Imo women protest against government takeover of health facility, demand N100m
Scores of women in Ogbe, Ahiazu local council of Imo State, under the aegis of Ogbe Women Development Association (OWDA) at the weekend, disrupted their annual August Meeting in protest of government’s takeover of the community’s only Health centre.
They insisted that the state government’s action was tantamount to oppression, adding that they spent over N100 million to acquire the land measuring 1,500 square meters length and 90 square meters width with survey plan number: FEA/17772/IM/82/2011.
They kicked against the alleged take over of the property in which the state government had already put a signpost in conjunction with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The protesting women marched round the premises, casting aspersion, asking why any one should think and execute takeover of their self help effort without involving them on modalities of taking over such health institution without their knowledge.
They attracted the attention of people in the area, threatening to take their case to higher dimension, if the state government did not compensate them for the structures.
But the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Sam Onwuemeodo, told The Guardian that he needed to properly understand the issue, wondering why the women should resort to protest over such an issue.
“I will get the details.’’ Onwuemeodo, said.President of the women group, Anne Anyanwu, who spoke in company of its immediate past President, Ezinne Scholar Onuoha, told The Guardian that they bought the land at the N1.5 million from the Umukoawa Progressive Club, Ogbe on August 23, 2008.
Anyanwu said she discovered the signpost two weeks ago when she visited the centre and alerted other members on the development, which led to the protest at the weekend.
She said the members were angered by the inscription: “Federal Government of Nigeria in Collaboration with the Imo State Government MDGs 2011 Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) Construction of Primary Health Centre in Ogbe, Ahiazu Mbaise, Imo State,” funded from debt relief gains and the state government.
She said the state government, through one of their sons approached them to take over the structure, stressing that government engaged a contractor who allegedly used the association’s building materials but that they could not continue after a while.
“Before they can take over the Health Centre, the Imo State Government will give us N100 million cash. That is the least we can take to leave that place for them,” Onuoha said.