The widower Mr. Adejo Emmanuel said:
“The family of my late wife have asked me to come and do marriage ceremonies for my wife and come up with the sum of 350,000 naira before anything could even take off. Where would I get the money from? I am confused. They should pity my condition and understand that I’m still taking care of her four children. Three of them are in secondary school, not to talk of the twins,” he said.
So while Margaret’s corpse lies in the mortuary, Emmanuel is confused and disturbed, as he is facing three hurdles: “I have no money to pay for the mortuary; I also have no money to feed the children; and my in-laws are demanding for the death certificate of their daughter, which they say I must bring along whenever I am coming.
“They also say it is compulsory for me to come over and do a compulsory marriage with her before she could be buried. They say some rituals must be performed and 350,000 naira must be paid to her family as part of her bride-price, before talking about the burial at all. Where do I get the money from? Am I not in trouble now?”
The inlaws should pity this man. He is already struggling with 4 of their late daughter’s children. From the story in the link, the man was a subsistence farmer. Where would they expect him to get the money from?
Even if he had half the money, is it not better he uses it to take care of their daughter’s kids?
How The Wife Died
Narrating his wife’s last moment, Emmanuel said he suddenly saw his wife at Ugbagbo farm in Owo, where he was working unannounced. “When I saw her, I scolded her and asked why she came all the way to the farm, because she was already heavy and ready to deliver. I also asked why she did not go to the hospital instead of coming to the farm to meet me.
Of course, this was not her first pregnancy, as she had previously had four children before this pregnancy. To compound matters, there was no vehicle to take her back to town that evening. We therefore waited till the second day. However she went into labour in between and was delivered of the twin girls.
She was attended to by Traditional Birth Attendants, but the placenta did not come out. We quickly got her into a vehicle and headed for the General Hospital at Oke-Ogun in Owo. Unfortunately she did not make it, as she gave up the ghost at the entrance of the hospital. I noticed that her condition had worsened and she was getting dizzy. She thus got to the hospital, dead.
To say the least, I was devastated. I became confused and almost ran mad. The nurses, who knew her, were surprised that she went to the farm instead of the hospital. She was well known at the hospital, because that was where she had all her children. She had also attended antenatal there.”
Apart from other things I must say government neglect is the chief cause of this woman’s death. Nigeria got its independence in 1960. By now, there should be a good transport network and system not only in the cities but alsoin the country side. By now, the quality of life of our people should have developed. All those moneys we got from crude oil during the years of plenty should have been used to build hospitals, roads and provide taxis,buses, qualified doctors and nurses to service the rural areas, not just the cities.
In most rural towns in this country, there is only occassional direct access to Western health facilities, and that is only when the chemist comes, maybe once a month.
So, what happens between one monthly visit of the chemist (who isnt even a doctor) and another. If there is a health emergency, those involved had better pray they get transportation to the big city…
My NGO, the Prince And Princess Charles Offokaja Foundation would have liked to really do a lot of work in getting affordable health care closer to the people, but unfortunately, it is not yet easy to get even smaller grants for less ambitious projects. But we hope that with time, we can at least make a minor impact in this regards.