The Boko Haram insurgents have finally chased away the predominantly Christian community of Gwoza and hoisted their black and white flag in the conquered territory. Succinctly put, they have captured the Christian community of Gwoza and declared it an Islamic state. This is just the beginning. There are reports that they are transferring most of their kidnapped wives, slaves, concubines and armories from Sambissa Forest to Gwoza. The Catholic Secretariat had issued a statement claiming that the male catholic faithfuls in the town are being beheaded by the murderers while their women are being raped and forced to marry the blood suckers. This is happening at a time when a Christian by name Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Nigerian police were so lawless, they would kill for twenty naira. Words like anger do spread. Situation has changed and spread from big cities. People just get fed up of being abused for no reason. Any police that kills an innocent civilian in broad day light faces the risk of being lynched on the spot by the mob these days. Call it decency fatigue. However, courageous market women have turned against those throwing tires on hungry people stealing food and petty cash.
We have heard a great deal about America since the time of Azikiwe as God’s own country. But after the death of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, some begin to wonder. Indeed, some of our parents decided to send their children to Canada instead of United States because of the riots in the sixties. In these days of instant television and CNN International, we have seen the best and sometimes the worst of America; from the most admirable to the sickening.
The killing of African Americans by their own blacks is appalling enough. Chicago seems to be a war zone, in a weekend about thirty young black men lost their lives to gang activities. We do have our own militia in Nigeria kidnapping children, old people, political parents and most of them innocent, for ransom. A few actually make so much money, they start kidnapping their own families while others kidnap themselves by special arrangements.
America is a great and unique country, but they are not influenced by what foreigners think or say about these killings. We have recently seen a black man choked to death crying he couldn’t breathe. Another man shot to death while police claimed he thought it was a taser gun. What Americans know is more foreigners are dying to get into their country by any means than are Americans trying to get out. So if you do not like what is going on in USA, eh, love it or leave it!
Yet, we seldom see the display of war full gear by policemen as we saw in Fergusson, Missouri. If African countries have such ammunitions on display, it may have discouraged Boko Haram from challenging our Military in Borno State in Nigeria. Protesters are not criminals or terrorists, they are folks angered by the shooting down of another young man again. It happens so often and at some point, people just get sick and tired of it like Nigeria and counter with jungle justice.
Well, they claim this young man was not that innocent. He had stolen cigarettes some minutes before he was gunned down. The crime was exaggerated from shop lifting to robbery and then armed robbery. Those that want this as an excuse to gun down a young man should come out and tell us if their own children have never shop lifted. If every young man that is shop lifting in America is gunned down, there will be blood flowing in every neighborhood in America.
Nobody condones or even wants to excuse any type of crime but to justify petty crime, stealing in our markets in Nigeria or shoplifting in stores in America by killing is barbaric. In the same America, we have watched underage white kids challenged store owners to call the police. At the same time we have heard and read reports of dishing out more punishments to minority kids in grade schools – criminalization of our youths. The schools rich Nigerians send their kids.
What is even more amazing to some of us is how a crazy man was gunned down in St. Louis near Fergusson. It is not clear if people accepted it because he was crazy or because he dared the police to shoot him in any civilized society, if they can. Whatever, he shoplifted was in full display where he placed them untouched. He clearly displayed erratic behavior as the police came out of their car and they claimed he had something in his hand – we hear that all the time.
Where are the advocates for the mentally disable? This killing was even more pathetic than the one in Fergusson. Every society, even the so called primitive and uncivilized ones do recognize crazy people in their community as we see civilized and advanced country slaughter one in the broad day light. Since the seventies these civilized communities decided that mentally disable patients should live as outpatients. They must be responsibility for their healthcare, not killing.
When people are so polarized along racial lines, it gives some people the audacity and comfort to come out and write, as police. Lecturing and writing in main newspapers that anyone would be killed, if they cross them since they are willing to kill more. They know very well who they were talking to and would not dare touch one of their own without consequences they deserve. This type of killings encourage impunity from people no decent folk would condone the attitude.
Do not cloud issues. Deal with the reason police are quick to shoot and kill people of color but take all necessary precautions to keep mass killers alive. It makes one wonder if some of these police give a bad name to majority of them that are law abiding. You wonder if some shoot for ritual in their secret societies for stripes or shoot to prevent their victims from testifying against them. It is their words against that of the victims that would not be able to defend himself.
