By Ishola Balogun
It was easylocating Nurse Maternity Home in Port-Harcourt where Precious Donatus Ogbonna claimed she was delivered of five of the seven babies.
In spite of the frustrating gridlock-traffic along Rumuokoro road, down to Rukpakulusi along Eleme road, compounded by the heavy downpour that afternoon, the mission was clear: to confirm her claim that she was pregnant of the children, take pictures of the place and also find out why pregnant women patronise the home since it was clear the nurse is being detained by the police in Owerri, Imo state. But the whole exercise revealed other issues as neighbours and those who knew Nurse Blessing readily gave information.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that Precious Donatus might not be the only one in this incredible story of multiple births in months. According to the neighbours, people patronised the Maternity Home, and there are those who had delivered there at different times which we immediately explored.
As we report this, another woman who is based in Warri, Delta State but who did not want her name in print following the controversy which the story of Precious Donatus has generated, claimed she also gave birth to three babies in two years in the same home. She claimed she delivered her first baby in May 2009, another in October 2009 and the last one in June 2010. All deliveries she said took place in Nurse Blessing’s native Maternity Home.
Like the story of Precious who also claimed to have had her five of her babies there, she stated that scan did not detect the babies in her womb. But when SaturdayVanguard visited her home for an interview, she declined saying she has been warned against it until the issue of Precious Donatus is resolved. She hinted that Nurse Blessing uses native materials, such as leaves, roots, and water. “She will massage you with hot water to test the growth of the baby and ascertain whether it is time to deliver.
“When you deliver, she will give you a room and observe you for few days before you are discharged,” she added.
The other woman who was said to have also delivered a baby in the home could not be reached as at press time. But other information about the woman in charge of the home suggest either a spiritual manipulation of the multiple births or a huge racket of sort yet uncovered.
Recently, Abia state police command had raided the baby factory and rescued about 32 teenage expectant inmates from a certain clinic in the state where teenagers are kept until they are delivered of their babies.
According to the reports, the babies are usually taken away and their mothers discharged after being paid certain amounts ranging between N25, 000 and N30, 000, depending on the sex of the babies.
In the same vein, a natural clinic in Ugwuaku, Okigwe, Imo State, was believed to be the ‘solution ground’ for baby-seeking habitue. But behind the high fenced walls, all manner of the absurd takes place, away from the prying eyes of the public and law enforcement agents. Unknown to many, this was a hugely thriving baby factory, where women who pretend to be heavily pregnant deliver their ‘babies.’ But not without a price!
Could it be the one our source is referring to? Could it be a deception to cover up child-trafficking? Time will tell.
Nurse Blessing’s Home
At her house located on Ohonda close, in Rukpakulsi, the black iron gate is as tall as the building and you could hardly see anything from outside.
Hamzat, the gateman, who has been working with Nurse Blessing for several months, refused to let the guest in, saying he was warned never to open the gate for anybody. The reporter had to slip his camera under the tall gate from which position he managed to take some shots. Hamzat however said that Nurse Blessing left the house about three weeks ago and has not returned ever since. He said her husband who is based in Abuja was around the previous day and had travelled back to his base. He confirmed that Nurse Blessing used to take delivery of babies, adding that she has not done that for a couple of months now. “She used to travel and deliver pregnant women of their babies but for some time now, she has not taken any delivery,” he said.
Another woman who preferred anonymity told SaturdayVanguard that Nurse Blessing had been doing the business for years now.
“She is a fairly rich woman; we heard that she just delivered twins some months ago.We also gathered she collects as much as N300, 000- N500,000 for each delivery depending on the complications. She collects big money, sometimes 500,000 and sometimes less,” a source said.
“We also gathered that Nurse Blessing got her tutelage from a popular woman in Okigwe; Imo state who treats all kinds of spiritually attacked pregnancies for N1million. The Okigwe woman we gathered had trained several women in the business and Nurse Blessing is one of them.”
A few distance from the house, a resident said Nurse Blessing was known in the area for the business of delivering pregnant women by massaging, and using warm water on the women’s belly. It is like a native hospital.
She also hinted that she used to stay on Jacob Ahonda street (pointing to the place) before she moved to where she now stays some metres away.” When the reporter narrated the story of Precious Donatus Ogbonna to see if there is any confirmation of it or similar story, she declined knowledge of that but revealed that women quietly come there, give birth and leave most times without people knowing the details.