Archive for September, 2012

Abortion, whether safe or unsafe, has become quite common in the world. With sex suddenly becoming such an important factor in every relationship and coupled with ignorance of partners as regards issues of contraceptives, the incidence of unwanted pregnancies and consequent abortion is on the increase. We also live in a country where abortion is illegal. There are various reasons why people undertake abortion. Some have good and understandable reasons. For example, a lady who was raped and is unaware of various means of preventing unwanted pregnancies may see abortion as a way out if she got pregnant after this nefarious act. Imagine the stigma when a little child realizes that he or she is a product of a rape. That child will always be in an uncomfortable position answering questions that hurts and pierces the heart. Whatever the reason, I’m particularly bothered about young girls who carry out unsafe abortion. The reality is that abortion in Nigeria is illegal unless it is medically indicated where the life of the mother is at risk. The kind of society we live in means abortion becoming legal is never going to happen. Legislations are strict, punishment even worse and hence even mentioning abortion not to talk of carrying it out in this country is a taboo.

In many countries, mostly in the developed world, it is legal and hence is performed in environments that are conducive. The risk attached is minimal or virtually non-existent since this procedure is carried out by qualified doctors in facilities with equipment required in management of any possible complication that may arise. Sadly in Nigeria, this is not obtainable regardless of the cause of the pregnancy. Abortions are carried out by quacks in cubicles, stores, pharmacy stores and huts and most importantly in very unhygienic conditions. Girls now perform it themselves by use of drugs regardless of the risk involved. Even when it is done by qualified practitioners, they hardly provide adequate post-abortion attentions. Some people may not know all these, but this is the truth. We can’t hide or run away from this facts. All these factors mean that unsafe abortion has become a leading cause of maternal mortality in the world especially in Africa. Naturally, because this is Nigeria, we always tend to have a large percentage of these negative figures.

The long term complications of abortion are numerous. At this juncture, I’ll tell you a short story. I met a young lady during my time in school. Juliet was involved in a relationship with David. They were young, happy, full of vigour and willing to have fun at the slightest chance. These two individuals were full of life and hope but were ignorant of reality. Sex was an important part of their relationship as well. During the course of this affair, they were fully aware that they weren’t going to get married. All they wanted was to live life to the fullest. Another guy named Steve, who was rich, saw Juliet and instantly felt that he had found his soul mate. He was ready to settle down and start a family with Juliet. Juliet knew this was an opportunity to finally settle down. He, however, said sex was not going to happen until they got married. He wanted it to be special. While the wedding plans were in full swing, Juliet kept seeing her old boyfriend possibly because Steve offered her everything but no sex. And then something happened. She got pregnant less than three months to the wedding. It was a disaster. She told her mum and it was decided that the pregnancy had to be terminated. She did not want anything to disrupt the marriage plans because she had a rich son-in-law who was the answer to all her problems and nothing, not even a pregnancy, was going to come in her way. The abortion was carried out by an auxiliary nurse at a pharmacy store with the use of a sharp object. Juliet couldn’t even describe what the nurse used. She got the pregnancy out. But it came at a price. She bled for a month and even fainted at some point. She also had a foul-smelling discharge from her vagina for a very long time. It was not funny. She was lucky, she did not die. She never saw her monthly flow again. The wedding went ahead. She has been married for two years when I first met her and her husband is completely unaware of this. Her husband will also probably never know of this thanks to the patient-doctor confidentiality rule. Her chance of having a baby is slim. He is ignorantly hopeful that a baby will pop out some day. After all, God’s time is the best. He may be right but he needs a miracle. Fortunately, miracles do happen.

But not everyone is lucky. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 68000 women die annually as a result of complications of unsafe abortion. Millions of women like Juliet will sustain long-term damage, diseases or complications ranging from incomplete abortion, sepsis, severe bleeding and injury to internal organs such as trauma to the uterus. The psychological trauma involved cannot be written off. The girl will have to leave with the guilt forever. All these were never meant to happen. This could have been prevented through proper education of females and even males on the use of contraceptive. What the hell are we talking about?! Abstinence is not a bad idea either!!! Unfortunately, many people see sex as the most important component of their relationships. The guy threatens the lady and says if I do not get it from you then I will get it from someone else. Later, they say the use of a condom makes it less enjoyable. Someone once said, “Using a condom is like licking a sweet with the wrapper on it. It is simply not enjoyable.” For such people, no condoms means increased risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Why would you mortgage your life for just two minutes of ecstasy? For the ladies, if the guy is not sleeping with her, the accusation of cheating heats up. She says if you are not sleeping with me, you are surely sleeping with someone else. This is the reality in many relationships and is very wrong. We really need to see abstinence as an important part. If that is not possible, then use a condom. They are relatively cheap and could save a life and safeguard health. 

