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HearWord

Everyone needs to Hear Word…

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

Grin Grin Grin…

I get a call, I was to be a speaker in a conference in Lagos, Nigeria.

The organizer had emailed me earlier… But there was a little issue, my hands were full…. And my calendar was not smiling.

After deliberation, I agreed with the organizer on a date, as it appeared, a day was free in my calendar 🗓.

However the plan was get to Lagos, give the talk and get back to the Garden city of Port Harcourt on the same day.

The next day was my clinic, so no matter what happened on God’s earth, I had to be back on the same day…

I woke up that day, and my bag was already packed, I received my goodbye hug, from my “front hugger-in-chief” … I drove to a distance and my in-law completed the rest.

I arrived Omagwa or was it Ipo on time ⌚… While waiting to get to my destination, I had to do a second check on the slides I was to present in the conference.

And then I discovered, my slides which I spent ample time to prepare were trying to do a fast one on me… My heart was in my mouth… There was nothing I did not think about…

I had a small chat with my big dad, touched some keypads, and somehow I figured out the issue.

In about an hour I was close to my destination.

Few minutes earlier, I had boarded a waiting Taxify Taxi to venue of the conference.

Well there is no Taxify in Port Harcourt, I know there are other online taxi booking services, but I don’t know how effective they are in the garden city.

In less than 15 minutes, I was in the venue for the conference, and it was obvious I was in Lagos, as the posters of Sanwo-Olu a Governorship candidate kept monitoring every step I took.

You know that feel… If there were CCTVs attached to his eyes 👀, Las Las, I would have been effectively tracked.

But it was strange the road was so free… Was it not the same Lagos, my friends always scream about… Traffic… Traffic… Traffic… No those talks were graphics…. The road was so free and it was about 10:00 am or so…

In less than 15 minutes, I was in the conference Centre in a serene environment in Maryland.

The conference was a huge success, and it was a great time connecting with the host as well as the participants, as well as a bosom friend that came to say Hi to me.

Time flew, from 2 O’clock in no distant time it was 5 O’clock. I was to leave Lagos by 7 O’clock sharp.

My host made plans to book an Okada for me… As in motorcycle… For me, after telling me how wonderful it was.

For where, wu wu not take it… Oga do you know they banned Okada in the Garden City of Port Harcourt… Do you know Okada use to wound person…Oga do you know that as they banned Okada the number of head injury patients in my hospital 🏥 reduced.. Okada people wey no dey Hear Word…Oga wu wu not take it.

Oga I no gree… Well it took about 15 minutes to get here in the morning, it won’t take up to an hour to get to the airport, and check in I reasoned.

Maximum, I get to the airport sharp 6:30 PM… Shebi they said Las Las I should have checked in by then.

My host smiled and booked the Taxify.

In less than no time the taxi 🚖 was at the venue of the conference and we took the apparently short journey to the airport… No be 5:00pm… No worry yourself… My host looked at me… And I am sure in that look he saw the future.

The journey back to the airport was great and boom the first diversion, the 2nd diversion, the 3rd diversion… And time was ticking…

I saw first hand the traffic jam…my friends always talked about… As we were rooted in a spot for minutes… 5:30 PM…6:00 PM.

I did not need anyone to tell me… I had to cancel the trip.

Even a bike may not have done justice.

Several Kekes seemed to be also stuck in the spot. If Keke had no hope, the car I was in was hopelessly hopeless then.

I had to enter another vehicle, my Legedis Benz…

My destination was an overhead bridge 🌉 where I would take an alternative means of transport to the airport.

I trekked pass was it Archbishop Vinning Memorial Church ⛪, passed what looked like a Police Training College… And in no distant time I was in front of LASUTH gate… This place was familiar, I stayed here for about a week about 5 years earlier.

I got to the overhead bridge, and you know what I bordered an Okada…Okada I had rejected over an hour ago.. And this one was without helmet oh.. I had to it was 6:15 PM or 20…No body tell me… I had to.

The constant call from my host, to know how far I had gone, sounded like a “Brother it is well, all will be well”.

I rushed to the airport, and discovered I was in the wrong terminal.

I had to enter into another Okada and by the time I ran into the airport to check in…

They had officially closed the counter.

Madam, I have to rush back I told those in the counter, Abeg na…

Na una hold up oh.. I left early for the airport oh… Plsssssssssss… I need to be in Port Harcourt ASAP…

For where, they were saying you have to rebook for another flight tomorrow and pay for late charges…

That was not what I wanted to hear… Madam, Oga I have to leave Lagos now oh…

I don’t know how this touched them…

They put a call across…

Wrote my ticket on a paper…

I ran to be checked by the security/ official in another gate… And they called again… And they were told to let me go through…

Moments later I was in a shuttle that took me to the plane…

And when I boarded, I looked like the guy who came to the exam hall, when his mates were already seated in the exam hall with their question and answer papers…

Las Las, we go land together.

Las Las, me too needed to Hear Word.

