No Paper, No Land, No Compensation.
Saturday, March 23rd, 2013
It was when I traveled home from school for the Christmas and New Year holidays that I noticed the changes that have taken place in my hometown. My family lives in Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, and since the coming into power of the ACN government in 2011, there have been series of development projects across the state. The latest of such projects in Ijebu-Ode is the attempt of the government to expand the busiest road in the town known as Folagbade or Ibadan road. This road was built during the regime of Olabisi Onabanjo, the first Civilian Governor of Ogun State. It is a dual carriageway comprising of three lanes on each side. The present administration, in line with its urbanization drive, felt the need to further expand the road by widening it to four lanes on each side. Whether this project is desirable, considering the huge expense involved, the fact that funding for the project will come from loans, or that there was hardly any traffic build-up on the road to justify the expansion, is not the focus of this paper. That will be an issue for discussion in another forum.
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The first time I mentioned, to the hearing of my mother, that I would like to adopt a child when I was older, I was sharply rebuked. This reaction left me puzzled, for though I had heard someone saying before that Nigerians weren’t favorably disposed to adoption, I had waved it off because I couldn’t believe anyone would be opposed to what in my opinion was a benevolent gesture. So, I set out to find out the truth about Nigerians’ attitude towards adoption, and here’s what I discovered.
Having a child is one of the yardsticks by which the success of a marriage is measured; therefore infertility can be one of the strongest sources of pressure on a marriage. Sometimes, the woman (who mostly bears the brunt of the stigma of infertility in our society) is made to believe that without children, her place has not been secured in her husband’s home [Ginger’s blog]. Adoption is one of the options that can be used to manage the situation.
Upon research on the subject, my fears were confirmed. The Ebunoluwa orphanage confirmed that in Nigeria, customs and traditions have it that children who cannot be cared for by their parents are taken in by someone within their extended family, but the idea of taking in or adopting a child who is not somehow related to the family is highly uncommon.
In a survey by Ezugwu of 264 women who were having difficulty conceiving in South-Eastern Nigeria to determine their knowledge, attitude and practice of child adoption, it was shown that 183 of them [69.3%] were unwilling to adopt, while only 81[30%] were willing to consider adoption.
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