Nigerian Community Where Residents Carry Corpses On Their Heads, Motorbikes To Mortuary Over Unmotorable Road

For the residents of Obeagu Group within the Ishielu native authorities space of Ebonyi state, life is brutish, arduous and unforgiving. Their each day existence typifies a state of nature the place life is bestial and brief with the each day battle for survival as a everlasting characteristic.

Obeagu, a boundary neighborhood shared by Ebonyi and Enugu states with over 10,000 inhabitants has no entry highway or well being facility, both public or non-public. It has no potable water, useful main and secondary faculty or electrical energy.

Photo

Positioned alongside Enugu – Nkalagu – Egedegede – Eha-Amufu – Ikem – Obollo-Afor Highway, the neighborhood can solely be accessed via Egedegede instantly after Nigercem junction in Amazui en route from Enugu to Nkalagu. Going from Nsukka or Benue State via Eha-Amufu, Obeagu neighborhood is positioned instantly after Ochin River, forming a boundary between Enugu and Ebonyi states.

The neighborhood has boundaries with seven communities, two in Ebonyi and 5 in Enugu. The communities are – Eha-Amufu, Umueru, Agbuogbazi Nike, Amankanu and Ubahu all in Enugu; whereas Amazui and Nkalahi are the 2 communities that share boundaries with Ebonyi.

To entry the neighborhood which has just one entry highway via Egedegede, a first-time customer would wish to constitution a motorbike at both Nkalagu or Eha-Amufu to go to the neighborhood. It takes 45 minutes to 1 hour from both Nkalagu or Eha-Amufu to get to the neighborhood. From Eha-Amufu and Nkalagu to Egedegede, Obeagu Junction is motorable however from Egedegede to Obeagu important city is the place the issue lies. The highway is about 15 kilometres with a stretch of about 9 to 10 kilometres of farmlands alongside the highway. Even after driving on a business bike, in any other case known as Okada, a customer to the neighborhood will nonetheless must trek for practically six kilometres, particularly throughout the wet season.

Our correspondent who visited the agrarian neighborhood just lately learnt that residents convey the corpses of their family members to the morgue in Eha-Amufu, Ikem or Nkalagu, about 20 to 30 kilometres away to deposit them throughout the wet season and wait until dry season for the burial. In instances the place households need to bury their corpses throughout the wet season, after conveying such corpses to Egedegede, the household should procure the providers of prepared younger males to hold the corpse on their head for a number of kilometres earlier than attending to an space the place a motorbike can take over and carry it to the household of the deceased.  

Sadly, the neighborhood is reduce off from the remainder of the state, attributable to an absence of entry roads. Visiting the neighborhood is a nightmare as it is just accessible via a monitor highway by foot or bike.

Hell For Expectant Moms

In the neighborhood, expectant moms undergo hell attributable to an absence of entry to medical care. Kids trek for hours within the scorching solar to get to highschool. The hardship being confronted by the individuals is akin to hell on earth as a result of absence of primary infrastructure and social facilities. The individuals stay like refugees of their fatherland with no iota of concern from the federal government.

Throughout a current go to to the neighborhood by our correspondent, many households had been seen trekking from Egedegede junction to Obeagu neighborhood as it’s tough to get a motorbike exterior Eha-Amufu and Nkalagu. The one secondary faculty locally which was constructed via neighborhood efforts was burnt whereas two blocks of two lecture rooms every had been destroyed by a rainstorm. It was learnt that the incident occurred over a 12 months in the past with none authorities consideration afterwards.

The one public well being centre located alongside the highway has solely two workers members, a midwife and an attendant, with no electrical energy or water. It has primary medication and pregnant girls hardly patronise the power. As a substitute, they patronise native start attendants.

Lamenting the event, the Councillor representing Obeagu Ward within the Ishielu native authorities space, Eze Casmir, stated: “What is occurring in our place is a really unhealthy omen,” including that the neighborhood additionally faces incessant assaults by herdsmen taking the benefit of the deplorable state of the highway.

Casmir Ezeh 

He stated due to the dearth of entry highway, suspected herdsmen attacked the neighborhood and killed 18 younger males on March 29, 2021. “This 12 months, they got here again on October 13, and killed one younger man, kidnapped three and injured two however by the grace of God after they collected a really huge ransom, they launched the three.”

