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Thus far, recent judgments on women’s property inheritance during a divorce delivered by the Nigerian Supreme Court have been perceived as a development of customary law. The article argues that these judgments mask the indifferent attitude of apex courts to women’s matrimonial property inheritance under customary law. This indifference is evident from the Supreme Court’s failure to address the preservative philosophy of property inheritance and the unsuitability of this philosophy to contemporary conditions. To bring this failure into critical focus, the article primarily uses case analyses to critique divorce and succession judgments delivered by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. It finds that apex courts prefer the repugnancy test over the Bill of Rights, using a balancing act that shields the customary law of matrimonial property from constitutional scrutiny. Among other measures, the article suggests that customary law should be unequivocally subjected to the Bill of Rights, and legislation should be enacted to regulate customary laws of succession, marriage and divorce. Key words: customary law; matrimonial property inheritance; Southern Nigeria; Bill of Rights

• Background to the Study
The traditional practice of widowhood and property inheritance is as old as human beings. The inevitability of death in spite of the great strides made in scientific and technological research, leads us to assert that there is no human society without widows and widowers. Yearly, there are seven million widows globally (United States Bureau of Statistics, 2024). The increasing number of widows across the world in recent times has become a social problem. In Nigeria, widowhood is a common phenomenon attributed to the high and increasing mortality rate (Oyekanmi, 2007). The fact that females have higher average life expectancy than males and the practice whereby men marry women younger than themselves likely result in more widows than widowers in the society. As Potash (1986:1) opines, “Widows make up about half the adult female population in Africa”. Even though this view is not justifiable by available data, one striking feature in most parts of Nigeria is the fact that until the 1990s, not much research had been done on widows and their plight as determinable from relevant discourse. Yet, this is one specific sub-group that should be targeted for intervention, considering the incidence of depression among members, the socio-economic setback that the crisis of widowhood brings to them, and the sudden change in their status (Sesay and Odebiyi, 1998).

A popular Nigerian folklore has it that all enduring marriages ultimately end with the death of either the husband or wife or both. However, the challenges and traumatic experience which accompany the death of a husband tend to be greater than those which accompany the death of a wife (Oloko, 1997:9). Even though men and women could die prematurely owing to a number of factors such as ill-health, accidents and wars amongst other unforeseen circumstances, it is observed from the relevant literature that, unlike a wife’s death, the death of a husband is culturally challenged in many African societies. When a husband dies, the ready suspect is the wife. Deaths, even in circumstances where the causes are natural and explicable, are never perceived as such. Magico-religious factors and widows’ bewitchment or sorcery are evoked for the death of the partners (Erinosho, 2000:1).

The widespread belief is that someone must necessarily cause the death of a man and that person is likely to be his wife. This assertion is corroborated by a popular saying in many societies in Nigeria that “no man dies naturally, but at the hands of a bewitching wife”. According to Ilogu (1974:40),

“I have not come across any death that any Igbo accept as a natural and biological end”. Similarly, Afigbo (1989) observes that in almost all societies, the immediate or remote cause of death is blamed on man’s inhumanity to man or of a malevolent ancestor or ghost. Suffice it to add that the situation described above is not age specific. However, the cultural belief and explanation of death vary from one society to another.

In many parts of Nigeria, death is often attributed to some unnatural causes. When a woman dies, it is more often than not taken with fatalism; even when such a death is queried, the culprit is sought amongst her contenders (e.g. co-wives or neighbours), and rarely is her husband seen as being responsible. Instead of suspicion and accusations, the husband receives more sympathies and support. For instance, in some Yoruba communities, a woman is arranged to sleep with the man for a night so that he is not haunted by the spirit of the dead wife. According to Lasebikan (2001:19), a widower is evidently pitied and consoled genuinely and encouraged out of his situation as early as possible while arrangement for a substitute is made quickly, because “Opo‘kunrin ki da sun nitori iyawo orun” (Yoruba). In other words, “A widower does not sleep alone because of the dead wife’s spirit”. Though the widower experiences emotional trauma at the loss of a wife, he is usually given more social support in order to cope, and to eventually re-adjust to a new life. In a polygynous setting, other living co-wives become a source of succour. A woman is seen as part of her husband’s property: at death, family members do not often challenge the husband with respect to her assets and wealth. However, if the marital relationship was undergoing stress the relatives of the woman might query the husband’s wish to inherit her property.

Under normal circumstances, a widow is to be empathized with, and helped out of the psychological valley into which the unexpected has plunged her. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. In most Nigerian societies, she is stigmatized as the killer of her husband, oppressed, suppressed, afflicted, neglected, accused, openly insulted and consequently made to succumb to widowhood rites on account of customs and traditions. Usually, the widow’s ordeal begins the very moment her husband breathes his last.

As Dei (1995:6) reveals for the Igbo society in eastern Nigeria,
The sympathy for her ends on the spur of the moment. Promises and assurances are made at the graveside. But as soon as the earth swallows the dead, the widow becomes a victim of neglect, accusation, and bizarre cultural practices. In most cases, the in-laws use the mourning period as an avenue to give vent to their anger and ensure that the widow’s solitary life is made more miserable. They strip her virtually of her self-esteem and all the toil she had acquired with her spouse.

Consequently, the death of a husband dramatically alters a woman’s status and leaves her at the mercy of her husband’s relations who are customarily empowered to take decisions concerning her and the properties left behind by the deceased, not minding her welfare and that of her children, if any. As observed in Women’s Rights Wake Up Call Assessment Report (2001:202), the plight of widows is made worse by various widowhood rites, which, though not uniform in all societies, exist in one form or another almost everywhere. While it is more entrenched in the rural areas, the practice affects many urban women in the Nigerian societies especially as it is common with those who die in the cities but are to be buried in rural areas (“hometown burial”). As the prime suspect of her husband’s death, the widow is usually compelled to go through an ordeal to prove her innocence. In some cases, she is made to drink the water used to wash the corpse (Kantiyok, 2000:61). “To express their grief, widows are sometimes required to sleep on the floor, abstain from taking baths, shave their hair, and wear dirty rags as clothes for as long as mourning lasts”. In a similar vein, “She is made to cook with broken pots and eat with unwashed hands” (Akumadu, 1998:29).

