down naked.
2. Twins
The infamous Dr. Josef Mengele experimented on twins in an effort to learn the secrets of multiple births and to find a way to quickly multiply the German race. Mengele’s experiments were performed on prisoners at Auschwitz. He experimented on 1,000 pairs of twins. Roughly 200 survived those experiments. When twins were of no more use to Mengele, he’d dispatch subjects with an injection of chloroform straight to the heart.
3. Tuberculosis
Other Nazi doctors wanted to see if some people had a natural immunity to tuberculosis in order to develop a vaccine. Dr. Kurt Heissmeyer injected the tuberculosis bacteria directly into the lungs of his victims at the Neungamme concentration camp. He was responsible for the deaths of at least 200 people.
4. Phosgene Gas 
nazi human experiments
Nazis subjected 52 concentration camp prisoners to Phosgene gas in an attempt to find an antidote to the compound. Phosgene was used as a biological weapon during WWI. The Nazis intentionally exposed victims to the gas, causing unbearable irritation in the lungs. Many prisoners, already malnourished and weak, suffered further complications after the experimental exposure, and four died.

5. Transplant Experiments
The Nazis wanted to know if a person’s joints and limbs could be removed and transplanted into someone else. These cruel experiments led to scores of concentration camp prisoners having limbs needlessly amputated. Every attempt to transplant a limb or joint was a failure. Many were killed, mutilated and exposed to excruciating pain. Sections of muscle, bone and nerves were also removed in fruitless attempts to regenerate those body parts.
6. Sea Water
Infamous Nazi doctor Hans Eppinger tried to make seawater drinkable, but failed. Scientists forced about 90 Gypsies to drink only seawater, and deprived them of all food or fresh water. The victims reportedly licked a freshly mopped floor just to get a small amount of fresh water. Serious bodily injury resulted from these horrible experiments.

7. Poison
The Nazis also used poison to torture and kill inmates. At the Buchenwald concentration camp, Russian prisoners were injected with experimental poisons as scientists worked to develop new methods of execution. One was a combination of phenol and cyanide.
Other experiments included adding toxic chemicals to food or shooting prisoners with poison bullets. Those who didn’t die during the experiments were murdered so that an autopsy could determine what impact the poison actually had.

8. Artificial Insemination
The notorious Heinrich Himmler himself ordered a Nazi doctor to artificially inseminate concentration camp prisoners though various experimental methods. Dr. Carl Clauberg artificially inseminated about 300 women at Auschwitz, who were strapped down and taunted mercilessly. Clauberg told his victims that he had used animal sperm to create a monster inside of them. 
All these terrible deeds! A man with such barbaric and cruel blood deserves worse more than the way he ended. It's unfortunate that the thousands of innocent blood he shed could not be adequately compensatedone of the ugly things about war. That's why we don't need a Third World War. 
Say Yes to Peace!


Microsoft Encarta 2009, TopSecretWriters.comholocaustonline.org

Monday, 2 May 2016


(Image source: www.gettyimages.com)

“I don’t believe you! You lying slut. Where did you keep my clothes?” He paced angrily in the room. She was trying to manipulate him again. The cheat was at it. He knew Udeme could never betray him that way, no, he was sure about that.  “Bode, listen to me. Udeme has not been totally honest with you. I have proof if you want.” She pleaded while on her knees, praying silently for her plans to hatch. She would finally be in his arms. “What are you talking about? What proof?” He was boiling. Nadine had once again accused Udeme of cheating on him with some guy while he lay on the hospital bed but he just couldn’t bring himself to believe that. He paused and watched as she searched her bag for the ‘proof’.
“Here,” she quickly handed her phone to him, watching and smiling at his reaction. Bode felt dazed like he was alive yet dead. He couldn’t believe this. The picture he held broke his heart more than any tragedy he had ever gone through in the past. He gently laid the phone on the bed and sat down to take a closer look. “Where did you get these photos from?” As an experienced photographer he could distinguish photoshopped pictures and real pictures. This picture was the later but he couldn’t bring himself to believe it. Udeme was his angel, but she had broken his heart. He remembered how she kissed him and promised to love him forever, how she smiled and how her innocent eyes endeared her to him.