Las Las, I Heard Word.

And I will enter Okada, whenever I am told to enter Okada…

#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries

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HearWord

Save our Ladies…

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

It is no news that in our state, several ladies have been killed recently and if you put all the news together and try to analyze the deaths which are more than 8 now, several things are connected and common.

* Ladies

* Hotel rooms

* Bed

* Dead

* White handkerchiefs

* Strangulated

* Rivers State

* Discovered

And if you put all this together, your mind is likely to run haywire… Is this a serial killing? Are these ritualists? Why hotels or motels? What kind of ladies are targeted?

While we attempt to answer this question, the truth is that every lady who have lost their life, is either someone’s daughter, sibling, mother, spouse, partner, friend or colleague.

‘Dead body no be fire wood.’

So what can be done to stop this menace.

HOTELS

Curiously no 5 or 4 star hotel has had this ugly incidence, meaning that the more secure a hotel is, the less likely this is to happen in or around the hotel.

The Hoteliers association should ensure that members have CCTVs installed in all their entrances, walkway to all their rooms and lobby.

People would tend to behave themselves if CCTVs are installed anywhere, as they know someone is watching.

For motels/ guest houses and other places that do not have CCTVs and do not have the means to install them, they should make sure ID cards of people checking into their rooms are sighted and snapped for record purposes and these ID cards should have passports that match with the bearer.

They should also ensure they have POS machine for transactions as this could help in tracking, phone numbers given by anyone checking in should be dialled to be sure it is authentic.

Also staff should be trained to ensure that no one who checked in with someone, or no one who went to see someone in a checked in room leave without finding out the whereabout of their partner.

Hoteliers should also profile their staff and make sure anyone working with them is properly vetted, as insiders may be part of this.

Any hotel/ motel /guest house which cannot guarantee the safety of her guests, should as well consider doing another business.

LADIES

Being a lady means you are at risk, and having a meeting with anyone including an ‘Uncle’ in any hotel not a 5 or 4 star hotel is a risk on its own and being a risk you have to protect yourself.

Before you go to see anyone anywhere please inform everyone you need to inform and know the name of the person you are going to see, not just Facebook or social media names, as they may not be authentic. Also ensure you are comfortable meeting the person after running a profile search on the person. Let those who would mourn you if anything goes wrong know what is happening and where you are or you are going to.

If you are doing a business transaction that requires delivery of stuff or services to people you don’t know, please kindly use logistics services, there are many of them in the city of Port Harcourt, you must not go yourself.

Whether make up or food services, or hair services, or shoes or clothes, please don’t be in a hurry to meet people where you are vulnerable and you are likely going to be incapacitated if the unexpected happens.

Ladies use your head and not your stomach to reason… The consequences are dire.

If you are an Amalakite, if you are an Amalakite, it is important to note, that it is a very dangerous trade, world over and every outing has no guarantees.

Please if you insist on continuing, then your brain has to be on alert, know the number plate of any car you enter and the make of the car and send it to your loved ones.

Send details of the people you are hanging out with even if they were recommended by your best friends, please inform another best friend and if it is possible make the ‘hangee’ know your people know where you are, and if it is possible decide where you wish to hang out.

But because the above is very difficult in practise as many times drug and substance abuse goes with this trade, it is very important to quite if you can’t control this.

GOVERNMENT

Where do we start from, like a friend said, if you go to our laws, you will discover the problem is not the laws but the enforcement of the laws.

The government must insure that everything that pertains to safety/running of hotels and the likes should be according to the law and defaulters punished. More than barking, they should also bite.

The state ministry of information should play their part to sensitize the public on this issue and since the government is more informed, tell the citizens what to do, to avoid becoming victims.

Just like ebola, this is a public ‘safety’ issue and it should be treated like an outbreak of a deadly disease.

The government must ensure youths are their priority and play their part in helping young people with life saving skills, entrepreneurship etc, and do all within their power to kill the ‘money culture’ threatening to sink our generation.

Sensitization to the ‘at risk group’ as well as those likely going to do this is very key.

The government should also order that an autopsy be conducted on all the corpses to really ascertain the cause of death, as the white handkerchiefs may just be a red herring.

SECURITY OPERATIVES

Like someone said one crime overlooked will likely encourage crime and one crime punished will likely discourage crime.

Who are those arrested? How soon can investigations be concluded? Would it have been faster if someone that knows someone or someone who has a large pocket was involved?

2 years ago a Shell worker was killed in his office in Port Harcourt and with the aid of forensic science, the Rivers State Police command coned down on one suspect whose DNA samples were at the scene of the incidence. He was a staff of a contracting firm with Shell and he confessed his involvement in the murder of the worker and implicated a 2nd suspect who was also arrested.

The police had done it before, they can do it again.

The call log, messages, social media inbox messages, bank transactions of these ladies should be properly investigated.

Security agencies, should be security agencies indeed.

YOU

Shine your eyes 👀 well well, stay safe, be vigilant, tell someone to #hearword

Again what do I know?