These practices, which stem from societal traditions and family beliefs, are harmful besides being extraordinarily harsh. Moreover, most of these rituals erode the dignity of the widows and also traumatize them. Besides exposure to diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, etc, occasioned by eating with unwashed hands, drinking water used to bathe the corpse could be poisonous. Worse still, any attempt to contest such practices is met with stiff resistance and sanctions. The confined widows, in the wake of these treatments, suffer from social degradation, inferiority complex and low self- esteem. While lamenting over cultural practices against widows in Ghana, Oduyoye (1995:1) in a keynote address states:

And today, the category of woman called widow, is often disinherited specie, sharing no part of the legacy of her father or her husband and unable to have saved or acquired property because she was busy being a traditional wife, spending on spouse, children and the extended family.

In many African societies, particularly in East and South Africa, the practice of levirate, a marital union of the widow to her deceased husband’s brother still thrives. In some cases, levirate is responsible for the wiping out of extended family members if the spouse(s) of the dead man had already been infected with HIV (The New York Times, 17 Sept, 1990 p14). This report by The New York Times may not be true for all cases and could pass for an over-exaggeration. The fact that an extended family was wiped out may not be as a result of HIV. Also, this report ought to have taken cognizance of other factors such as magic, sorcery, witchcraft as well as other inherited diseases in Africa. However, the possibility of HIV cannot be completely ruled out.

Adepoju (1997:16) observes that despite campaigns to eradicate levirate, it is closely linked to the distribution of and right to wealth and property of the deceased. As Kantiyok (2000:61) opines in her study of Kano State North-western Nigeria, no widow is completely free from the plight of widowhood rites (and its effects). As much as there could be diverse cultural practices within the same country, regarding widowhood rites and property inheritance, one common feature is the fact that the intensity of a widow’s unpleasant experiences varies within communities and according to various religious beliefs. While those economically endowed may be able to pay their way in order to avoid some of the traditional widowhood rites, others rarely escape. For widows with children (male/female), the sex of the children is often an issue of contention in property inheritance, while widows without children are rarely considered.

Nzewi (1996), for instance, notes that in certain parts of Imo State, Eastern Nigeria, immediately the death of the man is announced, the in-laws demand a list of the man’s property, holdings, investments, bank accounts among others. The widow is expected to take an oath as a proof that she has not concealed any relevant information about her husband’s wealth. The acknowledged weak and defenceless position of the widow according to Afigbo (1989:14) is borne out of the fact that she has no legal right to the property of her husband. It is against this background that this study attempts to investigate widowhood and property inheritance in the context of the Awori customary law with a view to identifying points of convergence or divergence.

• Statement of the Problem
Most African societies are patriarchal and a major element of patriarchy is the subservient position of women and the level of discrimination that accompanies divorce settlements and property sharing. In the Awori tradition, when a woman dies, the man is consoled. If he is a monogamist, a woman is given to accompany him for the night and within six months or a space of two years the widower remarries. If he is a polygynist, he naturally takes solace in his other living wives. Even though widowhood is a condition shared by both men and women, differences in experience along gender lines have made it more of a woman’s problem. While the man enjoys social support and goes through minimal widowhood rites, the Awori woman is not so spared. Lasebikan (2001:19) aptly captures a widow’s situation in the following statement: “what the Nigerian widow experiences during widowhood are better imagined than expressed”.

In many parts of Nigeria, death is often attributed to some unnatural causes. When a woman dies, it is more often than not taken with fatalism; even when such a death is queried, the culprit is sought amongst her contenders (e.g. co-wives or neighbours), and rarely is her husband seen as being responsible. Instead of suspicion and accusations, the husband receives more sympathies and support. For instance, in some Yoruba communities, a woman is arranged to sleep with the man for a night so that he is not haunted by the spirit of the dead wife. According to Lasebikan (2001:19), a widower is evidently pitied and consoled genuinely and encouraged out of his situation as early as possible while arrangement for a substitute is made quickly, because “Opo‘kunrin ki da sun nitori iyawo orun” (Yoruba). In other words, “A widower does not sleep alone because of the dead wife’s spirit”. Though the widower experiences emotional trauma at the loss of a wife, he is usually given more social support in order to cope, and to eventually re-adjust to a new life.

Widowhood resulting from sudden death gives no room for a will or other preparations. Thus, property inheritance becomes a big challenge. For instance, it has been a long standing custom in most parts of Nigeria, including Aworiland, for women not to inherit property (Oke, 2001:52). Women are almost always regarded as their husband’s property and being themselves property can not aspire to own property (Orebiyi, 2002).

The seriousness attached to property in the Awori culture is reflected in the manner the properties of the deceased male members of the family are usually handled. Instances in which the relatives of the deceased insist on their right to inherit the property of the deceased, often to the exclusion of the wife/wives and children, can be a terrible plight for the widow(s). In spite of statutory and Islamic laws which provide for women to inherit property following the death of their husbands, one noticeable problem among the Awori people of Ogun State, Nigeria, is that, in practice, legal or religious laws are often overridden by the customary laws of succession. Widespread practices among this local group reveal that women under traditional customary laws are often denied their rights to inheritance. The law ranges from denial of rights to commonly held property with their husbands die to lack of or restricted access to the children produced from such unions. It is most shocking that the cases of joint property ownership, the family/relations of the deceased man do not consider this. Rather, the woman is completely ostracized and barred from having access to such joint property. In some cases, no consideration is given to the widow and her children by the extended family. In fact, the widow without children is rarely considered in property inheritance. Yet, she is not exempted from performing widowhood rites.

