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Inside story of Bauchi community where First Lady was trapped

Jamdan Kogi is an isolated community beside a major river and densely populated with peasant farmers. It is located at the Gigyara area under Duguri…

Jamdan Kogi is an isolated community beside a major river and densely populated with peasant farmers. It is located at the Gigyara area under Duguri district of Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

The community became popular on Monday when the First Lady of Bauchi State, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed and her convoy were trapped in the mud and floodwater on her way to commission a newly constructed primary health care project executed by her pet project, Almuhibah Foundation.

Our correspondent who visited the community observed rivers, waterways and many ditches along the dilapidated road, amidst the thick mud that made it impassable for residents and preventing 30 different villages from transporting their farm produce, resulting to loss of lives.

The village head of Jamdan, popularly known as Sarkin Jamdan Kogi, Malam Yusheu Usaini, told Daily Trust Saturday that the construction of the hospital by the First Lady was a saving grace to the community.

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“Before the construction of this clinic, the community was suffering, especially sick pregnant women and children because there was no nearby hospital, and the dilapidated dispensary collapsed and was abandoned by previous administrations despite many pleas.

“I can vividly remember that some months back, the rivers overflowed and there was no road to take a severely sick pregnant woman to any facility for medical attention. We became confused as we didn’t know how to save her life. The situation was tense because a motorcycle could not pass through the road, and she could not be transported on a bicycle. Fortunately, we carried her out of the village to a hospital at Sabon Gida in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area; and God so kind, the pregnant woman’s life was saved and she delivered.

“We use locally made stretchers to convey corpses to the burial ground. It is an unfortunate situation.

The only primary school structure in Jamdan Kogi village

“For many years, we prayed for Allah to bring a government that would rescue us from these challenges. The incident of the pregnant woman happened at the eve of 2023 elections, so the community resolved to support the ruling party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Immediately after the elections, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed sent a team for the construction of the clinic. And today, the clinic has come to reality,” Usaini said.

He added that the people of the entire district, not only Jamdan Kogi, were happy for the construction of the hospital because villages like Anguwar Ajiya, Jurr, Jaddare, Danloko and  many others used to come to the dispensary at Jumdan Kogi for medical attention. It was in a bad shape before the First Lady constructed a new one and upgraded it to a dispensary and maternity clinic. The clinic has since commenced operation and the entire community – men, women and children—are all happy.

He said, “I am the happiest man over the development in my community. Just a moment a go, a team of engineers from Bauchi, led by one Hamisu, visited Jamdan Kogi and informed us that Governor Bala Mohammed sent them to the area to commence a survey for the construction of road.

“We know how the First Lady suffered when she came to commission the clinic. We have nothing to pay the governor and his wife except prayers for Allah’s guidance. We pledge our total loyalty to their administration.

“Jamdan Kogi is in a difficult environment, particularly during the rainy season because we live in the middle of rivers. Once the season begins, the battle for bad road commences.

“The hardship we face in this community, especially on the road, cannot be quantified. You can’t enter this place in a vehicle, even motorcycle, during the rainy season, particularly around July and August. It is always difficult as you have to come down and push any vehicle almost halfway into your journey due to the nature of the road.”

“Anytime I want to go to Bauchi during the rainy season I wear a small shirt and separate trousers. My main regalia and turban, including my shoes, are put inside a bag on top of my motorcycle because of mud. I push the motorcycle inside the mud, which sometimes reaches my knees. When the condition becomes worse, I ask someone to accompany me so that he would help me push the motorcycle,” he said.

“When I get to the main road at Gadar Kursal I wear all the traditional dress before embarking on my journey to Bauchi. We are really suffering, but now, Alhamdullilah, we have started seeing relief because the state government is working to rescue us.”

The village head also appealled to the state government to assist the community in reconstructing their only dilapidated primary school, which is not functioning.

“This primary school was built 65 years ago and it produced many prominent personalities, but today, it is not functioning. All the prominent sons and daughters from this district finished from this school, including the doctor in charge of the clinic.

“We are appealing to the government to rebuild the school and employ teachers to give our children the needed education so that the community will have a better future. This is because without education it will be difficult to control the youth. We are also asking for employment opportunities for our graduates,” Usaini added

A youth leader in the community, Abubakar Musa, said that during the rainy season, it is always like living in a mini prison as they can’t go to the nearest village because of the bad condition of the road.

“Before the construction of the new clinic by the First Lady, many patients died before they could be conveyed to the hospital due to the nature of the road. No vehicle can enter or move out of the village when it rains.

“The presence of this clinic is a big relief to residents of Jamdan Kogi and neighbouring villages. Our appeal to the state government is to also give the community an access road. But I must confess that the entire people of Jamdan Kogi are very happy over the clinic,” he said.

Another resident of the community who brought a patient to the new clinic, Hamsatu Yusuf said, “Before the construction of this clinic we had to take our patients to Alkaleri or Tafawa Balewa for treatment; and it is a long distance.

“I brought my husband for treatment. We tried Gigyara clinic but were not successful, we also wanted to go to Bauchi but the road out of Jamdan to the main road will worsen his health condition. When we heard that a hospital was commissioned here, we decided to bring him; and his condition is improving.

“We are very grateful to the First Lady for the intervention. We are also appealing to the state government to help us construct a road and bridges to alleviate our suffering.”

A resident of Mundala Hayin Kogi, a neighbouring village, who brought a patient to the newly constructed clinic, Maimuna Musa, said the absence of health facilities in the past made the community hellish, especially during the rainy season.

“When you had a patient during such period, your main nightmare was how to transport him or her out of Jamdan Kogi because the only road is impassable. We have now gotten a relief from the nightmare,” he said.

Also, a resident of Jamdan Kogi, who is also the in charge of the clinic, Dayyabu Adamu, told Daily Trust Saturday that, “Before the construction and commissioning of the clinic, residents, particularly pregnant women and children, were going through a lot of hardship as there was no medical facility to attend to them. Unfortunately, they would suspect that they were experiencing spiritual attacks due to cultural beliefs and practices.

“Such cases led to many deaths, especially for those who could not deliver by themselves. On the day the First Lady visited Jumdan Kogi to commission this clinic, a pregnant who could not deliver by herself was taken to a hospital in Tafawa Balewa, but unfortunately, on their way, due to the nature of the road, the legs of the baby came out, and before they could reach the hospital, the woman died,” Adamu said

Adamu further revealed that when he assumed duty as the person in charge of the clinic, he discovered that malnutrition had been the major health complication affecting children in Jamdan Kogi as a result of lack of child spacing among mothers. He said women in the community were not observing child spacing and nursing mothers of four-month-old babies or less than that were getting pregnant due to lack of enlightenment on the need for child spacing.

He said that in conjunction with the development committee of the community, he embarked on an awareness campaign, mobilising women, including those in neighbouring villages, to patronise the clinic.

“The initiative has resulted to an increase in the number of routine immunisation of children, medical attention to pregnant women and sick ones in the clinic.

“In the last seven days we have recorded 127 patients who received drugs and medical services. We admitted 17 patients and recorded 47 pregnant women that come for antenatal services. We also recorded 34 children for immunisation. This is what we achieved within seven days of commissioning of clinic,” Adamu said

Adamu further appealed to the state government to assist the clinic with a motorcycle for community mobilisation and immunisation outreach, as well as to intensify the enlightenment campaign to neighbouring villages to seek the support of village heads to mobilise their subjects to embrace health care services.

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