Have you ever heard of the word Élèwé òmó? It is a Yoruba word which means “One with herbs for children.” Élèwé ómó practitioners are found in popular markets in South Western Nigeria.
I have also seen them in the markets South-South, South East, and Northern Nigeria. They always parade themselves as spiritual healers, seers, or medical doctors.
Though they may bear a different name, they have similar motives-which is to extort mainly traders, give them fake medicines (including orthodox drugs) which they always claim cures all diseases including cancer, infertility and blindness, parade themselves as medical practitioners(doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab scientists all rolled into one) and in the long run worsen the medical conditions of their unsuspecting victims.
Surprisingly, they have a very strong association called the ELEWEOMO OJO-ALAWORO ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA. This association is NOT registered by the government.
A Twitter user who goes by the name @officialAKOREDE™ shares a shocking personal experience with an Élèwé ómó practitioner called INNOCENT ESTHER who parades herself as a medical doctor and extorts unsuspecting market women of their hard earned money.
Read his story below…. ..
I have a sad gist about fake people who parade themselves as medical practitioners hence duping ignorant people of their cash. It happened today in my presence and I would tell you all how I handled the situation the best way I could.
Here is the gist….
So this afternoon I was waiting for a friend in front of this post service housing estate in Ojo ,while waiting I saw a woman pointing a thermometer to some elderly women breasts and she was collecting money from each of them.
I was surprised at first but I decided to hang on.
So as to see what the whole situation was all about. when she was done with a particular woman, I called the elderly woman to explain what was going on and she said “ the woman uses the machine to check everything in their body including breast cancer and blood pressure etc
I was outraged to be honest because this machine as she said is just a thermometer used in checking body temperature but the woman knows they were not educated and all that so she has an Advantage over them , she collects money from them and here is the breakdown.
She collect 200 daily for test and 10, 000 Naira for the drug she claims would solve their issues. The 10,000 Naira is paid installmentally meaning they pay 1500 per day. These women sell vegetables by roadside and I’m sure they drop all their daily profits.
Initially to be honest i didn’t want to intervene, just wanted to mind my business but i realized that i would be doing more good than harm if I intervened so I took a bold step and politely called the so called medical practitioner to a corner ….
With a straight face which I don’t know where the courage came from, I asked her to identify her said and she said she is a medical practitioner .. she brought out an ID card which you would see below.. I didn’t bother anymore to enquirer both the ID card so I went straight to..the point.
I asked her why she was scamming and extorting people of their money and that if she doesn’t leave , I would make everyone know what she is doing to them. I wanted her to leave then I would tell the women not to patronize her anymore but she flared up instead..
She told me she would call the police that I’m trying to harass her, I told her to call probably we would see who would be arrested in the long run.. she claimed she sells drug and it works and all that, while all that were going on, my friend came by and I explained to him..
I told him I wanted the woman to return the money to the elderly women. I rallied all the women present there ,explained to them what the machine is actually for and the damage the woman has been doing to them then I asked for the so called drug she sells to them for 10,000 Naira.
The women were all sad and filled with regrets ..many have paid the whole 10,000 Naira to her for the drug but i told them to chill , as I was about to meet the woman, she took the next available bus and ran away.
I tried as much as I could to calm the women down because they don’t take enough money home because she claims if they don’t use it,their legs might get swollen and high blood pressure hence this women struggled daily to meet up the #1500 ..see how they were lamenting below after she ran away..blurred for safety purpose so just listen above.
As you can see , all she sells for them is tea, I think it’s Lipton because most people don’t know what really inside the tea bag or it’s moringa…I really don’t know. Another reason I knew she was a scam was that,she never gave them her number but she collected their number and so she won’t be tracked because she doesn’t call even call them, she just comes daily to collect money from them, another reason again is the tge drugs aren’t labeled or with any Nafdac number ,just plain white plastic as you can see above and below.
Well she escaped but I advised the women to go to the nearby LASU clinic when they have any issues and I’m sure she won’t come there again.
I hope this message goes round please let’s educate our Elderly ones that we know aren’t literate, they are easy to manipulate by these individuals because they don’t really have an understanding of all this .
If we can do this , such people won’t see a market to thrive and hence reduce the rate of this fake medical practitioner who spoil the image of the profession and also endanger lives of many people.
Kindly educate anyone you see not to patronize such people or better still go advise the elderly ones to go to registered hospitals at regular intervals, most of them can’t see this tweet but it’s left for you to retweet because you never know who you are indirectly helping.
Please note that these persons are different from the usual traditional medicine practitioners in Nigeria. These so called natural healers are scammers and the government needs to check them.
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