Against this background, this study examines divorce settlements and property inheritance among the Awori with a view to ascertaining the coping mechanisms of widows compared to their male counterparts. This is because the challenges arising from widowhood and property inheritance have created numerous problems for the Awori society. They have rendered many widows psychologically and economically incapacitated. Women empowerment and the need for a critical appraisal become urgent. However, there is no known study on widowhood and property inheritance among the Awori. Most studies in Nigeria (Afigbo, 1989; Ahonsi, 1997; Akumadu, 1998; Anyanwu, 2002; Imam, 1997; Korieh, 1996; Kantiyok, 2000; Nzewi, 1989; Nwoga, 1989; Okoye, 1995; and Onyenuchie, 2000) focused on the Southeastern and Northern part of the country. These scholars’ contributions on divorce settlements, levirate, aged widows, etc, have no doubt increased contributions immensely for our understanding of the uniqueness of divorce settlements in other societies. However, the gap caused by the absence of literature and research on widowhood and property inheritance among the Awori sub-ethnic group of the Yoruba race is what this study intends to fill.

• Research Questions
This study attempts to understand divorce settlements as a socio-cultural phenomenon in relation to property inheritance among the Awori of Ogun State. In the light of the above, the study investigates the following questions:

• What is thee extent to which the widow’s personal attributes (age, education, occupation, income, and type of marriage etc) influence widowhood rites and property inheritance?

• How does culture define divorce settlements and property inheritance among the Awori?

• Of what significance is material relationship in divorce settlements and property inheritance?

• What relationship exists between lineage-based family reciprocity, widowhood rites and property inheritance?

• How do gender values and orientations impact on widowhood rites and property inheritance?

• Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to investigate and describe divorce settlements and property inheritance within the context of the Awori customary law.

The Specific objectives are to:

• Examine the extent to which the widow’s personal attributes (age, education, occupation, income, type of marriage, etc) influence widowhood rites and property inheritance.

• Identify and examine the role of culture in divorce settlements and property inheritance among the Awori.

• Examine how material relationships can sustain widowhood rites and property inheritance.

• Explore the relationship between lineage-based family reciprocity and widowhood rites and property inheritance

• Examine how gender values and orientations impact on widowhood rites and property inheritance.

• Justification of the Study
A study of widowhood and property inheritance among the Awori people is coming at a time when several aspects of the people’s culture have been infiltrated by the wave of social change, modernity and globalization. This study is, therefore, significant in that it explains the ramifications introduced by the various aspects of social change. Widowhood and property inheritance are highly sociological, a culturally embedded study that aims at identifying, investigating, and explaining this aspect of Nigerian life, especially in the 21st century, is imperative. A research into this sensitive aspect of Awori social life will shed more light on certain aspects of culture and tradition as they relate to widowhood and property inheritance. Sociology as a scientific study of society, no doubt, has vital roles to play in explaining, questioning and challenging age-long societal practices such as widowhood and property inheritance as they relate for example to the Awori people.

Among the Awori of Ogun State, Southwestern Nigeria, the experience of widowhood is deeply gendered and there is no known study or available statistics on widowhood and property inheritance. Available works centre on the plight of widows within the context of divorce settlements and aging in other parts of Nigeria. This research is unique because it is a pioneer study that intends to provide data for further studies on the subject among the Aworis of the Yoruba cultural group.

There is the report of a widow from Ohafia in Imo State, in the Eastern part of the country, who had difficulty with her husband’s extended family during and after widowhood. The brings to the fore the fact that widows of different age groups and categories exist. Similarly, the challenges associated with widowhood and property inheritance also vary across cultures and communities. For instance, the following case study by Effah-Chukwuma (1982:1) is one out of several insights on the subject:

Mrs. Gladys Michael, 44 years old became a widow 18 years ago (1982) when she lost the man she had married at the tender age of 16 years. According to her, "At the time my husband died in 1982, it was the tenth year of our marriage and I was eight months pregnant. It was a period of agony for me, especially as an expectant mother. My in-laws despite my condition did not take pity on me. They were more concerned about laying hands on his bank documents even while his corpse was still in the mortuary. They never cared about the six children we had, the eldest at the time being 8 years old. Up till date, no one of them has come to find out how we are faring. For eighteen (18) years now, I have been bearing the burden on my own”.

The above example, which is just one among many, further makes any research into widowhood and property inheritance a unique and timely one in order to bring to the fore this aspect of African reality.

The content of this study is a gender sensitive one that touches the heart of every woman especially the widow. Denials of benefits in terms of property inheritance and fundamental human rights of widows via tradition are worth studying to better understand and predict this vital aspect of Awori experience. In addition, the dearth of statistical data coupled with the non existence of situational analysis of divorce settlements and property inheritance among the study population also necessitated this study.

Essentially, this research attempts to add to current knowledge on the socio-cultural variables that undermine the place of women in the society. Furthermore, the study brings to light the missing link between the variables currently being investigated and also assist in sensitizing the government, policy makers and especially the women to harmful traditional practices as they relate to widowhood and property inheritance. It is hoped that the findings from this research will go beyond suggestions and recommendations on the missing link.

This research will assist in terms of sensitizing the community, individuals and groups as well as policy makers on undocumented issues relating to widowhood and property inheritance and the way forward for both the Awori community and the larger society. Above all, this study will pave the way for further studies in this area of scientific enquiry.

Finally, this research serves as an avenue to contribute immeasurably to knowledge in this grey but sensitive aspect of African experience.