The killers are not without their supporters, even amongst the people of color in United States that have conflated the issues of unjustified and unprovoked killings with after the fact excuses, of irrational looting. The bottom line as General Powell advised is: if you are approached by the police, you cannot defend your rights on the spot. You need neutral place and courts to do that.
But then, you can still get killed. So what do African Americans tell their children OR what shall we children do?
What happens to the city ordinance that you have to live in the city to get city jobs? If you do not like the people, do not work in their cities. Young people must not only match for justice, they must match to the polling station and register to vote in spite of all obstacles put in their way to dilute their voting power. Some people elected the mayor that said there is no racial divide in Fergusson.
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Na’Abba, on Tuesday said he has been searching for job since he left the House in 2003. A member of the People’s Democratic Party, Na’Abba represented the Kano Municipal Federal Constituency of Kano State from 1999 to 2003 during the Olusegun Obasanjo regime.
He said, “In the last 11 years since I left the House of Representatives, I have been trying to find what to do. I have looked and considered various things to do professionally; I still have not come out with something. ………….” The Punch Newspapers. August 19, 2014 by Olalekan Adetayo
While the statement or the title above would sound amusing to many of us, it is however, when looked at critically, very instructive and must be of concern to Nigerians. It is a big cause for concern because, like they say “The devil finds work for the idle hands” and this applies equally to jobless politicians who do not have any job or anything to fall back on after they exit their positions and power (and whose fault, may I ask, is that?) They are therefore prone to all kind of insidious and invidious political intrigues and chicaneries, not to talk of inanities and stupidities.
It is another confirmation to us that many of our politicians and so-called leaders consider politics and political positions as lucrative career jobs, which if they lose, or do not have, they cannot survive in the society. That is one of the reasons why we have a dearth of good, sincere, honest and committed leaders whilst we have mediocre, corrupt, insincere and thieving leaders in all areas of governance and legislature in the country. It is the reason why Nigerian politics is a “do or die” affair and why many will go to extreme devilish and devious lengths to either stay in power or get to the corridors of power. By any means necessary, including the taking of lives and fetishism.
The reasons are patently and painfully obvious to us:
First, the pay is too damned good, in fact more than good, many of them earning far more than even the President of the United States earns, and for a lot less work, and mostly for no work at all; Second, there is the unfettered and virtually unrestrained opportunity to loot the treasury without being caught, and even if caught, there is no punishment. And third, the opportunity such positions create for and affords them to oppress and intimidate their own people – sirens blaring and scattering their poor people on the roads, getting private jets to travel instead of using the bad roads they have condemned their people to use, going abroad for medical treatment because they have not funded and maintained the local hospitals to adequately serve their people and of course only care about themselves and their families but not what happens to the common people who voted them in, in terms of healthcare, sending their children abroad for their education because they have plunged the local education system into an abysmal mess, and generally showing us that they are mini-gods and they hold our petty lives in their hands.
I am of the suspicion that Africans derive some kind of warped joy and satisfaction, bordering on sado-masochism, in seeing their fellow Africans oppressed and suffering. It is the African psyche, when you get to the top of the ladder, not minding how you get there, and then looking down at those at the bottom and discourage them from climbing up after you; or looking at those who are climbing already, and trying to use your superior position to push them off the ladder. It never fails.
In fact, the President, Dr Jonathan had made an observation in a short message he delivered during the first Sunday service of the year held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja in January 2014 and confirmed this suspicion of political joblessness when he said that most politicians are in politics because they were jobless. He said over 50 per cent of those who call themselves politicians today were not supposed to be in politics and that most of them opted to become politicians because they lacked any other thing they could lay their hands on.
So the questions we should be asking Na’Abba and his ilk are:
According to Abiodun Ogunseitan, Nigerian politics is like the nature of the beast. This is because Nigerian politicians only play politics with the minds of the people since it is only in Nigeria that a foreign concept allows politicians:
Hence in Nigeria, crass politicians are lying and cheating rogues that see the people as uninformed mules and dumb followers.