Finally, think of that little baby who has been denied a chance to fight for something. You never know what that little baby would have become. He could have been a tremendous source of happiness. When the abortion fails, the baby could be born with multiple disabilities due to substances ingested by the mother. When it is successful, the end result is pretty simple and straight forward.  That baby will never know what it feels like to be loved.  It is two legs that will never walk. It is two eyes that will never see, a pretty face that will never smile and a heart that will never beat.


Ladies, if he beats you, then he has lost the plot..

A lot of ladies go through what I am about to talk about. It is a bad and very sad experience, one which no one should ever go through. It is made particularly worse by the fact that so many ladies are victims and are painfully dying in silence. I am also extremely perplexed when the woman decides to cope with it.


I grow up in a family where love was and is in abundance. My dad NEVER beat me. His relationship with my mother is one every woman dreams about. For over two decades of my existence, I had never seen my dad hit my mum. Like every relationship, they had little misunderstandings which were always settled pretty quickly. Perhaps, due to the small age difference between them, they were more like best friends. To put it differently, they complement each other in every way. I was raised in an environment where we learnt that beating up a woman did not show strength. It only exposed and highlighted your cowardice. I soon began to understand that anyone who had to beat up a lady to prove to the world that he was the boss was pathetically weak.


Hence, when I grew older and realized that this horrible act actually occurred in some homes, it was a rude shock. I even found it more difficult to explain why a lady would choose to cope in a relationship in which she was a readily available punching bag for the man. The dangers of physical abuse in a relationship are numerous. I will highlight a few. Many pregnant mothers will lose or have lost their babies because a man was too weak to keep his tempers in check and also walk away rather than get into a fist fight. Ladies could have their faces and bodies badly disfigured sometimes permanently during such abuses. Sometimes, they are not so lucky. They could even lose their lives. When the woman feels that she has had enough of the battering, she decides to retaliate and may mistakenly kill the man out of self-defense. Women who leave such relationships to start another one may have serious trust issues. Little boys born into such homes soon begin to erroneously believe that beating the opposite sex is an important factor in showing that you are in complete control of the relationship. Even the young girls soon begin to have doubts over relationship because of the environment they were raised in.


Therefore, the ladies must realize that they are too precious to be beaten up by anyone who feels that having the XY chromosome makes him superior. Anyone who beats you up simply because he is your boyfriend or husband does not deserve you. For those who understand what positive feedback means, he will continue beating you the moment he starts. Such people hardly change. Never forget that you are too valuable to have to go through such experiences. The ladies should never be afraid to walk away when it happens. There are thousands of reasonable men out there who will accept, love, pamper, protect and cherish you like never before; Men, who are tolerant and will not punch, kick or slap you at the slightest provocation.


Any guy who beats you has lost the plot and does not deserve you. He also does not deserve a second chance because the chance of him turning a new leaf is so slim. The girls should never be afraid about what the future hold for them. Uncertainty has never killed anyone. After all, it is better to be single and happy than to be in a relationship that is a constant source of frustration, fear and unhappiness. If you are going through this, take a good look at the mirror. Be sincere to yourself and ask yourself if you are better off remaining in a violent relationship. It is not too late to get your life back. Act swiftly. The time is now. Everyone deserves a shot at happiness. It is not the sole right of few or certain people.


Finally, if you are a guy doing this to any lady, you have lost the plot.



Uche Okafor

On Friday, the transfer window closed with a lot of clubs trying to bring in players to aid their cause throughout the rest of the season. At the red half of North London, Arsenal fans were hopeful for one or two signings on the final day. Few names were mentioned but none really looked like going through. The disappointment amongst fans on twitter was plain to see. How on earth could Arsenal lose Robin Van Persie and Alex Song and not replace them? The “ARSENE-OUT’’ bandwagon was in full flow. A neutral would have been forgiven if he actually thought Arsenal didn’t sign anyone. Two key players had been lost while three gifted and talented players in Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud had come in.