So our issues are quite a few, he stated including, “if it is just carrying a corpse on the top and strolling a number of kilometres or conveying a corpse to a morgue on a business bike, we shall be hoping that sooner or later the federal government will keep in mind the plight of the neighborhood.” 

Residents Lament Carrying Corpses On Their Heads, Motorbikes  

On why residents of the neighborhood have to hold corpses on motorbikes, Ezeh stated, “The reason being that the highway isn’t satisfactory and the general public that died, the household normally take the physique to the morgue and wait until dry season when individuals can entry the neighborhood via car in any other case if you happen to strive it throughout the wet season, your car will spoil on the highway, and even get caught within the mud.

“So due to mud practically all via, they can not convey their lifeless ones to bury till when the highway is dry; perhaps from the center of November, December and January, they begin bringing their lifeless ones to bury. Inside this era, you see a variety of burial right here. So that is what we do.

“Our youths are attempting – generally they go and dig gutters in all of the locations which might be terribly unhealthy to create waterways. So these are what the youths have been doing. Typically they clear the highway and make it satisfactory. They may create a channel the place the water will move and that’s what we have now been doing to alleviate issues.

“Our individuals have pleaded with the federal government at each native and state ranges. Even when the vp (Yemi Osinbajo) got here after the primary Fulani herdsmen assault, the governor of the Ebonyi state advised Osinbajo that the highway wanted to be constructed and that the highway is unhealthy.

“That highway is about 10km and from Egedegede junction to the railway crossing within the coronary heart of the neighborhood isn’t a lot however it’s not what the neighborhood can do by itself. Making a gutter isn’t achieved by hand, it’s not simply what the neighborhood will deal with solely by themselves. So, we beg the federal government to assist us do one thing in regards to the highway.

“You possibly can think about carrying a corpse on the top or conveying a corpse with a motorbike to the morgue for a number of kilometres owing to the actual fact that there’s a highway. That is the truth we have now confronted.

“It’s by bike and even generally they use the identical bike to go and produce again corpses for burial. Typically, individuals use their heads to hold corpses however it’s not everyone, although, there are some individuals who desire their very own to be carried by bikes. These ones come throughout the dry season to do their burial.”

The President Common of the Obeagu neighborhood, Kenneth Okoh, additionally described the event as painful and tough.

Kenneth Okoh

“In actual fact, we have now been struggling so much proper from inception as a result of if you happen to come to our highway, it’s the worst highway within the Ishielu native authorities space of Ebonyi State. And due to the unhealthy highway, our individuals had been slaughtered like goats on the highway.

“For those who come to our highway now, throughout the wet season you will see it tough to entry the neighborhood. Due to unhealthy roads lots of people do not bury their lifeless ones throughout the wet season.”

Fixing the highway, Okoh stated, isn’t what the neighborhood can do by itself.

He stated, “It’s not what the neighborhood can do; the highway is about 10km and yearly we clear the highway however when the wet season comes, water will destroy it. We’re begging the federal government to return to our support as a result of most of our boys are being wasted, killed, and slaughtered like goats.”

Okafor Nwa-Ogenye, a motorbike rider who additionally specialises in carrying corpses to the morgue, advised SaharaReporters that the enterprise isn’t a tea occasion.

“Not each bike man can carry a corpse. Our highway is unhealthy, it’s giving us complications and considerations. At any time when it rains, individuals complain a lot about excessive fares and it’s due to unhealthy roads. For journeys on the highway that they’re purported to be charging N300 or N400 for, they’re charging N1,500 for them; at instances N2,000 for 2 passengers.

“If somebody died, earlier than you convey the corpse to the mortuary positioned in our neighbouring neighborhood, Eha-Amufu, we accumulate N7,000 or N10,000 due to the highway. We use bikes to hold corpses to the morgue. Vehicles do not come right here when it rains, particularly throughout the wet season.

“For many who died within the metropolis, if their individuals need to bury them, there’s a spot the place they are going to get to, the place the highway is motorable then we use a motorbike to hold it to the neighborhood. Additionally at instances, we supply lifeless our bodies on our heads when there are not any bikes that may carry them.