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Immunization has proven to be one of the most significant and successful advances developed by human species in diseases prevention. Immunization is a cost-effective public health intervention aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases. Over the years, substantial government and development partners’ resources have been invested so as to reduce mortality rate. Though immunization coverage in Nigeria has increased, yet Nasarawa state remains one of the areas in Northern Nigeria that still recorded higher mortality rate as a result of vaccines preventable diseases. The administration of immunization in Nigeria is the responsibility of the three tiers of government; the actual delivery of immunization is the responsibility of the Local Government (community). Studies indicate that Local Governments (Community) service provisions in Nigeria have been ineffective in spite of reform measures and increasing funding from the federation account. The purpose of this study is to find out the extent to which Local Governments in Nasarawa state have been able to deliver immunization service to local communities and identify possible factors that contribute to low coverage in the state. To achieve this objective the study hypothesized that, Government efforts at immunization has produced positive outcome; the availability and competence of personnel affect the success of immunization program; the higher the level of funding and other support, the more likely the success of the immunization service delivery. Success of immunization delivery is a function of sociocultural factors; success of immunization delivery depends on effective management. Six Community were selected from the three senatorial districts in the state. Both primary and secondary sources of data were utilized. In the case of primary data, interviews and focus group discussion (FGD) were conducted with women and health personnels to elicit their views on immunization services delivery, while questionnaires were administered to staff respondents on the outcome of immunization. Existing literature related to immunization especially journals, CBN statistical bulletin, conference proceedings and PhD theses as well as unpublished documents were reviewed. Data gathered were subjected to correlation test using SPSS software. The results indicated a high level of peoples’ cooperation on the immunization exercise due to the increase of government and international organization’ commitment on the eradication of six killer diseases in the state. The results further indicated strong and positive correlation between Government efforts at immunization and positive outcome, funding, availability and competence of personnel, effective management, socio-cultural factor and the success of immunization service delivery. The study suggested the need to increase the number of health personnel at the community level and the level of funding of immunization so as to complement development partners’ efforts.

• Background to the Study
Local Governments are essentially created to deliver services at the grassroots level so as to ensure developments across all levels of society and these services cut across all parts of the country by bringing governed closer to the government. This division of governmental power simplifies governmental activities and serves as a viable incentive for good governance and development. It also serves as an effective avenue for delivering basic goods and services to local communities in faster, easier and efficient manner (Pradeep, 2011:4; Nwosu, 2011:118).

Local Government (community), as an institution for grassroots participation, services delivery as well as agent of development in Nigeria, has over the years passed through series of changes since the introduction of the Native Authority system by the British Colonial Administration. During the colonial era, Community in Nigeria were basically used as instruments for maintaining laws and order through the system known as „Native Authority‟ (NA) (FGN, 1998:1). In 1921, the system became more significant all over the country and was sustained until 1950‟s when it began to take part actively in legislative functions (Hassan, 2002:1; Eboh, 2010). Throughout that period, preservation of colonial law and order was the main focus of colonial government rather than welfare service delivery.

In the Northern Nigeria, the N.A. system recorded full success partly due to the presence of highly centralized traditional authority. While in the then western region, the system recorded partial success partly due to the presence of a number of educated elites and the semi-centralized nature of the traditional institution available. The 1952, Local Government Law in the Western

Nigeria adopted English multy-tier system which encouraged the participation of educated elites in the Local Government Administration (Hassan, 2002:1). However, due to absence of centralized authority in the then Eastern region of Nigeria and in spite of the introduction of the Warrant chiefs, the indirect rule system was unsuccessful which led to its abolishment in 1928.

With the attainment of Nigeria‟s independence from the colonial government in 1960; the focus of the Local Governments gradually shifted from being an instrument of perpetuating colonial dominance and exploitation of the Native people through the preservation of colonial law and order to service delivery (Igbuzor, 2007:4). This shift was necessary because the country inherited serious developmental challenges. One of such challenges was the need to expand service delivery to people. To this extent, the governments in the then three regions through the NA system embarked on social welfare delivery services including health, roads, education, and agricultural development and etc.

Nevertheless, as a result of the unsatisfactory and poor performance of local governments particularly on services delivery in the pre-1976 era, the federal government of Nigeria made effort at reforming the system so as to recognize and to place them in order to occupy its rightful position (FGN: 1976 community Reform). The reform recognized third tier status for Community in the country also included the reform measures in the 1979 constitution. In spite of the reform, the community performance in terms of service delivery is still unsatisfactory (Ohiani, 2004, Malhoho, 2012). Hence, many Local Governments in the country failed to justify their existence and many people were confronted with difficulties in accessing social services such as healthcare and agricultural services. To this end, many scholars acknowledged reasons behind the poor performance of Local Governments in service delivery. These include insufficient funding, lack of Local Governments autonomy and mismanagement (Odoh, 1998:2; Ohiani, 2004:3). This situation led President Obasanjo in 2003 to inaugurate a committee to review the structure of the Local Governments in the country.

On the 25th of June 2003, Ciroma/Ndayako Technical Committee was inaugurated to review the structure of Local Government Councils in Nigeria. And the Committee reported that, “apart from corruption and mismanagement of public funds, Local Governments in Nigeria had not been guided by any coherent vision, principle or set of ideas in their policy formulation, implementation and even service delivery‟‟ (FGN, 2004 as cited in Abubakar, 2008:7-8). This situation has posed serious challenge to the country‟s quest for development and effective Local Government service delivery at the grassroots level.

Also, on Monday, March 3, 2006, the federal government announced the position of the National Assembly Committee report on the review of the 1999 constitution. However, the committees after collecting public views found that the majority of Nigerians were in favor of an independent system of Local Government System. In 2012, Community in the country had received greater attention when the National Assembly embarked an effort to pass a “community autonomy Act”, so as to ensure adequate services (including health) at the grassroots level (Okpo, 2012; Shedrack, 2012). In July 2013, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria resolved to maintain the status of Community in the country as part of the state government and with state Community joint account system as enshrined in the constitution.

The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria placed health care service delivery on the concurrent Legislative list. By this arrangement, each of the three tiers of Government is vested with the responsibilities of health care service delivery. The constitution further stipulated that the Federal, State and Local Governments shall support in a coordinated manner, a three-tier system of health care. They are as follows:

• Primary Health Care Local Governments

• Secondary Health Care State Governments

• Tertiary Health Care Federal Governments

The community through the Primary Health Care system is mandated to provide general health services of preventive, curative and rehabilitative nature to the population as the entry point of the health care system. This implies that the provision of primary health care at this level (including immunization) is largely the responsibility of Local Governments with the support of state Ministries of Health and within the pivot of National health policy.

