Paul Orude, Bauchi
When Ugochukwu Glory Ihechiluru, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member serving in Bauchi State initiated a community service project to build a Primary Health Care Centre in Sabon Kaura community in Miri district of the state, her goal was to complete it to benefit the people of the area.
Ugo had no inkling that the advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic would pose challenges that would threaten the completion of the project that can positively impact on lives of the people of the community, particularly women and children.
‘I was motivated to construct the clinic in Sabon Kaura when I found out that there was no clinic or even a dispensary. Most women in the community still use the traditional means of childbirth with mostly unskilled attendants at home because of a lack of access to a health facility, and many women and babies die at childbirth or of pregnancy-related complications,’ Ugo told Daily Sun in an interview.
The Corps member who hails from Etche Local Government Area in Rivers State said she was moved to see a way to put a smile on the faces of the people of the area through the construction of the facility.
‘When I started the project it was not easy, but God was on my side. The Commissioner, Ministry of Works and Transport, Bauchi State and Habibu Engineering Nigeria Limited saw this vision that I initiated and did not allow it to die,’ she said.
Ugo, a Batch B stream 2 Corps member who was posted to the state in August 2019, is appealing to public-spirited individuals and the government to come to her aid to enable her complete the project before her passing out on July 16.
Although the building has reached the lintel level, “I don’t want to leave it uncompleted. My desire is to present it as a gift from me to the people of Sabon Kaura in particular and Bauchi State as a whole,” she said.
She said her major problem now is raising funds for the project during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, vowing not to relent nevertheless.
‘Raising funds was not easy because of the coronavirus. This project started in April 2020. I had to risk my life going out to get support and God so kind some public-spirited individuals donated building materials while the state Commissioner of Works and Habibu Engineering Nigeria Limited sponsored the project to this level,’ she said.
‘The project presently is estimated at over N5 million and l am yet to roof it, plaster, paint and put the external and internal fittings. I am appealing for help to complete this project because it will benefit the people of Sabon Kaura,’ she said.
Ugo’s efforts have not gone unnoticed as the Deputy Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Honorable Danlami Ahmed Kawule, has described Ugo as a patriotic Nigerian and ‘a typical example of what should restore one’s hope in a country like ours that has been ravaged by tribal and sectional hostilities.’
The Deputy Speaker who is from the area called on relevant authorities and public-spirited Nigerians to assist Ugo in the completion of what he called ‘this laudable project’.
‘On behalf of the good people of Miri District and indeed Bauchi State, I commend and appreciate this lady for her selflessness and patriotism,’ Kawule said.