TRAITOR: RVP moved to Man United

On paper and from what we have seen so far this season, Arsenal has an excellent first eleven and with the imminent return of Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky, the squad will get better. Several young players like Eisfeld and Sergio Gnabry look set to get closer to the first team this season. But what worries me and possibly other Arsenal fans is what happens when fatigue or Arsenal’s annual injury curse comes along. Hopefully, that curse has been banished. The squad currently lacks depth and an injury to Szczesny (although Mannone has done well so far); any of the centre backs or even the centre forwards may prove too costly. I personally feel Arsenal needed to bring in more bodies in case of injuries. Over the years, Arsenal has always been hit hard by injury. This summer, they had the funds available to bring in quality but they failed to do so. By not bringing in cover, Wenger and the board have left themselves open to criticism if anything goes wrong. Diaby’s injury record is not the best at the moment. His performance against Liverpool was splendid. He is talented. That is no longer news. He and Arteta have formed a solid partnership and Arsenal looks stronger without Alex Song defensively. If (God forbid) injuries strike, I hope Wenger does have a plan this time around.


Giroud and Podolski can score goals

However, it is important to note that if bringing in players meant bringing in players worse than those currently at the club, then Arsenal may have done themselves a massive favour by staying away from the mad rush on the final day instead of buying second class players who will not improve the squad. Quality players were always going to be difficult to sign and their prices would have put a lot of people. We have seen how difficult it is to sell players like Bendtner, Chamahk, Park, Denilson and Squallaci. Yes SQUILLACI. He still plays for a club named Arsenal and has even been named in the squad for the season. Expect to see him against Coventry at the Capitol One Cup. These players hardly make the substitute bench but are on relatively huge salaries. Park and Bendtner have seen gone on loan to Celta Vigo and Juventus but no club really wanted them on a permanent basis and that tells the story. Arsenal should therefore not fall into temptation of signing anybody just to appease the fans. It does not always work and sometimes they even fail spectacularly. About a year ago, Arsenal fans celebrated the signing of Park. We were excited. Arsene has signed someone. That was all that mattered to us. He was seen as a different option, a proven and different Korean striker. A year later, we all know how that turned out. He has not impressed at all.


Wilshere and Wenger looking to the future. Is Jack the answer?

Santi CAZ: Arsenal’s new Creator-in-chief

In the past, many clubs have seen spending massive transfers and wages as a fast route to the success. It has worked for many with varying results and consequences. Leeds United got to a Champions League semi-final with an expensively assembled squad. Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell, Rio Ferdinand and others were able to hit new heights for the club. When success dried up, funds reduced and debt rose, the club struggled and went into administration a few years later. Portsmouth won the FA Cup few seasons after investing heavily in transfers, bonuses and wages. When the owner got tired and left, they were in all sorts of trouble going into administration twice, suffering point deductions and are in danger of going into extinction. Glasgow Rangers are now in the Scottish third division after been punished for their financial misdeeds of the past. It will take them a long time to ever taste European football and when they do return to the Scottish Premier League, it certainly will never be the same. Ask committed fans of those three clubs if they would love to swap their sweet but damaging success of the past for a properly run club, I believe they will choose the latter. Their clubs may never be the same again as they are now a shadow of their old selves and are paying heavily for their old success. This should never have happened in the first place.


Rio and co. When life was good at Elland Road.

While I feel Arsenal could have done a lot better during the window, I think it is risky for Arsenal to splash multiple exorbitant transfer fees on various players every summer. The club simply does not have the resources to do that consistently every summer. Key word here is every summer. Clubs like Man City, Chelsea and PSG can engage in financial doping due to vast resources available to them from their owners. They sign exciting players due to this but never forget that for every expensive Cristiano Ronaldo that succeeded, there will always be an Andy Carroll who failed to justify that massive transfer fee (you can add Fernando Torres in there). Liverpool signed Aquilani for £20 million but he never really got going in England. Loan spells at AC Milan and Juventus was not enough to convince Brendan Rodgers to keep him. He has since been sold to Fiorentina and hopefully he will get his career back on track. Exorbitant transfer fees do not always translate into successful signings. We have seen players like Kolo Toure and George Weah bought for little fees from Africa but went on to have very successful careers. Players such as Downing and Henderson have not justified their fees and every performance makes the amount paid look even more ridiculous.

