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30 Jul 2017


By David Mzer

Records released by the Oracle Business Limited Foundation have indicated that it expended over N150 million on the treatment of snake bite victims from 2013 till date.
The records indicate that 579 people from 14 local government areas in Benue State and one from Nasarawa State have benefitted from the initiative.
Coordinator of the Snake Bite Treatment Scheme of the Foundation who released the documents, Evangelist Daniel Unongo, said the beneficiaries are indigenes of Guma, Makurdi, Gwer, Gwer West, Tarka, Buruku, Gboko, Konshisha, Ushongo, Oju, Logo, Ukum, Kwande, Apa, in Benue, and Obi in Nasarawa State.
He stated that several students from the Benue State University whose local governments of origin could not be ascertained were also treated during the period under review.
The initiative is part of the services which the foundation renders under its three-fold agenda of redemptive, restorative and reformative commission.
Governor Samuel Ortom, founder of the foundation received the inspiration for its establishment in 2004 as part of his Christian help ministry to cater for prison inmates, widows, orphans and the vulnerable as well as support the preaching of the gospel.
The foundation has to respond to the challenge of snake bites which persists mostly in the rural environment where most victims are unable to pay the expensive bills for treatment and therefore, subsequently die.
It costs from thousands to over a million naira to treat a victim depending on the type of snake and severity of the case.
It is noteworthy that most of those who benefited from the treatment have survived.
As a result of the rampant nature of the cases the foundation has retained the services of Bishop Murray Medical Centre and Rahama Hospital in Makurdi for treatment of victims from various parts of the state.
The most spectacular case of survival by a beneficiary has been that of Mrs. Ngufan Iorbee from Kaseyo in Guma local government area who in the course of treatment gave birth to twins and survived with the children after the foundation expended over N560, 000 on her case.
Mr. Mnega Yenge, father of Terseer, a survivor from Tarka local government area came with his family to Makurdi to express appreciation to the Foundation for the treatment of his son who he said otherwise would have died because he could not have afforded the N228, 000 that was spent on the treatment in February 2015.
Mr. innocent Mayange, from Gwer local government area, stated that his younger brother, Terfa Mayange, was a beneficiary of the Oracle Foundation Snakebite Treatment Scheme initiated by Governor Ortom.
He said a snake had bitten the 25 year old man in the farm and that when he was rushed to the Bishop Murray Medical Centre, Makurdi the hospital demanded a deposit of N200, 000.
My Mayange stated that he did not have the money which prompted him to contact Barrister Micheal Gusa, now Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, who placed a call to the former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment who immediately directed that the victim be treated on his bill.
According to him the young man recovered after the foundation expended over N230, 000 on his treatment.
From the foregoing, those alleging that Governor Ortom has a snake farm are mischievous and most uncharitable to him to say the least.
The Oracle conglomerate has never had a history of owning a snake farm but rather that of saving the life of snakebite victims.
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