These are people who read speeches and make flattering statements on live TV but the fact is these are written for them by their sycophantic advisers. So therefore, these people have no clue of what they are reading or its content and measured objectives. It is just fine speeches and rhetoric for the gullible. These speeches have no meaning or value to the speaker hence they do not recall the promises made or ideology behind their speeches. Did President Jonathan not promise in his manifesto to improve power generation and distribution on resumption of office on his second term in office? Ask him again and he would prefer to talk about Boko Haram to avoid embarrassment. Our political leaders and politicians know there are no consequences for their failures. Nobody takes them to task, or asks or cares for their performance reports. Ask any minister before appointment and they would promise heaven and earth and tell you what you want to hear. Once in office, it is coffee time, looting spree and strings of girls strolling in and out of Oga at the Top’s office. These are Yes Men; paid fat toads - ineffective, inefficient, grossly incompetent and mediocre and absolutely devoid of ideas of governance; and why? Because they can and usually get away with it!
It is no wonder then that after exiting office (usually, they are forced to exit office), they are bereft of ideas on how to survive without government largesse and corruption, opportunity to steal or embezzle our money or outside political patronage. Even those of them who are well educated, (formerly) brilliant with good and higher degrees, skills, experience and abilities, eventually slump and descend into this chasm of dismal non-engagement of their brains and faculties. The lure of free and looted money, perks, wealth and power have their brains so addled and totally inoperative, that they can’t even bear the thought of going back to their former careers.
It is therefore not inconceivable or improbable that the nethermost and basest of these jobless politicians and political jobbers will fall into a life of crime after their (often) inglorious and ignominious exit from office, more often sponsoring armed robbery and drug smuggling. And of course, sponsoring and arming thugs, scheming and plotting assassination of their opponents.
Hence we should be concerned about these set of people. The devil, as they say, will always find work for the idle hands and rapacious minds of our “jobless and expired” politicians. We are seeing this manifestation every day, aren’t we?
Let the Truth be said always!!
Akintokunbo A Adejumo
It has been over twenty one days since the zero carrier of Ebola virus landed in Lagos, Nigeria. The medical team must be commended for the cautious optimism they have created with their management and treatment of Ebola patients. The regrettable cost is the few dedicated members of their team that have lost their lives in the process. If there is any place a cautious preliminary success can be recorded, it should be nowhere else but in Africa.
The reason may be obvious; Africa has the largest population of Ebola patients with antibodies in their blood serums. This is very essential for research and treatment. Lagos State was the first to reject the colloidal-silver euphoria ordered because the medical scientific community was communicating with the politicians. In a way Nigerians were lucky that Mr. Sawyer came to Lagos, it could have been worse. He could have slipped into areas not as medically proficient.
Nigeria must build on this little success on a long road to treatment and cure for Ebola, Marburg, AIDs and other viruses that have defied the world, especially those endemic in our environment. The most essential base upon which anyone can develop and produce more antibodies in large quantities must start with those that have survived the virus. Once the virus antibody is studied and understood, it can be cloned for treatment and denatured for passive vaccine.
Africans must stop this begging mentality and take the bull by the horn. There are more people in Africa with Ebola antibodies in their blood serum than anywhere in the whole world. Yet on a daily basis some African countries are trying to blackmail other countries to give experimental serum and antibodies we already have in abundance from patients that have survived Ebola.
Let us be clear. When medical scientists are talking about blood serum and antibodies, they are referring to the blood serum of those that have survived Ebola and have antibodies as a result. Nowhere in the world do we have more survivals of Ebola virus than in Africa. These Africans that have these antibodies in their blood serums are the ones being studied by all scientists just as our African medical scientists that work closely with the patients in the endemic areas.
Those of us that find this complicated must understand that vaccines are used to stimulate and develop our natural antibodies. The simplest way to put it is by introducing a dead or treated live virus that has been rendered impotent to prevent damages after series of deactivations. The process is complicated but the result is the same. The body reacts to the dead virus as if it is the real live virus and get used to producing antibodies to destroy virus like impotent vaccine.
This is how immunizations for smallpox and all the diseases were developed for which we all took shots as babies. The time and the liabilities for companies assuming responsibilities for the development of these vaccines must not be undermined but in emergency cases under which other countries are working, African medical scientists must step up because they have more patients with the blood serum and antibodies they can use, than others around the world.