Arsenal may not buy the type, quality or amount of players fans crave but be assured that the club is in good healthy state and is not in danger of taking the same route as Rangers or Leeds. The club however must try to ship out more deadwoods and free up some much needed funds to be able to compete further in the market. Arsenal may not be favourites to win the league this season. Maybe not even next season but they will be a force to be reckoned with IF UEFA decides to implement the financial fair play plan. Arsene Wenger needs to be supported because only few managers can work with such limited resources and still try to achieve what he has achieved. He has proven to be loyal to the club and I think he will win again. Arsenal needs a trophy though. Seven years already seems like an eternity but I expect him to fix this. Get behind the team.



Uche Okafor.

Rotaract has grown over the years, becoming an important organization involved in the complete transformation of young men and women with divergent views and belief. Formed in 1968, it is a club which is open to individuals between the ages 18-30. As a club, it focuses on the development of young adults with the aim of making them excellent and dedicated leaders and is also involved in service within the community. Young individuals are taught that service to humanity is an important part of our existence. They are also made to understand that people need you to move forward. After all, we all need a helping hand once in a while.

The importance of international peace and unity cannot be overemphasized. In the current state of unrest, insecurity and escalating violence in the world, getting young individuals to work together to achieve a positive goal is important. Rotaract does that. Clubs are encouraged to take part in international service projects, in a bid to promote peace, unity and international understanding in the world. Hence, it is common to see Rotaract clubs in different districts or even countries carrying out joint projects. Clubs hold meetings regularly, at least twice a month, and also undertake visits to other clubs. The clubs engage in programmes usually within their community, usually charitable ones. Hence, young individuals, university and college students are able to give something to the society and expect nothing back in return.

Some Rotary years ago, I joined the Rotaract family because it offered me a unique opportunity to serve humanity. Hence, I joined the Rotaract Club of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (ROTANAUTH) at Nnewi, Anambra State. This was an opportunity I did not want to miss. I soon realized that the club was blessed with excellent individuals who were selfless and good examples for everyone to follow. Their commitment to service was never in doubt and I soon realized it was a club that offered an avenue for the complete transformation of individuals.

A Rotaractor at a medical outreach

Club members during a visit to RECDOT at Ozubulu, Anambra State

I learnt a lot from more senior Rotaractors and Rotarians at the Rotary club of Nnewi, our club sponsors. Joining the club taught me that service was the greatest gift an individual could offer his community. I learnt that one could actually go the extra mile to put a smile on a stranger’s face. Seeing someone who had no hope smile was a blessing. Rotaract touches lives, always trying to give something back to the community.

I joined a club who in spite of her numerous stellar projects did not make any noise about it. Members of my local club are usually students or individuals involved in the health profession. During my stay at the club and even after my departure, medical outreaches were organized and members of the community were able to discover medical problems they did not know they had early and were subsequently advised to seek help promptly. Dictionaries were also distributed to some primary schools at Nnewi helping pupils in their studies and it was a point of duty or tradition to visit the Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled, Old and Tramps (RECDOT) located at Ozubulu, Anambra State in February every year. During the last Rotary year, the club was also able to get individuals to donate over fifty pints of blood.

Club member carrying out free blood glucose screening

A donor during ROTANAUTH’s blood donation project

Seeing young individuals with drive, energy and enthusiasm engage in these activities was a joy to behold. There was always a great urge to join in at the sight of club members making sacrifices and going the extra mile to make things work. For me, the experiences have been worthwhile. I learnt to keep a calm head even in the most difficult situation. Rotaract is not just your typical, ordinary and average club. We don’t just hide under the “Red and Gold” umbrella. Rotaractors are individuals who take the bull by the horn and understand that there is a lot that can be done. The individuals who formed this organization have certainly not been let down.

Finally, I am out of the university now but I can boldly say that Rotaract has improved me. I am better equipped to face the challenges the world has to give. I am not the same guy who was inducted into a Rotaract club some years ago. Interacting with members from my club and other clubs within my country has certainly given me different views to life. I have learnt so much. I am certain that Rotaract can play an even bigger role in the world. Anyone who joins this great and is committed can never stay the same. Join Rotaract now.