Immunization is provided mostly through the public health system with the three tiers of government (federal, state and Local Government) playing specific and sometimes duplicating functions. Among the responsibilities of the federal government include the setting up of the national health policies, coordinating and implementing of national health programs, evaluating and monitoring immunization in the country through the National Program on Immunization. The central government is also responsible for procuring vaccines and distributing them to zonal cold stores. Similarly the state government is responsible for distributing vaccines to Local Government central storage facilities and managing state health and other budgets. Based on the arrangement, the state also employs key officials responsible for immunization service provision and coordinates immunization activities within the state. While the actual implementation of routine immunization activities is done by the Local Government primary health care facilities (Feilden Battersby Analysts, 2005).

Immunization services in Nigeria are usually delivered through two main strategies namely Routine Immunization (RI) and Supplemental Immunization Activities (SIAs). RI is the regular provision of immunization services to infants through the administration of vaccines (antigens) in a scheduled plan program. The services are usually provided at fixed post at the community hospitals, clinics or health centers. RI services are also delivered to the population through Outreach, and Mobile strategies. SIAs are mass campaigns targeting all children in a defined age group with the objective of reaching a high proportion of susceptible individuals (REW, 2007).

In Nigeria, the National Program on Immunization (formerly Expanded Program on Immunization) targets eight main childhood diseases: tuberculosis; polio; pertussis; diphtheria; tetanus; measles; hepatitis B; and yellow fever (Feilden Battersby Analysts, 2005).

• Research Problem
Given the importance of Local Government (community) as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and designed to be part and parcel of the federation, sections two and three of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria placed the community as the third tier of government in the country. While the Fourth Schedule of the 1979, 1991, and 1999 Federal Government Constitutions and section 7(5) listed and empowered the Councils to perform essential function of service delivery. To make them functions effectively, the percentage of the community revenue from the federation account continues to increase from 10% to in 1989 to 20% in 1992, and finally to 20.60% in 2008.

In the past, most of the usual excuses raised by the community councils in Nigeria were lack of autonomy and inadequate funding. Hence, with the 1976 and 2003 community reforms and the eventual increase in Community share from the federation statutory allocation and the increase in Community‟ revenue under the present democratic dispensation, the expectation of many people was that such excuses supposed to have been resolved. Yet health and other services were often inadequate. National Health indicators in Nigeria are among the lowest in the world by almost all measurable indices (WHO, 2012; Jamo, 2013). Life expectancy in Nigeria as at the year 2012 was 48 years compared to 73 years in China and 83 years in Japan. Infant mortality rate was 114 per 1000, whereas less than five mortality rates were 269 per 1000 (WHO, 2012). In Nigeria, vaccine- preventable diseases account for approximately 22% of childhood deaths (amounting to over 200,000 deaths) per year. The maternal mortality rate was 1,100 deaths per 100,000 in contrast to 45 and 6 deaths per 100,000 in China and Japan respectively (WHO, 2012). One third of the world maternal death occurs in India and Nigeria with 20% and 14% respectively (WHO, 2012). In Nigeria, 52,000 women die every year and 150 pregnancy related cases with an average of death in every 10 minutes are recorded daily (UNICEP, 2012). This indicates poor performance of Community and other tiers of government in immunization and disease prevention in the country leading to 72% of deaths due to communicable diseases. Though Nigeria is a signatory to all global immunization targets of reaching 80% DPT3 coverage in 80% districts in developing countries by the year 2005 and with MDG4 target of reducing child mortality by two-thirds by the year 2024 (NPI, 2007). Meeting this target is still questionable in spite of the series of past efforts.

Funding of immunization services is the collective responsibility of all the three tiers of government, private sector and development partners. In 2003 Nigeria expended $12,906,678,018 to immunization and with total health expenditure from all sources to $73,764,508. The projected cost of vaccines per communityA in 2012 was $194,697. From 2010 to 2013 alone, Nigeria has received a sum of $230,168,552 from the development partners (CHEDECO, 2013; PHC Reform, 2013; Uzochukwu, 2014). However this increasing funding did not correspond with the mortality rate and other health indicators in the country.

Everyone expected that the return of Nigeria to democratic rule would improve development through adequate healthcare services provision, yet studies have shown the contrary, Mortality rate as a result of VPDs is on the increase (WHO, 2012). The problem of the study is to examine the extent to which Local Governments in Nasarawa state have been able to deliver immunization. To achieve this, this study attempts to answer the following questions:

• Research Questions
• What are the contributions of Community‟ funding and other support to the success of immunization program?

• What are the effects of availability and competence of Community‟ health personnel to success of immunization program?

• What are the effects of Community‟ efforts on the outcome of immunization?

• What are the contributions of effective management at the community level to the success of immunization?

• What are the effects of socio-cultural factor to the success of community immunization delivery?

• Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to review the community based immunization in Nasarawa state. Other specific objectives include the following:

• to evaluate the contributions of community funding and other support to the success of immunization program.

• to ascertain the contributions of the availability and competence of community health personnel to the success of immunization.

• to examine the effects of community efforts on the outcome of immunization program.

• Determine the contribution of community effective management to the success of immunization delivery

• to assess the effect of socio-cultural factor to the success of immunization delivery at the community level.

• Hypotheses of the Study
• The higher the level of funding and other support at the community, the more likely the success of the immunization program

• community efforts at immunization has produced positive outcome.

• The availability and competence of personnel at the community level affect the success of immunization program.

• community efforts at immunization has produced positive outcome.

• Success of immunization delivery depends on effective management at the community level.

• Success of immunization delivery at the community level is a function of sociocultural factors.