Another point we must take into consideration as lay people, is the changing colors (mutation) of these viruses to evade treatment like those cockroaches that now feed on insecticide that is supposed to kill them. The best example is the influenza virus that may be contained by one of the over the counter medicine in one season only to remain stubborn to the same drug the following season.
It takes a great deal of trials in the laboratories, expenses and liabilities to finally produce anti bodies acceptable and reliable. The insurance companies are reluctant to get involved fearing law suits from the public that may bankrupt them. Government is usually the insurer of last resort. If we take all these into consideration, we may understand why the President of United States cannot force private or government research body to give experimental doses out.
This readymade treatment mentality is the same Africans exhibited in other fields. It was public knowledge that the American doctor that survived Ebola was given the blood serum of one of his patients that had survived Ebola. It is true that other antibodies developed by companies in the United States and Canada ZMapp were given. At this experimental stage, all of them might have worked and one may be more effective than the others.
Pressure must be put on the politicians to use some of the funds they are ready to spend on readymade “solutions”; on survivors of these deadly diseases and others. We cannot wait for Marburg virus and other exotic diseases to creep up on us again. It will not be the first time, the same strategy was used to treat people with SARS and the familiar Lassa fever, another viral hemorrhagic fever, like Ebola.
While we cannot blame loved ones that are desperate for the treatment of those that are sick, we must try everything we can to better the success rate in other countries. Some of the patients that were taken home to Europe died while those Nigerians receiving treatment in Lagos survived. There is no doubt that support system for the organs are critical, like dialysis machines keep the kidney’s functions, so is strengthening the immune system with good food.
We must not wait until we are sick to eat well. Don’t disturb bacteria flora colony, otherwise they are unable to check each other's growth. Other socioeconomic or psychological factors also weaken the immune system needed to fight opportunistic infections once attacked by a virus such as Ebola. When we are befallen by catastrophe, little tiny ants start climbing all over us. Those are the opportunistic infections that Doctors warn worsen the case of Ebola patients.
Colloidal Silver and Nano Silver have become the silver bullets against Ebola recently including claim of the discovery by a Nigerian. It was pleasant news compared to all the bad information we get all the time. Before we say gbosa, Nigerian Government placed order for Nano Silver from abroad. For some reasons, these African leaders think our deliverance can only come from foreign contracts, even when we have the same natural “solutions” for Ebola at home.
When Colloidal Silver and Nano-Silver were hailed as cure it sounded like compound from space to many of us. We did not even relate it to the silver in our backyard but our scientists know more than us and it is surprising that either nobody asked for their input or they were side-lined completely for another “discovery” by Christopher Columbus. This is a case of selling silver, gold and diamond for mirrors or catching fresh fish in our seas and selling it as can-tin-fish back to us.
Since ancient times, the world took advantage of Silver, diamond and gold biocompatibility for use in medicine, particularly in dentistry and for arthritis. Recently they have also claimed roles in the treatment of infectious diseases, for X-ray and arthritis at nano-scale technology.
None of these compounds is in short supply in Africa. Actually, we have them more than other continents. Traces of silver in eye drops are probably the most common use around the world. Silver nitrate was used for many years as drops in newborns' eyes to prevent blindness caused by gonorrhea, and is also used in lotions for burn victims.
Colloidal or Nano Silver gained more popularity by taking advantage of Center for Disease Control warnings regarding some bacterial infections known as super-bugs and parasitic infections that became resistant to drugs. Exploration for alternatives sent scientists back to ancient remedy of colloidal Silver which gained mixed results. Others went further and found that these silver compounds could also be effective against viruses such as Ebola and AIDS.
In the case of Nigeria, we have a PhD Zoologist as President! Some of these research scientists are of course Africans in our teaching hospitals. It is a disservice to ignore all their hard work in the African laboratories and jump to conclusion that a definite cure for Ebola has been found outside. Most chemists in African countries do prepare these so called “silver” bullets. But our Government did not ask or ignored their advice in order to pursue foreign contract as usual.
What evidence do we have that colloidal silver, silver sulfadiazine and silver nitrate work? Colloidal silver is applied to skin for acne, burns, eye infections, fungal infections, throat infections, and Staphylococcus infections. Colloidal silver if given may kill certain germs by binding to and destroying proteins and some claim by acting as magnet inside the cell’s RNA?