Nadie was silent for a while. Bode wasn’t a dumb guy. This was a loophole in her plan. How could she not have made prior arrangements for this question? She swallowed. She had to think of something fast. “Someone just sent it to me saying he wanted dealing with her so he sent this picture of their lovemaking last night. Look at the dates.” He blinked and checked to confirm.
He felt his heart clench as he threw the phone on the floor, smashing its glassy surface. This was why he hated love. Udeme had betrayed his trust. How could she have slept in the arms of another while he lay unconscious in the hospital? He always thought there was something special about her; like she was different from other women who just wanted him for his money. He was a fool. He paced the room for minutes while Nadine smiled to herself, although her phone had been smashed. She was sure her plans had worked.

Bode had made up his mind. Udeme had played him for a fool and it was time to show her who the real fool was. He was going back to her friend. That alone could kill her. She would feel betrayed just like he felt now.  He turned as he felt a pair of hands on his back. He made to jerk them off but he shook the feeling off. He could never love any other woman. This was a vow he would never break till his dying breath. “What is it?” He turned gently as he faced a naked Nadine, she was still beautiful like always and he couldn’t resist as he fell into her trap. She kissed him and swallowed all his words and they both travelled to a land of ecstasy.
The day broke fast with Udeme still in bed. Duncan hovered over her like a guardian angel. He wanted to be sure she was alright. She stirred slightly and peeped into his face. He smiled and she returned it showing off her dimples. “Wake up sleepy head,” he tickled her. He felt happy because she was smiling.  She rose up reluctantly and her smiles faded as memories came back. He sighed and hugged her while rubbing her back. “It’s gonna be okay, I’m so sorry. It’s entirely my fault,” he consoled.
“What’s gonna be okay?” Nadie asked as she stormed in, feeling good. Her plans were set. The other two jerked from each other like something happened.  “Nothing,” Udeme chipped in, staring at Duncan who understood. They wouldn’t tell Nadie what happened while she was away. “Well who missed me?” She continued. “I did Nadie, just that your phones were switched off.” Duncan kissed her forehead. “Sorry Dee, my phone crashed.” She showed him the broken screen and walked towards her friend. “Ud, how’re you doing?” She forced a smile. “I’m fine dear. So how’s my Bode?” She asked, smiling.
She paused as her own words flew from her mouth. She hadn’t considered Bode in all what had happened she remembered what his Mother had told him the other day as she shivered. But could she tell him about how those men hurt her? She had to speak to him immediately, she missed her love.  Nadie’s smile faded at the words ‘My Bode’. She felt so uncomfortable; she just hated imagining him with another woman except her. “He’s fine. He’s been discharged now, don’t get angry. My phone was bad.” Udeme understood but something was odd. He should’ve called her by now or checked up on her. Maybe his mother had gotten to him, just maybe.
“Didn’t he ask of me?” She asked, feeling a little hurt. Nadie was silent for a while. She had this well planned. She would deal with this ugly duck.  “He didn’t. I’m sure he will later,” she offered.  She rose up and kissed Duncan one more time. She had to find a way and cancel the wedding but she had to tread carefully. But another thought dropped. The only person that could blow her cover and expose her was roaming freely; she had to be done with, once and for all. Adenike was a thorn in her flesh and she was ready to get rid of it. With Bode in her arms, she was willing to sacrifice anything just for his love. The pleasures he gave to her, she closed her eyes and deepened the kiss, wishing it was her Bode. 

Udeme cleared her throat and excused herself from the two love birds. She was very happy for her two friends who were getting married soon. She had to hurry home and find a way to see her Bode again. She couldn’t just run off like a terrified chicken just because his mother had threatened her. She would fight for his love because that is all that remained. Everything had been taken away from her the previous night.