• Significance of study
• The study assists government to protect children from killer diseases (particularly VPDs) and also saves million lives and provides economic benefits of averting economic loss of billions of Naira and also lifts millions of Nigerians out of the vicious circle of poverty and illnesses. It serves as a policy guide to governments and international agencies with a method for mitigating poverty, poor health status in the country through effective immunization delivery.

• It guides government on cost effective strategy and health intervention to curtail mortality rate as a result of VPDs.

• It assists government, development agencies (including WHO, UNDP, UNICEF) to determine areas that require urgent attention for adequate healthcare delivery at the grassroots level.

• The work also serves as a model for assessing the impact of immunization on development of a particular area, using health service rather than HDI,GDP, or per capital income (as used by Przeworski, 1990 ; Przeworski and Lamungi, 2007; Pel, 1990; and Ohiani, 2004) which are very abstract at the grassroots level.

• The study is also empirical using survey method including questionnaires and interviews to ascertain the extent to which Community in Nasarawa state delivers immunization services at the grassroots level. The study has filled this gap by providing empirical data in the body of existing literatures.

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All through recorded history, humans have made use of preparations that are plant-based, but, containing biologically active, and sometimes highly effective substances as medicine. On a daily basis and the world over, people practice self-medication which has increasingly been accepted as a major component of self-care practice. This study examined the prevalence and impact of self-medication on the health of the people with the intention of making suggestion that can curb the challenges associated with it. In realizing this objective, the study made use of secondary data and found that; the practice of self-medication was high in Nigeria. Factors such as; lax in medical regulation, desire for self care, sympathy towards sick family members, poverty, pharmaceutical marketing and comparatively expensive and in some cases not readily available health care professional were responsible for this prevalence rate. The study also found that selfmedication though advocated for the role it plays in relieving symptom, contributes to direct reduction in system cost as it delays onset of morbidity and mortality; it also contribute to both morbidity and mortality in this era of fraudulent pharmaceutical products marketing. On the basis of these, the study recommended massive awareness campaign on the danger of selfmedication, strengthening of various pharmaceutical regulations among others as ways of curbing this social phenomenon of our time.

1.1 Background of Study
Self-medication is defined by the World Self-Medication Industry (WSMI) as the treatment of common health problems with medicines especially designed and labeled for use without medical supervision and approved as safe and effective for such use .1 It is common for individuals to feel unwell at one time or the other and the innate survival instinct in humans produces a tendency to treat themselves. Every day, all over the world, people, irrespective of how knowledgeable they may be, act on their health without consulting qualified health personnel; they practice what is known as self-care, a lifelong habit and culture, which largely and mostly all over the world, Nigeria inclusive is in form of self-medication.

Medicines for self-medication are often called ‘non-prescription’ or ‘over the counter’ (OTC) products, and are available without a doctor’s prescription through pharmacies and in some countries, in supermar­kets, chemists and other outlets. The medicines that require a doctor’s prescription are generally called prescription products (Rx products). Self-medication with OTC medicines is sometimes referred to as ‘responsible’ self-medication to distinguish this from the practice of purchas­ing and using a prescription medicine without a doctors’ prescription. This is irresponsible (and potentially dangerous) ‘self-prescription’, and has no place in self-care or (responsible) self medication. 2

The nature and extent of self medication indeed varies in different cultural contexts 3 and the socio-economic and educational influences may be greater than the influence of medical practice. 4 Self medication is indeed a very common practice, both in the economically deprived communities as much as it is in the economically privileged. Without doubt, self-medication by means of non-prescription medicines is a growing trend of ‘self-care’ which has its positive and negative aspects.

World-wide, consumers commonly reach for self-care products to help them solve their common health problems which include fever, body pains, indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, cough, and upper respiratory tract infections.7 This is because it is considered easier, more cost-effective, time-saving, or the problem may seem too trivial to necessitate making an appointment with a healthcare professional, and in other cases, they may have few or no other options. The World Health Organization (WHO) has pointed out that responsible self-medication can help prevent and treat ailments that do not require medical consultation and provides a cheaper alternative for treating common illnesses. It is therefore necessary to develop tools in every environment to evaluate the appropriateness of self medication.8, 9The challenge and opportunity for governments, healthcare professionals, and providers of self-medication products all over the world and in developing nations particularly, then, is to have a responsible framework in place for self-medication as a practice.

1.2 Statement of the problem
Self-medication is becoming an increasingly important component of health care in both developing and developed countries, 10 unlike other aspects of self-care, it involves the use of drugs, which have the potential to do good as well as cause harm. Several studies on the subject indicate that there are risks such as misdiagnosis, drug resistance, use of drugs in excessive amounts, use of expired drugs, prolonged duration of use, drug interactions, poly-pharmacy; and other toxicological and pharmacological risks associated with improper use of non-prescription medicines.

In some parts of the world, particularly in the more privileged, developed countries, the high prevalence of self-medication is a reason for optimism, as it demonstrates the continuous growth of consumers’ self-awareness and self-reliance and their escape from the dependency and alienation brought about by “medicalization” of health care. 12 This however cannot be said about self-medication in developing countries where it is not an escape from “medicalization” but rather the appearance of a more subtle and less visible form of it. Truly, self-medication may be very common in the industrialized world, but it is hardly, equivalent to that in developing countries both in a quantitative and qualitative sense.12

Nigeria stands out among the few countries of the world where drugs are freely displayed for sale in unauthorized places such as markets, shops, roadside stalls, motor parks and other public places by individuals not duly licensed. This indiscriminate use of drugs cuts across all categories of people and it could be for medical, social or recreational purposes. 13Several literature reveal a high incidence of self medication with over-the-counter, complementary and sometimes prescriptions medicines in a range of 15.0 - 81.5% in different localities.14, 18, 27 The common reasons given for practicing self-medication include long delays in the health centres, previous experience of medical treatment of the same symptoms, illness being considered too trivial and health centres not being socially accessible. However some people may engage in the practice due to ignorance, poverty and non-availability of health facilities.

