ADNAYITAPI: COMMUNITY WHERE INDIGENES DIE IN DROVES
Beyond the dazzling beauty of architectural masterpiece and the glitz and glamour that characterise the Federal Capital Territory , Adnayitapi Community, located in the womb of the seat of government, is in a squalid condition crying daily for development and civilization.
Buried in one of the tickets that surround the city, their constant visitors are snakes, squirrels, monkeys and antelopes and other dangerous animals. When they are attacked by these animals they merely resort to babalawo or herbal medicine because they loathe orthodox doctors with all their strength. The result is that they die in droves and blame it on one deity or another.
Although the village is under Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), the villages are not aware of the existence of government. The only access to the village is a snaky, tiny pathway which can only contain one motorbike at one time. The Adnayitapi village has a population of over 500,000, but it lacks all good things of life, including drinkable water, schools, clinics and light. Also, it lacks good roads, good houses etc.
A majority of the children travel as far as Nasarawa and Kaduna states to attend secondary schools and primary schools. Also, the sick among them travel the same distance to obtain medical services. The children are born with little or no medical treatment and some of the women end up having complications during child-birth. In Adnayitapi, there exist all kinds of diseases and deformities which could be easily be handled by orthodox doctors.
Inhabited by the Gbagi who, sources say, are the original owners of Abuja, Adnayitapi has not been affected, in anyway, by the development of the city of Abuja and their main occupations are farming and hunting. About 90 per cent of the occupants of the village are old men and women and children. It is almost bereft of the youth. In the whole of Adnayitapi, there is only one church Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA). No mosque. Other churches have no branches in the village and villages are, however, not complaining because they are comfortable with their traditional way of life.
The chief of the area, Ayuba Kubohi, is barely 35 years and he says it was foisted on him by virtue of his little education. The chief of the village, who could hardly speak good English spoke on the plight of his subject. He said that they will resist the government takeover of the community with the last drop of their blood.
'Here is our village. We don't have any other place to go and so the government cannot take it. Over our dead body can this village be taken away from us' he said, warning that the government should not think of buying off their traditional inheritance because the money will finish and they will lose their inheritance forever.
'We don't need their money because the money will finish and we start all over again. We have a little farmland and that is the only thing that sustains us.' the Adnayitapi chief said.
We need clinic, water and light. We have written to the government to provide these amenities but it has not done anything. Even the local government chairman has not helped matters. The only primary school was built by the community. We are asking them to build secondary school. Our children travel to town to attend secondary school. Our children attend secondary school in Nassarawa, Bwari, Kaduna states.
Moved by the plight of the indigenes, a youth corps member, Dr Ugonwa Obioha went to the village to provide some healthcare services to both the elderly and children and her discoveries are startling. According to her, she was moved by the poor living condition of the people. She discovered the village during a group discussion with some of her colleagues in the hospital.
'So, from my group discussion I heard that such places exist in the FCT. I came down here and it was true. So, I met the chief and asked him what their needs were and he told me, water and health facilities. So, I said ok, being an optometrist, I am going to give what I have and the other ones we can tell the government to provide them' she said.
Ugonwa told Daily Sun that the money used for the project was given to her by kind-hearted Nigerians and they want their names to remain anonymous. 'But the drugs I am using are partly from NNPC pharmacy and hundreds of people have received treatments. Communication was a big barrier to the fulfillment of her pet project because as a Nigerian from the Eastern part of the country, her patients do not understand one word in English.
'There are communications challenges. For you to get information out of the people is a great challenge. Right now, we don't have much interpreters. Some of the indigenes decline medical services as they prefer herbalists. They don't believe in doctors' she stated. The corps member who undertakes to foot the bills of the surgical operations of her patients said she derived joy in making other people happy. 'Right now I don't have anybody that I am going to solicit for fund.
I am going to use these five days (because I want to do the operations next week) to seek for funds among my friends and anybody I think will be of help. Even while I was in school, I had passion for community work. It gives me joy to see that the less-privileged are being helped. I want to ask government to make sure that we have an effective health care in some of these communities. They really need it with quality drugs and competent health workers. Each of these communities should have a health care that is running, that is effective. My motivation is to see that their needs are met. When I see the condition they are living in I am motivated to do something' she said.
The corps member from Arondiuzuogu in Imo State insisted that she was not playing to the gallery as she had undertaken such projects in the past. 'I did the same thing in my village when I was in school. Then I wasn't a corper. You can ask my village chief. I am from Arondiuzuogu in Imo State . So, I have done something like this when I was in school. Even after my youth service I am plunging into it. I am going to be a community optometrist.
My parents are not so rich but they are very ok. My dad is late and my mum is a business woman but my family is very ok. I will like to write to any NGO that wants us to take this project, if possible, to all the communities in Nigeria . I have passion for this kind of project. So, I am looking for possible partnership with NGOs and individuals so we can take this thing to the hinterland because right now the secondary health care cannot really do everything and government itself cannot do everything. So, we have to come together as individuals and do as much as we can' the optometrist, submitted.