Ovundah Nyeche writes from the Garden city of Port Harcourt.

#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries

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HearWord

Needless Competition, Needless Pressure.

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

One of the biggest laughable irony is living in debt while you compete with people that are living their life on their own pace and term.

Dearest Queens and Kings, that you are friends with other Queens and Kings and you see them blow money the way Anthony Joshua knocks out his opponents does not mean, does not mean you would live the lifestyle of these Queens and Kings, because all Queens and Kings do not have similar net worth.

“Sweetheart, sweetheart… Can you see as your friend ‘Nsogbu’ is buying houses, and painting the town red, are you people not colleagues and do you not do the same work? Haba and his wife is calling us for a party…hmmmm I cannot wear this cloth oh…in fact I have no clothes to wear, I cannot go with this car oh…

Another shouts “Noooo….we cannot live in Mgbuoshimini… We have to move to GRA to maintain our class”.

Still another miles away says “Haba how do I tell my friends our child goes to a #50K per term school… When their children go to a #500K per term school… Why will our own be different, how do we roll with our friends if we can’t spend like them?”

“Darling, we have to take a loan to get an SUV oh… This “small light” is embarrassing… How come all our friends have SUVs but we have “small light” not even “big for nothing”.

Another blurts out “No way sweetheart… I must have a human hair oh… And they said it is #50K Shekels… And you must give it to me…haba…why must our case be different… I must go for that event rocking it… I don’t want to hear we can’t afford it”.

Another one says “No way even if it means borrowing for our child dedication… I will ensure I borrow… Ah ah… My friends can’t call me ATM for nothing”.

“Even if it means borrowing, you will deliver there… I know their bills are high… Very high… But if we go to the General Hospital, my friends will mock me” he says.

And so…

People, Queens, Kings… Rack up debts, heartache, heartbreak, seizures, ulcers, dodging, stammering… as they live lifestyles they can’t afford… And play the circus, playing roles they are not really.

Be yourself, grow per time… And don’t put yourself in unnecessary pressure and sorrow to portray a character you are not.

Selah.

#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries

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HearWord

The Mob is not always right…

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By Ovundah Nyeche

Years ago, when I was serving as a corps member, I saw a disturbing news online. In my house state, some boys where caught in a locality close a university.

The area was notorious for cultism and criminality at that time and they had apparently gone to collect a debt owed one of them in the community, and the accusation of “Thief oh… Thief oh” at a time when thieves were rampant meant they were branded guilty by labeling and that was is…They were thieves, because a majority of people accused them of been thieves.

In minutes they were stripped naked, paraded around the community and executed in a painful and horrible way… They did not live to tell their story.

When the dust settled, it was found out that they were not thieves and they were innocent men, caught at the wrong place at the wrong time, branded criminals, proclaimed criminals and their lives snuffed away, due to an accusation with evidence gathered solely from hear say, emotions and sentiments.

Recently also in my city, a “Thief oh.. thief oh” accusation was shouted in a market place and an innocent woman was in the center of the whole scary situation… And she was dehumanized and dealt with ruthlessly, she was lucky she lived to tell her story, as it was later revealed she was not a thief and the accusation was false.

Recently online, a story filtered of two young men, who were saved by the grace of God. The two brothers were carrying a restrained woman, who happened to be the wife of the driver of the car, to a psychiatric hospital.

When onlookers noticed the restrained woman who was also saying she was been kidnapped, the men were rounded up and given the beating of their lives only to saved by the timely intervention of the police, who found out they were actually taking the woman to a psychiatry home.

Also do you remember all those cases of people been accused of stealing people’s private parts in marketplaces and the gist of how there were several male sex organs in their bag and how the beaten person kept replacing the organs until it matched with that of the person he or she stole an organ from.

“Did you see him taking the organs? … No… Where you there? No… But I saw when they were beating the man”.

With a mob, an accusation is many times as good as a verdict and a statement of fact… Like a playwright said “A cockroach can never be innocent in the gathering of chickens”.

While it is true many people who were caught by a mob were guilty of a crime, it is also very true that many accusations are false and many times even those guilty, receive punishments greater than their crime, and receive punishments from people not authorized or vested with the power to enforce verdicts.

Which brings me to an important point… Whether on social media, virtual world or in real life, no one deserves to be a victim of a mob justice. It is scary, it is life altering, you will likely never be innocent. Even Jesus was found guilty by a mob… In a mob the louder the shout, the more likely the mob will have their way and justice will be far.

Imagine being accused for a crime you did not commit even on social media and see how a band wagon will gather, even those who have never interacted with you before may even accuse you as well, and amplifiers will take the accusation to the next level.

As you go this week and in life… I pray you never be part of a mob justice in real life… Jumping into matters you have no details about, because they are popular, or trending and you wish not to run against the track of popularity. May you never be a false accuser or an amplifier of a false accusation.

May we seek justice the right way and the right way only.

#SELAH #hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries

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