The Physically Challenged and Crime
Sometime in February this year, two physically challenged persons, a man and a woman were kept in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA in Akwa Ibom State for alleged possession and sale of dry weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa. The names were given as Idim Akpanudofia Afangideh and Ekom Okon Akpani, a 25-year old single mother with two children.
The Akwa Ibom State NDLEA commander, Josephine Obi who revealed this then stated that the man was arrested at his family home, Okana Ikot Ntuen village in Essien-Udim local government area of the state where 1.8 kilograms of cannabis were recovered in two parcels. His female partner, Mrs Akpan was picked with 100 grams of the same weed hidden under her legs. The NDLEA boss hinted that the two have confessed to the crime and would remain in the NDLEA custody until investigations were completed.
In 2012, a single mother of three was apprehended at the Murtalla Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja about to board an international flight with 60 kilograms of narcotics. When interrogated, she attributed her involvement on hard drugs to hardship. In a related incident almost about the same time last year, a man and two women were caught with 316,65 kilograms of the same weed in transit along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. The trio confessed their involvement in inter state distribution of the hard drug.
It is indeed worrisome that mothers have become drug barons ruining or destroying in the process other people’s children because of one personal reason or the other.
The engagement of single mothers in particular in the cannabis trade is understandable. A woman with no husband ought to be very cautious in having babies in view of the most likely concomitant hardships about to be encountered as soon as she becomes less attractive through child birth and poor maintenance. Her repellant personality deffeminizes her causing men to desert her and her numerous domestic problems.
On the other hand, the involvement of the physically challenged in drug trade poses a very serious challenge to law abiding Nigerians who habitually close their eyes to lucrative but immoral sources of making quick money and becoming rich. By such undertakings, the physically challenged brothers and sisters crave for more Nigerians to become handicapped or physically incapacitated. May be they are not aware that their choice of this particular life style is bound to drain away public sympathy hitherto lavished on them. It will also force others largely undecided to be insensitive to appeals to assist them find their feet in a competitive world.
Some how, the incident goes a long way to validate the often held view by extremists that some of the physically disadvantaged could have been a lethal threat to the society without their deformity.
Government Insensitivity On MSS
Dear Editor I commend the government for establishing the MSS (Mid-wife Service Scheme) under the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) with the primary aim to eradicate mortality and mobility rate in the rural areas especially in the absence of professional doctors. This body is jointly paid by the federal, state and local governments. But now it is quite surprising how the federal government has abandoned their duties in terms of payment of salaries.
It has become of great concern therefore, that for about three months now, workers of MSS have been deprived payment for no just cause, meanwhile the government expect them to remain devoted to their job which is very essential in the medical field.
Further more, this lack of payment has led to so much negative effect especially in the rural areas as it has reduced many of its workers as these workers have no financial support to motivate them in their duties. There are other government negligence as omission of arrears and under payment in some occasions, such shortcoming discourages these MSS workers.
More so with focus on the state government. It has been noticed that some state governments are paying their MSS workers monthly, acknowledging the importance of these mid-wifes in their communities, but it is appalling to know that the Imo state government (Imo our pride) shows less concern on the issue of payment for about a year now thereby losing many potential Health workers to other paying states “monkey dey work baboon dey chop”. Also some local governments have emulated the state by not paying its workers despite the inadequate provision of accommodation for them, in LGAs include Oguta LGA,
It is of my opinion that the joint payment (ie federal, state and local government) should please do all in their power to encourage the health workers by paying them salaries as at when due in order to achieve the maximum goal for establishing the MSS. It will also be very much appreciated if the government treats it as mater of urgency and pay the MSS for services rendered. As the workers are being faithful to the government, the government should reciprocate the faithfulness.
World Bank Owerri