“If it rains, it takes half-hour to experience to the place the highway is sweet and motorable which isn’t purported to be so if there isn’t a rain. Ordinarily, it would not take 10 minutes if the highway is motorable. Each the state and native governments, within the final 20 years have not achieved something for us. No authorities presence right here.

“You possibly can solely see individuals utilizing our individuals throughout elections. Through the marketing campaign, they are going to promise heaven and earth however once they get what they need they neglect their guarantees.

“Aside from the unhealthy highway, kidnappers are making the most of the unhealthy highway to kill and abduct individuals alongside the highway now,” he stated.

Corroborating Okafor’s submission, Okechukwu Anyanwu, one other business bike rider, described carrying a corpse on a motorbike as essentially the most tough a part of their job. “Regardless of how unhealthy the highway could current, you can not fall with the corpse or convey it down till you get to the morgue.”

Anyanwu 

He continued, “On days when the highway is so unhealthy that even with bikes it’s tough to hold the corpse from the neighborhood, we boys carry it on the top to Egedegede junction. From there, a motorbike will take it to the mortuary at Eha-Amufu. For the times the highway is manageable, we supply it on the bike from the neighborhood to Eha-Amufu.

“Typically we tie the corpse to the bike or make it sit down on the bike and one other individual will sit behind to make sure it doesn’t fall off the bike.

“Carrying the corpse to Eha-Amufu from right here, we accumulate N6,000 or N7,000. When the situations are horrible, we accumulate N10,000 from the affected household.”

Narrating the issue they face in carrying corpses to the mortuary, Okechukwu stated “as a result of the highway is very unhealthy, you’ll be able to think about attending to a piece of the highway the place ordinarily your passengers should get down and cross on foot; however on this case, the corpse should keep”.

“You’ll battle and be certain that it would not fall down until you get to the mortuary. You can not afford to fall down with a corpse and that’s the reason not each business bike rider can carry a corpse to a mortuary.

“Right here locally, we’re simply three who can carry corpses on our bikes,” he added.

Giving perception into the plight of the neighborhood individuals, Elder Olinya Abaru, an octogenarian stated the persons are struggling due to an absence of primary social facilities.

Elder Olinya Abaru

He described a neighborhood with a inhabitants of over 8,000 individuals dwelling with no useful hospital as a tragedy.

“There is no such thing as a hospital locally – non-public people who tried to open hospitals locally didn’t final as a result of there are not any supporting services like electrical energy, good water and worse, there isn’t a entry highway to the neighborhood.

“In case you are a health care provider working a hospital right here, will you be trekking for over seven kilometres to go exterior to purchase medication, particularly within the wet season when it’s most tough to experience a motorbike?

“After I was a bit of boy, I labored on the highway; that was about 65 years in the past. I didn’t count on that I would go away this world with out that highway being constructed. Autos did not ply the highway then and my neighborhood tried very arduous to even get the highway to be within the state it’s now.

“We laid the inspiration of the highway. We shared the work on the highway village by village. I felt that by now, the federal government would have constructed the highway. It is just when elections are shut that politicians come and promise heaven and earth, thereafter you received’t see them once more till the subsequent 4 years when it’s time for one more election.

“That’s the solely time they do not forget that individuals stay in Obeagu. The federal government of Ebonyi has rejected us and that’s what it’s however we didn’t offend the federal government.”

Talking on the issue in bringing individuals to bury locally throughout the wet season, the octogenarian stated the deplorable state of the highway is accountable for the issue. “After they convey the corpse to Egedegede junction, individuals will carry it on their heads to the neighborhood. We don’t reject the corpse of our relationships. So that’s the reason we endure to convey the corpses of our individuals house to bury. It’s our custom,” he stated with a be aware of frustration.

He lamented that herdsmen assault the neighborhood and handle to flee due to the highway.

The state authorities nonetheless declined to touch upon the deplorable state of affairs locally.

Efforts to talk with the state info commissioner, Mr Uchenna Orji had been unsuccessful as he persistently rejected calls from SaharaReporters. He additionally didn’t reply to a textual content message despatched to his cell phone. 

Additionally, the chairman of Ishielu native authorities space, Hon Obinna Onwe, declined to touch upon the state of affairs when contacted on the cellphone.