This case study begins by highlighting about the blue print meeting presided over by the Nigerian military leader and attended by all the leading health, commercial and agricultural administrators from all the states. In attendance, was Keke Omuji, one of the officers who would be responsible for the implementations of the government directives. As a district officer, he was in charge of a small area consisting of 11 Yoruba villages and only one town which hosted the largest market in the South western region of the country.
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During the meeting, the government committed itself to liberating the dwindling economy by making a series of changes in the socio- political and economic structure. However, all these were done without consulting the civil society. Therefore, it would be a great challenge particularly to people like Keke who were to enforce such radical transformations in their areas of jurisdictions. In fact, he was sure that he would be opposed because; his superstitious Yoruba people would not entertain him (Ogunyemi, Y. D., 2010). He argued that the colonel in charge was a dictatorial military leader from the Northern Hausa land- a Muslim dominated region which had different cultural practices from the southerners (page 199). For instance, unlike his people, they never valued the contributions of women.
As obviously expected, when he convened a local meeting, there were mixed reactions. Many people were really opposed to those proposals because they saw it as against their tradition. Christine Ciroma, a United States trained nurse publicly criticized the proposed labor and population control measures. At the same time, the superstitious old folk viewed it as against their traditions. They thought that such plans did not originate from them, but were forced, not even by their leaders, but by the international community which was out to exercise their dominance over them. This dilemma explains the kind of reactions from different groups of people in this society.
Personal reactions and critique
First, I would like to agree with Keke for suggesting that it was not a right decision to impose such rules on the life of the Yoruba people without thinking about their cultural practices. Unlike the Northerners, they could not accept to be forced to adopt such like abrupt changes in the family, labor, land and population control. They were not to be forced to conform. Instead, they were to be consulted before making such decisions.
In addition, I would like to agree with Christine for condemning the proposals in regulating the population of these people. It would be so harsh to force traditional villagers to use modern family planning strategies that they have never heard about. Similarly, she was justified to refute the idea of increasing labor by 10%. Essentially, it would be an exploitation of the Yoruba women who have been charged with garden work for the benefit of their family. Of course, an increment in agricultural produce would mean the same to women labor. This would oppress them further.
On the other hand, I would like to agree with the government for introducing family control measures. Even if it was against the Yoruba cultural practices, it would benefit both the women and children (page 201). It is feasible because the mortality rate has significantly reduced in the recent past due to the immunization efforts by the health department. A planned family is a happy one. The Yorubans should boldly embrace it because it will be of benefit to them.
Even if the state is such a powerful organ, it should not use coercion as a means of transforming the society. Instead, there should be consultative deliberations that recognize the role of everybody. Instead of the junta being the sole decision maker, he should decentralize some powers to the local Obas. People will always tremble when they violate their directives (Ogunyemi, Y. D., 2010). Because, the decisions made by them, are always taken to be the people. Hence, the essence of such a transformation will make sense to them. Otherwise, violence may erupt.
According to this article, Nigeria is the highest populated country in Africa. What is her total population?
Parental Rights in the Age of AIDS
This chapter gives an account of the issues revolving around child adoption and the right of parents in the United States of America. It begins by mentioning the numerous activities in the court to deliberate on the available cases. Anna, chairperson, Panel of Florida Foster Care Citizen Review Program represents her organization in the legal cases against the Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF). The first case is about the fate of four American- Haitian children whose adoption confirmation has taken four years now. It is not clear whether they should still be fostered by the ailing Ms. Martinez or be offered to another family to care for them (Pertman, A., 2000).
The second case is about a twelve year- old boy who has suffered a lot in the hands of foster parents. After visiting different psychiatric hospitals, has been pronounced untreatable. This is due to the brutal sexual and physical abuses he had been subjected to. The third case was about the sixteen- year old girl who experienced miscarriage after being assaulted by her boy friend. The last one was about an AIDS infected mother who was denied the right to care for her children on medical grounds. All these were as a result of the inefficiencies of Anna’s organization which had failed to execute its duties diligently.
This scenario provoked mixed reactions from all the sections of this diverse society. Both the mainline religious groupings together with the African-American and the Vodou view the disease as a divine punishment exclusively reserved for the sinners. In fact, they believe that it is sent, but not acquired. This perpetuates stigmatization of the infected and affected people who may be scorned and blamed for irresponsible acts. This explains why the infected lady was denied the right of staying with her children.
Personal reactions and critique
I agree with the decision of denying Ms. Martinez the right to continue caring for the four children. Truly, her advanced age and deteriorating health can not enable her to continue giving them the right attention they require. She is too old to nurture these toddlers who really need a lot of attention especially when approaching adolescence. Instead, they need a very active person who is so energetic enough. However, this should not only be restricted to Haitian families. Even if they only speak one language, they can be adopted anywhere because children are sharp enough and can master a language so long as they are exposed to it.
At the same time, I also support Sissy for asserting that the children’s HIV status should be known. Even if it contravenes their privacy, such sensitive information can be very useful because ‘ It will help in saving the lives of the health workers, foster parents and the teachers who are dealing with them!’ An unsuspecting teacher may get infected with this disease when offering a first aid to such a child. So, they should know more about the death of their parents and their status regarding this disease. Otherwise, it can be harmful both to them and the care givers (Pertman, A., 2000).
In conclusion, I would like to strongly suggest that nobody should be discriminated because of their HIV status. Instead of misleading their followers, all the religious leaders should teach them that this disease is not God given and only affects the drug abusers, prostitutes or the homosexuals. They should accept the reality, teach about love and care for all. In the mind of Allan Brandt, AIDS does not only measure our scientific and medical skills, but also our capacity for compassion and justice.
On the same note, no one should be denied an opportunity to raise children because of their HIV status. It is upon the individuals, civil right organizations and the governments to come up with feasible strategies to eliminate stigmatization in the society. Otherwise, more victims will feel depressed, withdrawn and eventually die an unnecessary death.
Based on this case study, what steps do you think should be taken by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to ultimately resolve parental disputes?
Ogunyemi, Y. D. (2010). The oral traditions in Ifl-Ife: the Yoruba People and Their Book of
Enlightenment. Bethesda, MD: Academica Press.
Pertman, A. (2000). Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution Is Transforming America.
New York: Basic Books.