If that is the case, others wondered what damage the silver compounds can do to normal human cells, not just to lower animals and insects.
Colloidal silver, a mineral were once available as over-the-counter products. Though in 1997, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that colloidal silver drug products were not considered safe or effective, more scientist and natural healers have come out hailing its effectiveness in treating Lyme disease, more bacteria and virus infections. The same way Prof. Iwu has claimed that bitter cola-nuts is effective against Ebola.
Many of us react differently to different drugs. Some people that cannot get relief from normal medication may search for untraditional means to cure their ailments. This is why Colloidal or Nano Silver is used to treat infections due to yeast; bacteria as tuberculosis, Lyme disease, bubonic plague, pneumonia, leprosy, gonorrhea, syphilis, scarlet fever, stomach ulcers, cholera plus parasites as ringworm, malaria and viruses as HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles, wart.
Some people would go further and use silver compounds for just about anything when they feel other medications have failed, including treatment of Ebola, cancer, emphysema, inflammation of the bladder, skin conditions, bronchitis, prostate, colon, nose, stomach, tonsils, appendix and sinuses. Or diabetes, arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, leukemia, hay fever and other allergies, trench foot, and gum disease. It does not mean Silver is a bullet for each of these!
Colloidal silver is a mineral. Despite promoters’ claims, silver has no known function in the body and it is not an essential mineral supplement. It is not for use in humans but good as insecticide. Use can lead to an irreversible bluish skin discoloration in light skin folks that may first appear in the gums. It can also stimulate melanin production in skin, and areas exposed to the sun will become gradually discolored.
This condition is called Argyria in some humans, which occur in people who eat or breathe in silver compounds taken as medication in grams of small doses over several months or over a long period of time. The silver in colloidal silver products gets deposited in vital organs such as the skin, liver, spleen, kidney, muscle, and brain.
“Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Colloidal silver is not safe when taken by mouth, applied to the skin or injected intravenously. Increased silver levels in pregnant women have been linked to abnormal development of the ear, face, and neck in their babies. Colloidal silver supplements can also lead to silver accumulation in the body an irreversible bluish skin discoloration known as argyria. Silver can also be deposited in vital organs, where it does serious damage.”
Abia State is not in commotion for now. But the heat of the 2015 elections in the state may be assuming an excruciating direction owing to interests, not of this present government, but of outsiders and antagonistic politicians.
We Abia people must do everything within our powers to mature our minds, our habits and words, so that we do not plunge the state into a somewhat Iraq, Afghanistan and other warring places or be deceived into actions of ruinous tendencies.
Rioting and wars are never the best ways to settle issues in a democracy. This is why everywhere in the world people are in quest for a democratic government. Countries need democracy because we all need peace in our homes, places of work and in the entire world.
The peace we want to see in the world must begin with each of us in Abia State, before the enlarged villages and towns and state we respectively come from. Peace is not elusive; it is meant for us to find it, accept it and take it to anywhere we want, but especially around Abia State.
Peace and tranquility in our state is essential for posterity. Some perceived quarters are not better than the other, likewise those perceived as bad are not worst than the other. This is life and we must accept the world of peace than a world of tumultuous happenings.
Peace is the primary objective of any government in the world and we have been working in that line; we want peace and we must get enough of it instead of the redundant heating up of Abia State by certain interests.
There are many hazards and frustrations in the country already that we do not need more to envelope us. There is an end to everything and that end will not come from the blues, it is meant to come from us. In a society there is bound to be friction and divergent views to things, but like the Americans would always say, ‘what unites us is greater than what divides us’.
This is the spirit all Abia people and residents alike should imbibe and resonate with the mindset that our state is greater than any individual or group and that we have no other state than Abia State to call ours.
Even if the state is divided today according to the constitution, those of us that will find ourselves elsewhere will continue to be part and parcel of the Igbo project, of which Abia State is part of that project.
Much more loudly than we had expected, wars and riots bring endless ruins than they bring the peace the partakers had thought they will bring. It is time we Abia people made a life changing features that will benefit our state instead of unsheathing the swords and spears that clearly can damage our collective aspirations.
