Today, am determined to speak the agonizing truth which would involve opening some sensitive issues. It’s high time certain things were put in proper order.
Am sure many humans that can distinguish right from wrong know of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). If basic hygiene was unimportant for some, it certainly isn’t anymore! In my home, right from time, my mom has been the extremely hygienic one. Without being self-righteous, I make bold to declare myself to be reasonably hygienic. Yet, before now, I saw my mom’s hygiene crusade as riding overdrive. However, not anymore! Washing my hands IMMEDIATELY I return from ANY journey is now for me second nature. Now, handymen come over to do some work, we clean whatever they’ve touched. It’s not just my family or me that have boosted their hygiene level. Sanitizers’ now accompany people . Handshaking is avoided , hugging, prohibited . In my country, we are even advised to avoid crowded areas. Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan , the Minister of Health , Minister of Information , other cabinet members and Presidential aides, as well as concerned private Nigerians, have helped spread the word on Ebola, albeit belatedly.
Since January this year, those at the helm of affairs in Nigeria had received word on a lurking danger. Unfortunately, as it is with almost everything Nigerian, the authorities took no proactive action. It was just assumed that Nigeria was a no-go for Ebola. While a few African countries did the needful in managing or preventing (entry of) Ebola (e.g closing their borders), our ‘leaders’ decided to ‘wait out’ the problem. They hesitated to take precise, quick and sufficient measures. Could this be an evidence of the self-centeredness our leaders have been charged with in the people’s court ? Whatever, despite the delay, at least to some extent, the Federal Government working in tandem with Lagos State Government has been able to check-mate the spread of Ebola. But is it yet Uhuru ? Is it time to ‘transform’ into partying as usual?
Saturday January 24, 2014, Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria held a program, supporting President Goodluck Jonathan. Oh, how lovely of them to encourage and support our President. Oh, how lovely. But was the timing right or were they insensitive? Did TAN know that sequel to the outbreak of Ebola, governments had – rightly so – advised Nigerians to avoid crowded gatherings? Was it auspicious then to go ahead with the Ibadan event at such a time ? Were they sending a reminder that nothing had changed since Mr. President’s audacious ‘ball dancing’ in Kano as if celebrating the premiere of a Chibok Blockbuster Horror (BH) Film? Never mind that the entire holocaust styled Boko Haram (BH) is still looming large. Undoubtedly Nigeria’s most intractable and horrid hydra-headed monster which has made life in the last two years at least an annus horriribilis, BH is waxing stronger, carving out a straitly fortified Republic within the fabrics of a bigger but weaker Republic of Nigeria. Does a time like this call for sobriety or is it time for pageantry instead?
A simple question then, I ask: What do you call someone who knows what to do and doesn’t do it? No, such one isn’t just ignorant, but wicked! In collaborating with the Federal Government to bring a mass of people together ostensibly to plead with Mr. Jonathan to run for a second term, TAN betrayed its wickedness. To promote the ambition of one man, they invited innocent Nigerians to defy the risk of contracting and spreading the deadly Ebola. For all the government officials and the PDP loyalists at the event, they behaved true to type – say one thing, do another; speak from both sides of the mouth. To prove he’s proudly a two-faced government official, on the news of Monday 28th August, 2014, the Minister of health announced that schools (elementary and high) shouldn’t resume till next month (Oct). His reason was, since a lot of “mingling” (in his words) occurs in schools, Ebola can easily be transferred…. He also added, “Those who want to have parties should put their parties on hold…” So the Minister knows these? Yet, the government he belongs to is endorsing and actively participating in TAN rallies. Furthermore, news has it that Ebola has found habitat in Port Harcourt, the state where TAN plans to hold its next ‘support’ program.
For over three months, some of ours have been facing monstrous torture (physically and psychologically) and those who as leaders ought to sympathize with them are gallivanting! How unfortunate! And to think that the Chibok girls’ still in Boko Haram’s laire would have been counting on their President and his forces to rescue them. Instead, like everything Nigerian, they’ve faded out and another has taken their place – Ebola. And once Ebola goes, another takes its place – the Nigerian trend.
A Sunday ago, my mom, in her sermon, imaginatively painted a vivid picture of the gruesome and horrible torture these girls must be facing. Months ago, a girl who escaped Boko Haram’s camp explained her ordeal: raped by 15 men, 15 times daily! For crying out loud, these girls are children, the youngest being just about 13 years old. It’s hard and upsetting to imagine a 13-year old being raped by not one, but 15 men, not once, but severally. And these gallivants can’t just put themselves in the shoes of these children? Assuming it was their own blood, would they party or be sober? It’s obvious that until our leaders become sober, Nigeria and Nigerians will suffer. But I sincerely pray not.
More than anything else, these girls’ need our prayers and support. And to the organisers of the campaign, may I ask why the campaign seems to have lost steam? Were they playing politics too? I feel for these girls but I know one thing for sure: Jesus bled for them and they needn’t suffer again. He will save them, and that in spite of man’s failure, in Jesus name.