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We deliver babies in chemists, Awba Ofemili community women cry out

ANAMBRA, Nigeria – Indigenes of the Awba Ofemili community of Awka North Local Government Area have decried the alleged neglect of the people of the area by the Anambra State government.

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A recent visit to the community showed glaring sufferings by the people of the community as they lacked every basic amenity that makes life easy.

From health care facilities to electricity to roads to portable water, the community had none to boast of.

This is just as indigenes of the community lamented that despite being part of Awka Capital Territory, they have not only been alienated from government, but they are mostly seen as a community in Enugu State than as one in Anambra.

Women in the community who spoke to our correspondent said they still deliver babies in chemist stores because of the unavailability of health facilities.

Mrs. Grace Okeke a mother in the community said, “We still go to chemists to deliver children. The only hospital we have here is not working and has been overgrown with grass.

“The hospital which was constructed during the Peter Obi era as governor never worked even for a day. We never had doctors or nurses there, and now it has been abandoned. The nearest hospital we have here is in Amanuke, and if you know the place, you will know that it is not very near.

“Our only option is to visit chemists. That is where most of the women in this community give birth, and God has been helping us,” she said.

Chief Alex Otike who received journalists in the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, HRH Igwe Ezekwesili Maduagwuna confirmed that the community lives in utter neglect.

“How did you see the road when you were coming? That road you drove on is a highway that leads straight to Ezeagu in Enugu community, and if you go through the other one, you are going from here to Aguleri.

“This road is the shortest road to Onitsha, and you can imagine how busy it would be if it was constructed, but it has been abandoned. We lack virtually everything here. No health care facilities, women die out of complications arising from childbirth.

“We also do not have water here. Our people drink straight from the river, and recently, one of our brothers simply channeled the water from the river into the community and opened a tap from where people now fetch, instead of going to the river. But the water is still not treated.”

Otike, however, thanked Obiano for the recent installation of electricity in the community, saying that the community did it through its share of the N20 million intervention fund, which the state government gives to all Anambra communities.

He begged Governor Willie Obiano to work harder to help the people of the community, saying that they live in neglect, and because they are very close to Enugu State, despite being a part of the Awka Capital territory, Enugu state government now see them as their subjects.

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