It is widely believed that human behaviour such as inadequate dosing, incomplete courses and indiscriminate drug use have contributed to the emergence and spread of resistance to certain drugs in the country over the past few years.15 The consequences include the loss of relatively cheap drugs, and their replacement by new drugs which are more expensive (as in the case of replacement of chloroquine with the arthemether combination drugs), and may lead to poor drug-compliance.15 Furthermore, presently in Nigeria, drugs such as antibiotics, analgesics hormonal drugs and anti-hypertensives which must be prescribed by a physician before purchase over-the-counter in developed countries find their way into the hands of consumers without a prescription. It is known that the patent medicine sellers go as far as dispensing the drugs as opposed to the stated regulation which instructs that 0TCs are to be sold manufacturers pack only.

1.3 Specific Objectives of the Study
1. To determine the knowledge and attitude of elderly persons in Ikeja Local Government Area on the benefits and risks of self-medication

2. To identify the drugs commonly used and conditions for which elderly persons in Ikeja Local Government Area practice self medication.

3. To identify the determinants of self-medication amongst elderly persons in Ikeja Local Government Area.

1.4 Research Questions

1. What is the knowledge and attitude of elderly persons in Ikeja Local Government Area on the benefits and risks of self-medication?

2. What are the drugs commonly used and conditions for which elderly persons in Ikeja Local Government Area practice self medication.

3. What are the determinants of self-medication amongst elderly persons in Ikeja Local Government Area.

1.5 Significance for the Study

Individual self-care is shaped in the social environment- it is a major determinant of the type, quality and amount of healthcare used.17 Self medication is very common among individuals in many developing countries, and despite the growing research interest on the topic, not much is known about its major determinants.18, 19, 20, 21 Certain studies 8 on self-medication done in developing countries show that it is influenced by many factors, such as education, family, society, law, availability of drugs and exposure to advertisements. A high level of education and professional status particularly has been mentioned as predictive factors for self-medication.8, 22 The reasons for self-medication include mild illness, previous experience of treating similar illness, economic considerations and a lack of availability of healthcare personnel with most common medications used for self-medication been analgesics and antimicrobials.5, 23

Conversely, there are peculiarities in the self medication profile of Nigeria. First, there are few who will consider visiting or consulting a physician at the outset of an ailment.7, 24 Secondly, conventional drugs may not be as affordable to the low-income earners. Thirdly, traditional herbal medicines whose dosages are not known constitute up to 50% of the drugs used for treatment by the general population for self-medication and continue to gain grounds through vigorous media publicity.7, 24Lastly, the social system in existent makes it easy for an individual who was cured of an ailment following the use of a particular drug to become an authority whenever a friend, relation or close associate presents with similar symptoms without necessarily suffering from the same or associated ailment7. As a result, minor illnesses are treated with the wrong doses of antimicrobials, antispasmodics and analgesics which have a potential to harm the individual as well as the society at large.24

Self-medication is no doubt an area where governments and health authorities need to ensure that things are done in a responsible manner, with well enforced policies taking care of safety issues as it concerns the age of the user, pregnancy, underlying disease conditions and potential drug allergies and interactions amongst others.25 Although the Federal Ministry of Health published in its National Drug Policy of 2005 a number of steps to be taken towards obtaining the benefits of self-medication while avoiding its risk, there are still occurrences of health hazards amongst the populace resulting from inappropriate drug use.

There is a therefore a need to identify the factors which influence the pattern and mode of practice in Ikeja Local Government area(LGA) in order to adequately inform the public on the limits and acceptable attitudes and practices towards self care via self medication even as the health authorities and pharmaceutical companies put in place more guided safety measures. This survey was undertaken with the general aim of determining the Knowledge, attitudes and practices amongst residents in the Ikeja local government area towards self medication.

1.6 Limitations
This study was largely constrained by time which prevented the use of a larger sample size. Another limitation of this study was the reliance on self-reported data about self medication from the respondents coupled with inability to ascertain drugs used, and their dosages. The inability to establish the occurrence of side effects following drug use could also have limited the study.

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Nigeria women has been relegated to the background of Nigeria politics in this research we set out to study the political participation of women in Abia State. And to know why women have not been achieving involved in the process of shaping the political system. The objectives of this research work is to find out if women are actively involved in the politics of Abia State. And again, to find out factors responsible for how level of women participating in the politics of Abia State and the strategies to be adopted in order to ensure achieve participation of women in the politics. It is obvious that women in Nigeria have encountered a number of problems while venturing into politics. There is large scale of discriminations from the male folks, both in voting for candidates and allocating political offices. This issue and problem of women and political participation in Nigeria is the issue of national orientation and awareness to the society at large especially to the low level awareness of the majority of the masses. Finally government should educate the majority of people especially the women folk as majority are illiterates and had already behaved that many of them have no right in political participation and public affairs.

The fate of the Nigeria women for the past 45 years cannot be described as the best but it can be said to be much better than what is obtainable in some third world countries. It is of a believe that women are sex symbols whose paramount place is either in the kitchen or in their husband’s bed, the Nigeria women have blossomed into what can comfortably be described as independent for over forty five (45) years after Nigeria’s independent. Women accepted whatever attitude, belief, biases and treatment meted out to them until recently when Nigeria women have gradually become more aware of this right and places in society.

To the average Nigeria man, any woman who knows her political rights and asks is quickly regarded as “Tomboyish” and quickly labeled “woman rebel” during the colonial era, much was not heard of woman in Nigeria political except few occasion when they stood their ground to protest one incident or another.

In African women had made history in politics often times, it is associated with violence and military incursion for example, in 1929 over 10,000 ib,bio and Igbo women reacted over taxation rumour which resulted into the killing of about 26 of them.

In 1973, the agitation from the Northern Nigeria women brought about formation of Northern People Congress (NPC) and Northern Elements of Progressive Union (NEPU).