2015 is a period the youth have to tell our fathers that there is hope for the future by conducting themselves and not wallowing in acts of violence and petty crimes that do not lead any given people to anywhere in the world. 2015 is a time the youth have to be campaigning for peace and asking anybody they come in contact with if they want peace. Peace and tranquility can never occupy the negative side of history. We do not need to kill ourselves, because of the 2015 elections before we can begin to speak of peace and be peaceful ourselves.
Our people should see peace as something internal and not external; we cannot get it from a far land than within us no matter the standards, certainties and uncertainties and institutions we have set for our individual selves.
Peace is something that has to do with fact not fiction. It is essential that we always remembered that line of thought that always tells us that we can make peace; we can live peacefully and see our state through the soul of our children and ourselves than seeing it through the lens of over-zealousness, bigotry, division, hatred, over ambition and what have you. Peace and tranquility are the ultimate safety that we need for a peaceful transition in 2015.
Nkwachukwu is an Aba-based civil engineer
Ebola pandemic has silver lining. Renew general cleanliness learned in primary school (Imototo). We are not helpless, daily cleaning and maintenance has eluded us for a long time since health inspectors have been decommissioned. Those that are too young to remember may ask their parents. Gutters on the streets and inside our homes were inspected to make sure there was no breeding stagnant water for mosquitoes. Actually, it prevented other bacteria and parasites.
Nigerians can make business out of anything, which is why it is surprising that the Country is not the richest in the world. All of a sudden because of Ebola fake and borderline effective products sprung up. People were even reluctant to shake hands and if they do, would wash their hands immediately. Many types of designer water came out apart from Sapele water, prayer and holy water that are different but good for Holy Ghost. We need more than prayers right now.
This sudden consciousness is not amongst the people on the streets alone. European, American and African hospitals knew the rate of reinfection during patients stay was too high to be proud of and totally unacceptable. Studies indicated that simple hand washing as often as possible in hospitals cut down dramatically the rate of patients’ reinfections. That is why you find in most reputable hospitals around the world, sanitizers on all walls within reasonable distance.
Apart from generators, our hospitals spend good money out of their budget buying portable water, even for operations. It is so disgraceful, many cannot mention it in any civil gathering. When some physicians and nurses say it, some of us out of shame deny it and contradict them as if they are lying. What is there to lie about since that is the condition they have to work in?
Clean water has become a luxury and most people in Africa, including the rich, have no access to running water in their homes. Indeed, young men and women, having their own children claim they cannot remember anytime their Country had running water. This is sad because of the number of diseases we can prevent, or do not have to deal with, like Ebola, influenza, river blindness and environmental poisoning like lead, mercury, arsenic and many more.
The point here is that we cannot overemphasize the need for safe water in our environment. The rich only solve half of the problem and may be even getting into more trouble with their boreholes at the back of the house and suck-away in the front of the house. Too close for comfort and contamination. The basis of health must include clean drinking water and enough to wash and clean in the house. Frequent washing of hands in this case is not compulsive habit.
How we exchange BODILY FLIUD? Think we already know when and how to WASH OUR HANDS. •Before, during, and after preparing food. More so at Mama-put-E and restaurants •Before and after eating food •Before and after caring for someone who is sick •Before and after treating a cut or wound •After using the toilet wash both hands •After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet •After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing into your arm or napkin •After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste even with gloves •After touching garbage For more see CDC guidelines
These are simple habits we were taught in primary schools while growing up. We prioritize money for everything we cannot maintain but very little for what we can easily do ourselves. Nobody claims that sometimes politicians and administrators are not overwhelmed, but they have to do much more than what steal money for foreign countries that take care of their people and sanitize the environment. Sanitation day is a step in the right direction.
It is even more important about the food we eat. Africans generally like well-cooked or well-done food. Others eat rare or uncooked fish or meat. One of our young men got sick with unspecified illness and his kidney almost failed. He had to go on dialysis for a while before he finally recovered. Cutting a long story short, he had a habit of eating sushi, Japanese delicacy of uncooked fish and rice dipped in green paper, with his friends.
