Ochanya is an orphan from Ado Local Government of Benue State. She lost her father before the age of seven. After losing her dad, Ochanya was left with no option than to return to the village to live with her grandfather. But this did not go well for the little girl as her uncle, one Samuel began to play dirty with her right there in the village. She escalated this evil development to her grandfather who consequently sent Ochanya to go stay with her aunt in Sokoto before uncle Samuel defied her.
Ochanya’s stay in Sokoto was short lived; her aunt became mentally unstable. According to Ochanya, the aunt would always go violent with her due to her mental state. Ochanya had to be rescued but back to the village where her welfare was poor. Hungry often, Ochanya would depend on caging money from the villagers including men to survive at a tender age of thirteen. Sometimes she had to compromise sexually with men in order to feed.
Ochanya who did not intend to continue with the despicable lifestyle decided to leave the village for Abuja in pursuit of education.
“I saved some money and came to Abuja to meet my uncle. I told him I wanted to go to school,” Ochanya said.
But uncle Odan (A.K.A Jaro or Jahrule) declined to help the poor girl. His reason was that his hand was full as he had his own children to carter for and would not be able to do so if Ochanya joined. He therefore urged Ochanya to return to the village in Benue State. But Ochanya remained resolute to stay back in Abuja. This provoked Mr. Odan who resolved to beating the 13 year old Ochanya. But thanks to Linda, a woman from Cross River State who came to her rescue and decided to take care of the poor girl. The Good Samaritan Linda enrolled Ochanya back in primary school so she could complete her primary education. Linda’s daughter would take out time to educate Ochanya privately after school hours. Ochanya had stopped schooling since the age of seven when she lost her dad. She was in primary three at the time. Now at the age of thirteen, she had to skip primary four and five to resume primary six. This made the extra lesson very necessary.
After the primary education, Linda could not afford training Ochanya to secondary school level. The poor girl had to return to the village to face her fate. But the unrelenting girl refused to give up on her academic pursuit. She began to fetch water in the village to save for her education. From her savings, Ochanya enrolled herself in a private secondary school in the village. Assisted also by the proprietress of the school, Ochanya was able to completed her Junior Secondary School education after which she returned to Abuja to get a job to fend for herself.
“…I came back to Abuja to work. I found a job at Liberty Hotels in Kubuwa,” she recalled.
At Liberty Hotels where Ochanya started working, she met one Mr. Emmanuel, a police officer working in SARS department, a meeting that turned Ochanya’s life sour again.
“He [Mr. Emmanuel] told me I was too young to work in the hotel but I told him I needed money to go (return) to school, and that was why I came here to work.”
But Mr. Emmanuel who posed to be a Good Samaritan persuaded her to stop working at the hotel. She yielded. He introduced her to a cousin of his named Ogechi and asked Ochanya to stay with her. The next day, Mr. Emmanuel bought a new phone for Ochanya for easy communication. He had promised taking Ochanya to a school where she would continue her education. He did take her to a school within the MOPOL Barrack there but later took her to his house within the Barrack where he had a carnal knowledge of the poor girl. Unhappy about the turn of event, Ochanya reported the incidence to Ogechi who then unfolded the truth:
“She said I should forget about him, that he did not [really] want to send me to school; that he just wanted to sleep with me…” She said.
After some time, Ochanya noticed she had become pregnant as a result of the rape. She ran some pregnancy test that showed positive. She reported to her uncle who still turned her down. Ejected, Ochanya began sleeping on the street with her pregnancy. In the course of these, Ochanya met a girl called Amarachi who introduced her to a baby factory in Aba in Imo State. Arriving in Aba, Ochanya was incarcerated in a room for three months with only food and water. She was barred from stepping out of the room until she was due for delivery.
After delivery, Ochanya was locked up in another room within the hospital for two days. A female nurse then opened the door, came in and took the baby from her and asked her to wait. The nurse later returned with the sum of One Hundred and Twenty Thousand naira (N120,000), gave it to her and asked her to leave.
“They gave me N120,000 and asked me to go and start something with my life, that the baby would be fine; that I should forget about the baby.” She said.
On her return to the room where she was incarcerated earlier, Ochanya got a phone and called her uncle, Mr, Odan and narrated her ordeal. Uncle Odan advised her to return to Abuja and should not tamper with the money, that he would decide what action they would take when she returned. Naïve Ochanya was hopeful that her uncle would fight to help her regain the custody of her baby. But on returning to Abuja, against her expectation, Mr. Odan subjected her to brutal bartering and forcibly collected the money from her. Mr. Odan used the money to rent a new apartment where he moved in with his family. Ochanya was denied entry into the apartment as she returned to the street in search of survival at all cost.
It is eight months since the video went viral, yet it is still uncertain if any action has been taken to restore Ochanya and or rehabilitate her. Recent online comments show that the girl was seen on the street of Kubwa in Abuja dressed almost naked and begging arms. She is obviously suffering some mental damage.
Written by Oche Onu
Video Source: Odumeke O Wisdom
NGO MOBILISES LAGOS COMMUNITIES AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
In a bid to fight Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in communities across Lagos, the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) partnered with RiseUp, a women and girls’ rights group to mobilize community stakeholders as gatekeepers and to build better links with law enforcement agencies.The meeting at Otto-Ilogbo community, one of the most populous informal communities in Lagos was the first of three meetings targeting Otto-Ilogbo, Makoko and Bariga. It would bring together local stakeholders such as local chiefs, women leaders, youth leaders, heads of girls’ groups among others in a bid to reduce GBV particularly against teenage girls.
