By Ishola Balogun and Chijioke Nwankpa
The life-affirming tale of Precious Donatus Ogbonna and her controversial babies is yet to be over as she has delivered another baby, the same way she delivered seven others bringing the number to eight in a space of 16 months, and about two months after she was released on bail from the prison custody.
The so-called birth took place at 12:15 am Thursday, at Rose Natural Clinic, Afam Street, Heritage junction, beside Paradise International School, Afam, Oyigbo, Port-Harcourt, Rivers state. It was one of the places SaturdayVanguard had reported of carrying out mysterious deliveries. Precious is yet standing trial in court over child trafficking.
Her lawyer, Barrister B. E Nwigwe had written Vanguard informing it of the planned delivery and requested everybody to witness the process. He said he had also written the Police, the Court and NAPTIP to be part of the process. Among all these, only Vanguard was present at the place during the birth.
The reporter had arrived Owerri, Imo state on Tuesday, ahead of the planned delivery scheduled for Wednesday September 21, 2011.
She didn’t appear as an expectant woman, moving about with so much agility that no one could believe she was pregnant let alone about to deliver a baby. But she told Saturday Vanguard that the last time she went for antenatal at the same clinic, she was given September 21 as her delivery date.
She added: “the thing has been disturbing me since the last few months.” She said she chose the clinic against the conventional hospital because the hospitals did not see anything in her stomach other than fibroid, but Rose Natural Clinic, detected it was a baby and gave her an Expected Date of Delivery, EDD.
On Wednesday, the reporter travelled from Lagos to Owerri to join Precious and four other women who are members of her church in a commercial ITC bus to Port-Harcourt at about 1:15pm. We did not reach Port Harcout until about 4:10pm.
The stress of driving on the Aba-Port Harcourt road was phenomenal, exacerbated by the bad road along Oyigbo, Aba road. It was the most deplorable road in the country. That also was enough to induce labour on a heavily pregnant woman passing through the road in a popular ‘Keke NAPEP’. We arrived the clinic at about 5:05pm and was joined by another Vanguard reporter based in Port-Harcourt.
There was no indication denoting an activity of such going in the environment. The only sign post in that area was erected at the Heritage Junction, about a kilometre from the house and it read Ogechi Natural Clinic. No other natural clinic was known in the neighbourhood.
It was a two- apartment bungalow. The first where the delivery took place was occupied by Nurse Rose for her activities. The large sitting room is used as the waiting room where guests and patients are received. There is a lobby by the right hand side of the waiting room which has a toilet and a room used as labour room.
There were three other middle aged women billed for delivery that evening. They all had a similar appearance which did not portray heavy pregnancy. After several hours of waiting, four tea-cups were passed around to the four ‘expectant women’. All the four women drank the substance in it which the nurse said would aid ‘labour.Few minutes later, she began walking around, exercising her body apparently to aid the ‘labour’. They were called in according to their turns.
Precious was the second in the list. She told Saturday Vanguard that she had been tested and that the nurse confirmed that she could feel the head of the baby and that she would be the second person on the list.
The first person had a baby girl about ten minutes after she was called in. Precious who went inside the ‘labour room’ about 11 25pm did not come out until 12: 15am. No one was allowed inside the labour room to witness the process, not even any of the female members of her church was allowed into the labour room. Precious had assured Saturday Vanguard that a third party would be allowed to witness the process in order to vindicate her, but the fair-skinned Nurse Rose objected, arguing that such a demand would not be made in a conventional clinic . She threatened that she would walk-out if Precious should insist. She entered the labour room all alone with Nurse Rose.
Right from the moment she entered, it was shouts of ‘Jesus’ and cries of pain. The cry rent the air so much that all the women in the waiting room began to pray. Ada Ngozi, her personal assistant who was arrested with her in June and recently got released on bail did not fail to show her dexterity as a prayer warrior. Eventually, when Nurse Rose finished with Precious, she asked whoever cared to come and see the baby. The baby was dressed up while other women took their turns in the delivery room. They all had baby girls and none of them breastfed their babies. From about 12:15 am till about 8:30am when we were with her, we observed that Precious’ baby was not breastfed nor fed in whatever way throughout our stay. The baby did not cry either. With this development, the issue of Precious controversial birth is yet unresolved.
Responding to questions after the delivery, Precious said she is satisfied and believes that she would be vindicated. On when she got the EDD, she said she was given the date recently when she went for check up at the same clinic. We gathered that Nurse Blessing in whose clinic she delivered five of her babies refused to handle her latest delivery with an alibi that she was on vacation and would only resume after the dedication of her baby in October.
Precious however told Saturday Vanguard that she had one of her babies in the same Rose Natural Clinic.
Asked to narrate what happened in the labour room, she said, “it was not easy, I almost collapsed. I didn’t even know that I was going to survive it. They said that the head of the baby was too big and she gave me a heavy cut. In the process, I had muscle pull which I had not experienced in life before. The baby wanted to die and the nurse asked me to co-operate .They had to beat me very well before God gave me the strength. I even vomited seriously. Whenever I wanted to push, I would vomit. They threatened to leave me if I did not co-operate.The pain was too much. It was hard a labour.
On the possibility of having more babies, since she had said in an earlier interview that God said she was going to have ten babies, we asked whether the nurse also detected more babies coming, she said: “No, the nurse did not tell me anything like that. Further conversation goes thus:
When did you conceive this baby?
It was the same conception. You will recall I told you I was feeling some kicks in my stomach in one of your interviews and this resulted into the baby.
So, are you still expecting more babies?
Ehm! I can’t say that for now, but if there is any development, I will let you know. I just put to bed now, I can’t say.
While you were shouting in the labour room, was the light off?
No, it was on. Before I went into the labour room, I called one of you to go and check if there was any thing hidden.
One of the four ladies who went with her to the clinic in Port Harcourt, Chidima Okorowu, Lolo of Eze Izonme community in Oguta local government area of Imo state, said: “Today I thank God that the truth has come to life. It is a divine work of the Lord. We travelled together, and when we got to the clinic, Rose Natural Clinic, there were other expectant women. It was a prolonged pregnancy, but God used the woman to deliver her. It was also a prolonged labour, we were all panicking, but God intervened. The woman in the process went into a coma before she was injected and resuscitated.”
Given these circumstances, Lolo, Chidinma said she believes the process and that Precious truly gave birth to the baby. “Under these cicumstances, I think people should believe her because I saw that she passed through painful and prolonged labour. Before she entered, I saw that water came out of her body and after the baby came out, I saw when the umbilical cord and placenta were cut.”
Dates of births of her babies
August 25 2009, Amarachi (died after five days); second baby, May 6, 2010 (Conqueror, female); third baby, June 3, 2010, (Chizitere, female); fourth baby, August 16, 2010 (Ekpereamaka, male); fifth baby, September 19, 2010, (Fineseed Angel, female); sixth baby, October 19, 2010 (Evidence, female); seventh baby, January 13, 2011,( Flourish, male), eight baby, April 2, 2011, (Ebenezer, male) . Now the eighth baby, September 21, 2011, named Hero Delight Chimedere (God wants me to live)