News Features

A Cosy Night At Midwifery Market In Asaba

By Patrick Ochei

MIDWIFERY Market is located along Okpanam Road, just immediately after the NNPC Filling Station, still within the Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State. The market derived its name from the popular Delta State School of Midwifery which is within the same vicinity.

It’s a truism that the Midwifery Market is a place for buying and selling of food and other domestic items. It started as a business enterprise and still holds that status. It is believed to be owned by an individual who, years back, saw the need to site the market as a result of a surging population and development around the Okpanam axis, which is satellite to Asaba capital city. But beyond buying and selling at the market, there are other activities of interest that go on within the market environment. This will definitely interest you to know.

As a nosy journalist, I decided to embark on a curiosity voyage one of these nights that I got bored at home. I drove my car in the cool of the night and was surprised to notice heavy movements around the market. I arrived the red spot, parked my car, remained inside and watched,  keenly, the activities of the night. I was equally on red alert, afraid of any imminent attack by marauders around the market. We hear that the market environment has become a breeding ground for cultists and drug peddlers, and so if one is not careful, they may suspect a kind of surveillance and strike!

From past 11:00p.m, I started noticing different kinds of surreptitious movements of, should I say, daughters of Jezebel? But these are beautiful creatures of God, except that this class chose the easy, but lethal way of survival. I saw female teenagers, some older (by size), walking up and down the popular hotel premises. The hotel’s corridors serve as a meeting point. Guys come there to make their choices, haggle the “products” and return to their slaughterhouse!

Commercial motorcycles, tricycles and cabs were having their fill, as they make brisk merchandise of ferrying in and out both customers and the salacious service providers. But much more was going on non-stop.

The hard guys around were on their own part, loafing up and down, with smoke of weeds belching from their fingers and nostrils amid sagging. The cars that were parked along the road also provided comfort for relaxation and possibly engage in a quickie with any of the babes.

But I fear for who nor fear these girls sha! I was astonished that as the night was getting deadlier, carefree ladies of easy virtues kept moping to and from amid the hard guys. I sat in my car watching some girls hopped into cars of total strangers to catch some fun and, as it were, cash out! Do they even fear that those deadly hours in the arms of a total stranger could lead to their end at a time ritual killings are rife across the land? In anyway, there’s a Warri axiom that says: all die na die!

In the midst of all these, some of the traders, who were getting ready to pack their wares and call it a day, also used the dead of the night to dump their refuse on the road median. Oh, this too! I pity my dear state and those in charge of keeping the environment clean and safe. Little wonder the issue of ravaging flood never abates in Asaba! It can’t, because some of these traders dump their refuse in the drainages and along the roads; and as it rains, the waste goes to block waterways, thereby causing erosion, floods and damaging our roads.

At a point, I got so irritated that I almost got down to challenge some of the women dumping the refuse. And I immediately remembered I was on a sting operation at an unholy hour at a dangerous terrain. Anything could have happened. I quickly restrained myself. In that state, I remembered Hon. Joan Onyemaechi (Ada Anioma) as the then DG of Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency. These were the challenges she faced. Who could be like her, again? She was remarkably able to tame these environmental disasters. Now, the monsters have resurfaced.

It was an all-night long investigation. When I looked sideways of the Midwifery junction, I still see traders selling, in particular, those preparing indomie noodles, those selling food and the homeless abokis. The day was getting dawn and yet, no hibernation on the part of these traders in the night. This was just more than the night rain. I suddenly remembered I left a family at home; and I needed them to continue my journalistic expeditions.

At the time I ignited my car and zoomed off, those by the side were shocked that someone was inside the car. Maybe if I had made myself visible, perhaps I would have had a customer, if not for the night to keep me company in the car. But that’s not my pastime. Actually, I was even praying in my mind for God to just grant them mercy and make them to experience instant change of heart.

Can we entirely blame this class of people for behaving deviantly? No. Truth is that our government has not realised that it has a constitutional responsibility to every citizen in terms of their security and well-being. What measures has the government put in place to check vices? Who is to blame when government does not provide legitimate means of living for its citizens? The people simply resort to self-helps that are antisocial.

What about the parents? What happens to parenting in this contemporary age and time? Where have our parents missed it? How about our educational system? What lessons are the teachers inculcating in our future leaders? Are people still patriotic in our society? Are people doing the work committed to their hands with passion and dedication?

A lot of things in our society, particularly qualitative leadership, has failed our youths who are supposed to be the active segment of the society. The youths, instead of learning and growing with patience to build patriotism and capacity, are channelling their energy into vices that will in turn ruin not only them, but the society.

Be it as it may, unless something drastic is done, our society is gradually ebbing into a classical Sodom and Gomorrah. A serious anarchy is brewing within the Nigerian system. We must rise to the challenge and go back to the drawing board, immediately. Value reorientation, anchored on transparency and accountability of both leaders and followers, is the solution.

Comrade (Deacon) Patrick Nweike Ochei is the Secretary, NUJ Delta State Council, Publisher, Anioma Trust

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