Life and Issues with Tunde Thompson
Anyone who had ever argued against the poet Chaucer’s proposition that “Money (excessive love of it) is the root of all evil,” now has at least four new reasons to review his or her position. Like “the poet who saw tomorrow” as he may well be called, some unfolding events in the present Nigerian society have further confirmed the correctness and relevance of that assertion.
So much so that, even considering the motives for engaging in the sort of actions which today still lend credence to the poet’s pronouncement, one cannot but wonder what else they regard as an evil deed, if what they did is or was not one. Two such developments, reported on the crime pages of the Daily Sun last Thursday, are worthy of reference. First, a woman and her husband who were badly in need of a child, were directed to a syndicate in Aba, from their abode in Imo State.
The couple, whose name I do not need to mention because they have not yet been arraigned for prosecution (as the law demands), reportedly “purchased a roughly two-week old baby boy for N800,000.00 (eight hundred thousand Naira only). The incident confirms how intelligent and devoted to duty some of our policemen can be, from the statement by the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Katsina, as in the first report: “The police boss noted that the couple were arrested in Ideato North Local Government on March 27, 2013, following their failure to explain the real parents of the baby when they were cornered by the security operatives.
According to the police commissioner, the wife could not breastfeed the baby when she was arrested. However, the husband blamed the barrenness of his wife to the shameful act which they engaged in…..” Did the fact that they needed a child badly, according to the husband, mean they had to release N800,000 to the wife’s relation in Aba who, of course, later disappeared? Before going any further, let us look at the second report by the same reporter, Ngozi Uwujare, headed: “Two women arrested with two stolen babies.” In that report, also awaiting court action, we learn that “Police operatives have arrested two women for baby theft in Imo State.
The women were found in possession of two suspected stolen babies. During interrogation, the women blew the whistle, confessing that they bought the babies for N1.8million” The same Police Commissioner, Mohammed Katsina, told the reporter that the women had abducted the babies three days after they were delivered at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and were heading for Imo State with them when his operatives “suspected them and during in” They were consequently taken with their driver into police custody, to await prosecution. Rather interestingly, but painfully, the two children were meant for one of the women, who had been unable to have any “fruit of the womb” since she got married in 1982 – 31 long years ago – and decided to acquire two children from Port Harcourt through her agents, for that amount.
The idea was to pose that the children were twins, but that was asking far too much, wasn’t it? Is it easy to deliver twins, not to talk of buying them? What if the policemen were not alert enough to observe the discomfort and pangs of conscience being felt by the women, as they were confronted by them? And what if the law-enforcement officers did not apply the wisdom of Solomon in asking the women to breast-feed the babies, who must have been sobbing, in need of food? Although a little bit of sentiment may be welcomed or understandable especially as the agent felt deeply for the other woman who had waited to have a child for 31 years, they should both have realized that “money maketh no child.”
The normal biological processes of copulation, fertilization and delivery simply cannot be wished away. Just as someone sang, that “money can’t buy me love”, so should it have been obvious to the desperate woman that, truly, “money can’t buy me a child.” Perhaps that is a lesson she was meant to learn the hard, bitter way. For offering money to buy children, the couple from Imo State and the woman from Edo State who went all the way to the Garden City for her obviously fake twins, committed evil and condemnable acts. They did what they would not have wanted anybody to do to them, and thought they could get away with their actions.That may well have happened if the circumstances had been different; if the Policemen on duty were not vigilant and wise enough to detect from their body languages that things only appeared okay.
The third case or example confirming Geoffrey Chaucer’s assertion was the recently reported case of young women in a health centre at Aba, who may be regarded as “contractor –mothers”…. Those who get pregnant, only for others to pay for and carry the babies away! For anything between N300,000 and N800,000, girls had pawned their babies to the highest bidders, with the nurse at the maternity centre as the go-between for the buyers. The National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),is seeing to sanity on that affair. In all seriousness, while noting the wickedness involved in the buying and selling of innocent children , there is no doubt that the problem of infertility poses a grave challenge to men and women alike.
Some of the women or girls who fortunately are not exposed to such a problem ,ironically, choose to abandon their kids either on or by the roadsides and drains to die, or in a hospital, as happened last week at a health centre in the Agboju area of Lagos State. Certainly, a couple with as much as N800,000 to pay for a baby, or a woman prepared to shell out N1.8million for two children at a time, cannot be regarded as too poor to seek and obtain medical advice on alternative fertility methods. Those involved in the provision of such services at the private and public levels of healthcare delivery need therefore to promote more awareness on the available options to natural fertilization and conception.
The market appears good for them in that area. Finally, there was also this story of a medical doctor and two nurses who were allegedly involved in “stealing the two kidneys of a patient in a private hospital in Bauchi, Bauchi, State”, in August. The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria as well as the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, are now reportedly investigating that shameful breach of medical ethics by their members, and would have them prosecuted later. But for the Government of Bauchi State, which most proactively and responsibly provided N7million to ensure a restorative operation for the patient in India, he would obviously have died.
How is living possible, without kidneys? This heartless incident, and the ones earlier cited, demonstrate that people need to be more considerate and clear-headed in seeking money, if they do not want to end up on “Evil Drive”. That’s an uncomfortable place to be, surely!!!