Chinekeme, see me see trouble. The mum and dad eat bokoto, edo, saki, sawa, panla, orisirisi in edikaiekong with pounded yam or suya. But these young people are grownups, many with their own money. They claimed their parents eat worse food than them as (bush meat) wild animals without knowing source of preparation. It is true that some undomesticated animals do carry exotic diseases. They have to be carefully avoided or make sure, we cook them “dead” again.
Many of us do not eat dogs as some eat lokili (bigger dog) but hate okete (bush rat), others hate pig a delicacy for many. Monkeys and fruit bats in thick forests carry Ebola virus, but few people dare eat. Situations change in the face of hunger, wild meats could be deadly. Other religious folks eat halal or kosher meat. Few that dislikes pig love ham, sausage and bacon only on a fly!
Better to be saved than be sorry or dead. Chickens carry some deadly bacteria, without health and farm inspectors many businesses would rather sell them to unsuspecting consumers than destroy them. They are not covered by private or government insurance and they have to make a profit and pay their employee. Consumers are the last destination of these foods. So what you do with your food depends on you. So is birds’ avian flu virus. Restaurant hopping is a new story.
Let us hope we learn from this Ebola pandemic especially in African countries. Prevention is always better and cheaper than cure, unless we practice what we preach, another disaster may be around the corner.
Ebola has stopped foreign voyages that impede our local discoveries. If by misfortune, omission or commission looters fall sick in Africa, dying or in comma; you could have bet your house that arrangement was completed for them to catch their last breath at Queen’s or King’s hospital in the western world. Ebola has denied them place of death proudly displaced on their obituaries.
Africans are mad. Oh they are mad that Americans know about a cure for a disease that did not manifest in their cold environment but bred in the warm environment of the African countries and kept the a few cures for their own. Until we develop a unique way of learning what will enable our scientists to come up with discoveries that improve the lives of common man, we may never find a cure for Ebola, other viruses, bacteria and parasitic illness in our environment.
If no be me na who God go save first!
Yes, the death of a top Sierra Leone’s virologist from treating folks’ Ebola was very hard to take. When others find miracle cures in their environment and laboratory, we want it shared with us before they give to their people. But we spend our money in hedonic celebrations of personal stolen wealth, hope for churches and mosques miracles. Yet, helpless as Boko Haram persecute our kaferi, agnostics and unbelievers that could pursue and concentrate their efforts in turning myths into science, witch craft into discovery and star wars into reality like western continents.
When we talk about giving due respect to the dead, we mean the evil that men do lives after them especially those whose thugs, militias and religious fanatics bombed hundreds of people as if they were ants and insects deserving insecticides. Not even cats and dogs body parts should be blown helter skater across the street and left uncared for like Ebola bodies. The worst of it is that their deaths are reminder of ongoing carnage and how susceptible we are.
As humans we give due respect to the dead, but not to those whose policies and individual greed killed babies, children and mothers suffering from preventable diseases that could not be taken care of in clinics and health centers by nurses, community health officers (physician assistants) and primary care doctors. The cost of taking care of one untreatable dying politician can provide for hundreds of these patients and prevent or cure Ebola in Africa since 1976.
Africa has not moved or joined even the rich Asian Tigers poorer than us before independence. It is a noble gesture to honor Africans internationally for innovations, discoveries if they uplift their countries from grass to grace and from poverty to riches. No matter how well intentioned the economic theory in terms of structural adjustment, of so called emerging markets, if the lives of the average African is still in the ditch or slums and only a few can afford medical tourism while dying, local initiatives and discovery of cures will be slow.
Now their bodies would be rejected for fear of Ebola. Before the young African generation bark at us, the fault here is squarely put on the back of our award and praise seekers for validation. Not on those that are rightly working on their own interest and would cure their Ebola patients before ours. Otherwise, our looters would be found dead only in foreign hospitals so that their children, on their only and last visit for burial can display Queen Hospital on obituary in Nigeria.
Some of the big tasks African independent fighters had to prioritize were education, primary healthcare, food and shelter. Included in the healthcare was prevention and cure of diseases so that our population can live fully. At no point could our pioneer leaders envisage the type of selfish vagabonds that lead us today. They are so ignorant; they even bite their own fingers and forgot the generosity of the past leaders that gave free education and brought them to power.