The world body recognizes that women need a sort of special support in view of the fact that they are often discriminated against in many part of the world even the so-called civilized world.

The above statement had established that fact that all over the world women are discriminated against and need special training, support and encouragement to attain political heights like their male counterparts.

The Abia State the women folk has been greatly alienated, discriminated, subjected and non inclusive in the general administration of the stat affairs. The female folk on their side have been on constant agitation and struggle for economic improvement and social recognition within the state polity.

The research work will then enveil the nature and character of the Abia State politics with a view at assessing the degree of women participation and training in political activities of the state. At the end of the assessment workable solutions will be preferred on how best to improve their lot in the state specially with regard to political participation.

A close observation of the degree of political participation and training of women in Nigeria tend to reveal that women have not been actively involved in the process of sharpening the political system. This disparity between women and non political participation has been a subject of controversy and debates among scholars, politicians, analysts and stakeholder in Nigeria.

Since 1999 when the present civilian government came into power after a long period of military regime, women politicians in Abia State like their counterparts in other part of the federation have continued to express dismay over the low participation and alienation of women in the politics of the state. Consequently, in 2003 a female governorship aspirant, laureta Aniagolu joined the race for the seat of governor in Enugu State.

Unfortunately, she was maneuvered in the party primary of the United Nigeria People Party. She later joined the National conscience party and was defeated with other aspirants by Governor Chimaroke Nnamani in a General Election, which according to Asowata (1\2006) and many other observers, was a rape of democracy and political fraud.

Significantly women apathy and alienation politics has been attributed to some factors such as colonial system of economic and political exclusion of women in the control and management of state, the post colonial system of exclusion, the religions cultural enslavement of women, the contemporary economic deprivation, the educational disempowerment and social discrimination.

Based on these premises some fundamental questions become important:

Have women been actively involved in the politics of Abia State?

Are the post colonial retention of colonial system of social discrimination and educational disempowerment responsible for low level of woman participation and training in political in Abia State?

What are the strategies to be adopted in order to ensure active participation of women in the politics of Abia State?

A research work is directed toward establishing the nature of participation and training by women in politics, the level, which they have attained, the hindrances and what should be made to improve, the level of participation and training. The study established the participation of women who are proficient in politics and how their participation have helped in inculcating, progress and emancipation of women from the decision making body of the state.

The specific and concrete desired achievement at the end of the research work underscores its objectives (Obasi:1999). Accordingly, this research work intends:

To find out if women are actively involved in the politics of Abia State and so what impact they have created.

To find out if there still exists colonial and post-colonial system of social discrimination against women in the politics of Abai State.

To find out the strategies to be adopted in order to ensure active participation of women in the politics of Abia State.

As an academic venture, the significance of this type of study is so enormous that one cannot comprehend such with or limited ordinary words.

In the first place, one can rightly say the significance of the study, is to unmask the nature and character of the Nigeria political system and then use such as a prelude for analyzing the nature and character of Abia state politics with particular reference to the degree of participation of women in the politics of Abia State.

The work shall unveil in the political activities of Nigeria and Abia State in particularly from the sector, it shall assess the fundamental factors, responsible for low training of women in the politics of Abia State and Nigeria in general. Going by this trend, the study shall also provide both women and often political stakeholders there required information necessary for addressing the problems of low training of women in participation of the political of Nigeria and Abia State.

Theoretically, there has been for a general work on Nigeria women especially in the sphere of politics. This will give an overview of the subject, incorporate and synthesize the various views of women and their effort to emancipate themselves from the social, economic, cultural and political subjugation which they find themselves. This work will contribute a lot in this aspect.

At the empirical level, women especially those aspiring to political position, will equally be policy makers in general. It would give them insight into the hindrance (economic, social and culture) to women’s aspirations in the political spheres, and therefore, know how to make legislations, which would encourage their effective participation in politics.

The scope of the study over a reasonable period of time, which is 1999-2009 and area of Ohafia local government area of Abia State. In the first place, the scope range from the colonial period to the present period. This springs from the fact that the colonial masters first instituted the process of economic and political alienation and exclusion of women which invariably were inherited and subsequently perfected by the indigenous political elite.

However, in area of operation, the Nigeria state is the area of grand from work of analysis which Abia State remains the point of emphasis women on their part collectively remained the fundamental instrument of study.

The research work had its own challenges which either promote or militate against its advancement.

These challenges and limitations include time constants, financial inadequacies of the interviews, poor assistance from the government sector and poor infrastructural facilities like poor power supply. All these challenges and limitations were experienced by the researcher in the course of carrying out this researcher work.

However, with perseverance and enterprises these challenges were tactfully surmounted and a successful completion of the researcher work attained.

To be able to find out the impact of women participation in politics in Nigeria the following questions have been put forward as a guide.

Have the women in Nigeria been involved in politics?

To what extent have they been allowed to be involved?

What are the possible hindrances to the involvement of women in politics?

The purpose of conceptual clarification is to clearly define terminologies to aid understanding for the purpose of this work. The following concepts will be defined.

Women Liberation: Women liberation emerged with these struggles for rights and objective, it is said to constitute what is of women’s concern and what is not, because people use the word freely.

Alienation: This concept of alienation is defined as the state of being withdrawn or isolated. It could be denying of one’s right.

Apathy: Apathy can be defined as lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting especially in the political systems of a society.

Culture: Culture is defined as people’s way of life, which includes their mode of dressing, cooking, dancing, eating, greeting, language etc. It is a particular from or stage of civilization as that of a certain nation or period.

Furthermore, its complex which include knowledge, belief morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits, acquired by man as a member of society.

Discrimination: The concept discrimination is defined as the treatment of consideration of, or making a distinction in favour of or against a person or group of persons.

Training: Training is defined as a process of preparing or being prepared for sport or job, i.e training people in politics to be able to participate very well in politics or training people for a profession.

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