The incumbent governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is a failure, a very bad omen to Rivers people in several ways and it will take a long time to recover from his maladministration, after his tenure.
It is out of anger and as a testimony for the life of my younger brother, who almost died due to Wike’s misdemeanor and incompetence, I decided to put up this article and publish same, not for political reasons, as I am not into partisan politics, but because of an incident that occurred in Ekereborokiri community Opobo town, in Opobo/Nkoro LGA, which nearly took the life of my younger brother, unfortunately, many lives may have been lost already and many more may be lost.
The intention here, is to expose the level of Wike’s incompetence and extent of his insensitivity to the plight of Rivers people, thereby calling his attention to the reality on ground and also alerting his possible successor, to the very deplorable and unfortunate state of our primary health care system, while he is busy donating money(hundreds of millions) to other states and sponsorship of his political party.
The nonexistence/near extinction cum very poor state of Primary Health-Care infrastructure and services in the entire 23 LGA’s and adjoining urban towns & rural communities in Rivers State, is one of the definite pointers to the fact that, Barr. Nyesom Wike’s government, is the worst ever, since the creation of Rivers State.
Going by verifiable facts and reality abound, the Wike’s led state government, can be correctly defined and referenced as the worst, inept, most corrupt, irresponsible, lacking in probity, despotic and wasteful government since the creation of Rivers State. Those who supported Wike’s election, must be full of regrets and should be ashamed of themselves by now.
When Barr. Wike rode on the back/support of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s family and the presidency, to forcefully grab the 2015 Rivers State PDP gubernatorial ticket, against the existing principle of “power rotation” between the Riverine and Upland ethnic nationalities of the state to the astonishment of onlookers, and eventually rigged himself to power, under the cover of the then “federal might”, those who supported him were naive/ignorant of his character and person, while many were deceived. It’s now glaring that they all committed a serious sin to the forebearers and people of Rivers State, history and posterity will judge them accordingly.
Particularly, the primary healthcare system, services and infrastructure was reasonably improved upon by the administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, where over one(100) new health centres were built, equipped and staffed. The then government of Rotimi Amaechi, after building the health centres, employed over four(400) medical doctors and many healthcare workers to man, manage and run these health centres, provided them with incentives such as; brand new cars, special allowances, accomodation etc.
At that time, both the average citizens and the poor in all 23LGA’s, had 24hrs access to primary and effective basic health care services, at a minimal cost and in some cases, free of charge services were provided for children, pregnant women and the elderly.
On assumption of office, rather than maintain and improve on the primary healthcare infrastructure which he met, Wike arrogantly abandoned all the health centres as then built and established by his predecessor, to dilapidate and decay.
At the moment, the onetime classy, alluring and functional primary health centres abound in the 23LGA’s, are now deserted, looted and totally dilapidated, now a den for reptiles and in some cases, hideout for criminals.
Precisely, on Tuesday the 18th day of January, 2021. At about 9am, I got a distress call from my aunty, that my younger brother is lying critically ill, as she requested that I urgently return home from a school in our neighboring community Queens-Town Opobo, where I happen to be a teacher, as a beneficiary of the Amaechi’s government 13,000plus teachers employment opportunity. I got home about an hour later, found my younger brother rolling on the floor, crying of severe pains around his abdomen(stomach) area. Knowing fully well that the only clinic/hospital within our immediate and neibhouring environment, is located in Queenstown, being one of the health centres built by Amaechi’s government, which was no longer functioning, had since been abandoned, the next option and destination became Opobo-town.
By the time we got a boat to convey us to Opobo town, where we hoped to find the only likely functional hospital facility in the entire LGA, also being one of the health centres built by the Amaechi’s government, it was already 12noon, the cry for pain from my brother had become ticker and louder. To our shock on arrival, by 12noon, the health centre was deserted, except for one aged security man, who informed us that nobody is on seat at the moment, besides, that the doctors only turn up for duty once or twice a week, spend a few hours and leave, while some weeks, they don’t turn up at all. The man advised that we take the patient to Bori hospital or somewhere in PH, by this time, my younger brother was already gasping for breath, as fear and tension was all over us. It took us another 30minutes to get a vehicle that can convey us to Bori, about 1.30pm, we arrived Bori General hospital, though there was a lot of patients waiting to be attended to, but for the critical condition of my brother, we managed to get a doctor who checked and examined him, then suggested that it was a case of ruptured appendicitis, of which he further adviced that we better rush the boy to either a private clinic in PH, or take him to BMH or UPTH, that they’re not thoroughly equipped to handle such cases, besides, the hospital was already under pressure and almost overwhelmed.
So, we had no choice, but to begin the journey to PH, at the Bori general hospital, we requested for ambulance services, it wasn’t forthcoming(not available), so we hired a taxi from Bori. We arrived BMH at about 5pm, the accident/emergency ward had no immediate bedspace(they had full capacity) this we discovered after about 30mins of doing all the paper works and necessary procedures for admission, at this point, my brother lacked the strength to even cry anymore, he was dying gradually, then a cousin of mine who works in UPTH, whom i had called showed up with his vehicle and requested we move to UPTH immediately, by 7pm, we arrived UPTH, they received him and addimitted him into the emergency unit, was attended to and revived as he was almost passing out at this time.
The next day, he had a successful appendicitis surgery and recovered speedily and was later discharged.
As a result of this incident, I took out time to investigate, just to confirm if the situation in Opobo Nkoro LGA is different from other LGA’s, only to discover that the case is the same in almost all the 23lga’s, even worst in some LGA’s.
Majority of Rivers dwellers and residents can only access prompt and efficient health care services from private clinics.
Almost all the old General hospitals Wike’s government claimed to have renovated/reconstructed are all abandoned project sites, non is functioning, it was only an avenue for political settlement.
In summary, the noise and media hype about Gov. Wike being “Mr. Project” and performing well, is only a fluke and a grand propaganda and media hype, designed to deceive those outside Rivers State, because those on ground in Rivers State know the truth.
Unfortunately, those elected to represent the people in the State House of Assembly, are all stooges and political appendages, whose only stake and interest is their personal remuneration and kickback crumbs from the governor, hence they lack the willpower to speak out, thereby serve as a check to the excess of a despotic Governor Wike. The judiciary has also lost her voice, as they’re also stooges of the governor, doing his bidding at all times.
As a government, the most important obligation is to secure life of its people, through provision of effective and efficient healthcare system, healthcare services delivery and infrastructures, which is now totally nonexistent in Rivers State.
Ofridoma Iwowarikiri Jaja
Opobo Nkoro LGA