In a season of election campaigns, the procession leading to the burial of Mrs Folake Oduyoye on Thursday, 29th January, seemed like another political rally. But a closer look reveals its different direction and connotation.
The crowd, consisting mainly women, chanted solidarity songs about the negligence and ineptitude of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Akoka towards its patients.
Their main grouse was what they described as LUTH’s inhumane attitude that led to the death of Mrs Oduyoye on December 13th, 2014.
According to one of the protesters who refused to be named, the late Folake, 35, was not attended to due to on time due to the ongoing health workers’ strike. As a result, she had complications in delivery, which she eventually did through a caesarean section.
Other protesters corroborated the story and added that the late woman was detained with her child at the health institution for 43 days after her admission. They claimed LUTH eventually demanded 3 million naira, which it insisted was the accumulated bills.
“It is because LUTH refused to release her after her delivery that she got other complications that led to her death,” said one of the protesters
“They did not even show empathy.”
Among the inscriptions and placards was an allegation that 144 women die every day, although the source of that information could not be verified.
The campaign was spearheaded by Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), a Lagos based non profit civil rights organization established in the year 2000 to promote respect for human rights, gender equality, equity, rule of law, accountability and social justice in Nigeria.