Joy Odama’s Exit: Reactions Trail Government’s Financial Support
Mixed reactions have continued to trail the Cross River State government’s financial support to the family of Joy Odama, a student of Department of Mass Communication in Cross River University of Technology who died last December in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. She died in the residence of one Alhaji Usman Adamu. Joy’s family has consistently alleged that she was killed by Alhaji Adamu. The family has also alleged that personnel of Karmo Police Division in Abuja are conniving with Alhaji Adamu to threat Joy’s death with levity and thwart the course of justice.
That outcry has continued to attract sympathy from several quarters in Nigeria and in government circles including the government of Joy’s home state, Cross River, who recently sent a petition on her death to President Muhammadu Buhari. The government of Cross River State also promised to offer the sum of ten million naira to Joy’s family as a gesture of condolence. That promise was reportedly redeemed at Joy’s burial which took place last week in her hometown, Abachwo, Okuku, Yala Local Government Area. Also, the government of Cross River State reportedly paid the sum of N2.2 million for a fresh autopsy on Joy, following allegations that a previous autopsy report by the Nigerian Police differed from the National Hospital Abuja’s autopsy report on the cause of her death. The autopsy report from the Police reportedly indicate that she died as a result of suffocation from generator fumes.
LinCornellah’s blog has been keeping track of newsworthy developments surrounding Joy’s death and brings you excerpts of public reaction to that financial assistance by the Cross River State government.
Shortly after this blog published a report on how Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State expressed fury on Joy’s death and proceeded to announce that government would give ten million naira to assist in giving her “a befitting burial”, Happiness Anoh, a student of Mass Communication in Cross River University of Technology took to her Facebook timeline and described the development as an “irony of life”.
She stated that: “… If scholarship was awarded to her, I am sure she will still be among the living. I am so fed up with a clueless society that shows gratitude or seek attention when things go wrong. I can remember when the government of Cross River State mentioned scholarship to the students of the state. This singular act brought hope and smiles on the faces of students. But at the end of the day, it vanished into thin air. I don’t fancy long talk on Facebook, but what I read online today, really got me angry. Giving the family 10 million naira for a funeral is not worth the life of any human. If life was made easy for citizens, and especially students, am sure they will be no need for 10 million naira for funeral.”
The above post attracted several comments, including the following:
Kenny Okoli: “… Nice write up. I am happy that we are gradually seeing that the so called government does not care about the citizens. They never have and never will. Saying RIP to the dead girl is not just enough. Something should be done. We youth should stop feeling sorry and weak for ourselves. We are the ones allowing to be used. The government does not care about its people. They see the dead girl as another passage. Only us can change our situation. We should stop depending on the government that’s what makes us used and weak….”
Also, Prof Edde Iji reacted thus: “Great comments & a penetrating message from a great mind to unresourceful government & bad ? governance in a very twisted democratic process !!! Tragic poverty in the midst of primitive accumulation & Nigeria’s corrupt, corruptible & corruption-ridden opulence!!!”
Equally, Mrs Edang Yolanda Ekpo Bassey sent this comment via WhatsApp, to LinCornellah’s blog: “Well, I think it was irresponsible for the Governor’s mouthpiece to say N10 million has been given to the family for the burial (or words to that effect). Saying the state government has assisted the family with funeral expenses would have sufficed. The next thing now is people will focus on the money the family has received from her death, forgetting that all the money will neither replace Joy, bring home a B.Sc in 2 years time or provide her grandchildren and personal achievements her parents must have been looking forward to, all these nurturing and grooming years. Declaring the amount, I think, was in poor taste.”
However, some persons have slightly differed from the above points of view. For instance, Joe Akpezi wrote this on Happiness Anoh‘s Facebook timeline: “… I wouldn’t blame the inability of the state government in not providing scholarship as a cause or plausible action that led to the deceased demise. Times like this there is a tendency to want to hold on to someone, something or whatever just to play the blame game. My dear this is a pure case of murder and the security officials have the obligation to ensure justice. In the case of any complicity on their part, then it behooves on us, our representatives cutting across state government to legislators, both state and Federal to put pressure on the Police to bring the culprit to justice. Away from the razzmatazz of splashing millions on her coffin, our leaders should ensure they grapple with law enforcement to unearth the mystery behind this gruesome murder….“
Similarly, Kebeobase Ofem wrote this on that timeline: “I understand your pain in that emotional piece my friend, but the insensitivity of government to salvage the sufferings of the people shouldn’t be taken for an excuse to compromise oneself over doing things that could warrant our death, like in the case of Odama Joy. I think, we should rather blame it on lack of self content on the victim, even though she never bargained for her death. So many of our girls came from a background worse than that of Joy. But self contentment has been sustaining them. May her soul rest in peace. And may God punish her killers.”
Kebeobase’s comment was considered as unfair to Joy, by some persons who reacted to it. For instance, Grace Ndika wrote: “So all of us blaming the poor girl, hope we can swear to boldly say no to a scholarship award sake of contentment? The truth of the matter is that money is never enough. The more we have is the more we want to have. No need to play the blame games here. The deed has been done and this case deserves justice…. RIP Joy.”
In addition, Joy Philips wrote: “Does it mean there are still no good people around? The answer is no… I have benefited from a case like this, just that Joy Odama was unfortunate… I have gotten a favour from someone I never knew. My surgical operation on Ovarian Cysts, February this year, was sponsored with N85,000 by a man I never knew… Came in contact on FB, just by liking and commenting on his post, picked that interest and decided to help someone in need…. So all who decide to help are not evil, but there are some whose main aim are to harm people…. Same people who are criticizing the death now, will be fighting for such favours if it come to their doorstep.. Lets be mindful and pray she Rest In Peace.”
- Cornelius Ellah
Please See Related Posts:
Joy Odama’s Burial: Colleagues call for Justice
Joy Odama’s Murder: Governor Ayade expresses Fury