It would also ensure that the communities work more closely with government agencies, law enforcement agencies and other state actors as well establish community systems that would report sexual violations so that the perpetrators are brought to book and thereby help towards the reduction and indeed eradication of such crimes in those communities.The first meeting at Otto-Ilogbo held recently was fruitful as it provided a robust platform for the rubbing of minds among the community stakeholders.
Both the old and youth freely aired their concerns and observations and welcome the idea of a better working relationships with constitutionally appointed bodies and personnel to curb sexual violence in their community as in everywhere in the country especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated pressures and socioeconomic abnormalities.
Comrade Mushbau Ishola Agbdemu, an eminent community leader and activist at Otto-Ilogbo and the local organizer, welcome the idea and promised that the community would work closely with the CEE-HOPE team to ensure the success of the project.
Betty Abah, CEE-HOPE’s founder and Executive Director, expressed delight at the turn of the one-day event. “We are really impressed by the enthusiasm of the communities to collaborate with us and the others in focus and we hope that we have such good responses from the other communities as well. Our work with informal communities over the years proved that if given the opportunities and cooperation from constituted authorities, the community people would always leverage on their potentials and experiences to turn things around positively. We are positive that this will go well,’ she added.
The October 25 meeting at Otto-Ilogbo was preceded by another one-day meeting at Makoko constituting leaders and representatives from the three target communities including Makoko, Bariga and Otto-Ilogbo on September 11.
HOW RACHEL ONIGA DIED AT 64
Veteran movie actress, Rachel Oniga has passes away on Friday. According to the family, the actress died of heart disease.
The actress reportedly died Friday night in a hospital in Lagos.
In a statement yesterday by the deceased’s sister, Deaconess Toyin Odusote, Oniga, who passed away at the age of 64, had been battling the ailment for some time now.
The statement read in part:
“With a heavy heart and total submission to God, we write to announce the passing of our beloved sister, mother and grandmother, Chief Rachel Tabuno Oniga .
“She died in a Lagos hospital at the age of 64 , on Friday, July 30, 2021 at about 10 pm.
“Contrary to diverse reports informing that she died of COVID-19 complications, we write to inform the general public that she died of heart related issue, an ailment she battled for a short period before her demise.
“We accept her sudden transition as God’s design and we see it as a function of a race of life well finished.
“Painful as it may, we accept it in good faith and total submission to her Maker.
“We, therefore, desire to be allowed to mourn her death privately for now, as we do cause with deep sense of respect for her soul and the glorious life she lived.”
Burial arrangement would be announced in due course by the deceased’s family, the statement promised.
The deceased reportedly had been on Kunle Afolayan’s movie set in Mowe area of Ogun State since last week.
Biography and Profile of Rachael Oniga
An indigene of Eku in Delta State, Oniga was born on 23 May 1957 in Ebutte Metta, Lagos State. She began her acting career in 1993, shortly after her divorce. She worked briefly at Ascoline Nigeria Limited, a Dutch Consultant Company before her first movie titled Onome and her debut Yoruba movie was Owo Blow. Over the years, Oniga has featured in notable Nigerian films such as Sango, a movie scripted by Wale Ogunyemi, produced and directed by Obafemi Lasode and Wale Adenuga’s television series, Super story.She was one of the famous Nigerian Actresses who played a role of a mother in movies. Although featured mostly in Yoruba movies, she was also active in Nollywood English movies.Among the movies she featured are Sango in 1997, Out of Bounds in 1997, Owo Blow 1997, Passion of Mind in 2004, Power Of Sin, Restless Mind and Doctor Bello in 2013, 30 Days in Atlanta in 2014, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel in 2017, Power of 1 in 2018, The Wedding Party and My Village People 2021.
Oniga is survived by three children and several grandchildren.
EXPECT DEVASTATING FLOOD, FG Tells Benue, Others.
Benue State and all the states around the Rivers Benue and Niger basin including the FCT should expect to experience devastating flood between August and October, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), has predicted.
NIHSA, an agency of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, earlier predicted the recent flooding in Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Borno and Ondo states as a result of heavy local rainfalls. The situation was aggravated by poor drainage system.
The Director-General of the Agency, Engr. Nze Clement Onyeaso, in an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, said all areas earlier identified as flood prone this year as well as those along the Rivers Niger and Benue might likely begin to experience more devastating flooding from the end of August.
“Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine countries namely Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Nigeria is located at the lowest position of the Basin and this means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding. The period of flooding in these upstream countries is August and September of every year,’’ he said
According to the DG, NIHSA was monitoring the development as the world approaches these critical months, adding that the agency would also continue to monitor Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.
Engr. Nze warned Lagosians against the practice of dredging and sound filling the Atlantic Ocean, to build what they usually call model cities like those in Lekki and Banana Island, saying such may, in the future, pose serious threats.
As part of the preparation for the expected floods, the DG called on Nigerians, especially the state governments to be fully prepared by ensuring cleaning of blocked drainage system and canals remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels.
The Agency had earlier predicted that 121 LGAs in 27 states and FCT might experience severe flooding this year.
Oche Onu writes from Lagos