How many awards did Nkrumah and Lumumba get from foreign countries? Yet by any objective calculation of accomplishments, the two remain the greatest Africans that suffered humiliation from the indirect hands of African oppressors, unbowed. People forget that Mugabe got praises and many awards while courted by western countries. As they procrastinate on promises to hand over people's land to their rightful owners, Mugabe became impatient with the timetable.
Needless to say, Mugabe became pariah but could not be discarded as Nkrumah and Lumumba. All the awards, praises and celebrations stopped while economic sanctions reduced his Country to super inflated Zimbabwe dollars. Before that it was Mwalimu Nyerere’s Ujama that was castrated in Tanzania for trying to be economically independent. That is a lesson about awards.
The children of Adedibu, Arekunsola, Umaru Dikko and other miscreants must hear us loud and clear, that their dead parents stole Ebola cure while stealing us blind to provide for them as we toiled. Take a good look at those paying them condolence visits; you will see the birds of the same feathers that became our President at one point or the other. If these are the type of people we could muster as leaders, it is an indication of how low we have degenerated morally.
If there is a place called heaven Dora Akunyili would refuse to be associated with the vagabonds even in death. The way she was going, Ebola cure could have been encouraged. Going downhill a long time ago, Senate forgave looters in their midst like Okadigbo and fraud in the House like Buhari and Madam Etteh as if it was their own money. The curses of Ebola dead, of the weak and old that should have been cared for, with the money they stole should be on their heads.
Leaders that aggrandize common thugs deserve the worst punishment the people in revolt can administer for turning the richest continent full of milk and honey into that of Ebola and sour grapes.
What is the connection between foul corps of looters, Ebola and Boko Haram? Chasing calamity we could have prevented. We always have heated discussions about how our African professors training medical students have failed us since our medical schools rated below world standard. We glorify international hospitals that rejected rich and famous corpses aggrandized back home, to vilify standard that could have prevented Ebola or anticipated Boko Haram daily dead bodies.
United States have imported Ebola virus afflicting their own citizens to save only two valued lives. Africans cannot expect U.S to fly them in too. We do not have to be a Tola of all trade and master of nothing. We have diseases in our environment we failed to specialize or train for ages.
It is better to explore what we already have and might have worked for a few than to sit on our hands waiting for miracle from heavens or western countries. The concept is a step in the right direction. U.S. Center for Disease control is working on vaccine. A serum that is now cloned for treatment is based on some plants, probably from Africa. Of course we’ll see false starts. Efforts on Ebola cure by Pro. Maurice Iwu, an ethnophamacology with bitter cola-nuts, was a sham.
Each of the African countries is now barring one another from crossing through porous borders into territories as if border cousins care. Mobilize public health information by health aides and educated traditional workers; integrate it with diseases as AIDS infectious only through bodily fluid and bodies must be abandoned on the streets: call local councils. Opportunist, preachers, or witch doctors commercializing it, must be warned that aberration will be severely dealt with.
Since 1976, Ebola was noted or discovered in East Africa. As soon as world organizations came and helped us contain it, African politicians went to sleep and continued wasting our resources on prestigious projects and wars that have no meaning to the increasing poor. Instead created a fertile ground for recruitment by militias like Boko Haram, some called the brother of al Qaeda, resulting in preventable deaths, wounded and broken hearts. If it is not Boko Haram, it is Ebola.
Before we condemn everyone, we must give due respect to African medical pioneers that killed small pox, saw Ebola, Cholera, Onchocerciasis, other viruses, bacteria and parasitic diseases. Instead of arguing about world and international standards, Africans like Adeniyi Jones, Olikoye Kuti and Adeoye Lambo, others too many to mention argued for standard that could have made us experts at least in our endemic area. They did not call it local standard but it was obvious.
Our problem is not banning dead bodies of Ebola we know but hug with open arms or kiss dead bodies of plunderers we know little about since we are more interested in aggrandizement even in death and replication of standards that are unsustainable. No matter the cost, when we acquire prestigious device, we buy and discard, never use and maintain. Such culture of neglect cannot support international standard we yearn so much. Even little Cuba trains good doctors.
Our medical students and graduates cannot compete with international medical students that are trained for their local diseases. Today acupuncture is internationally accepted and Chinese medical professors are invited worldwide to train European and American medical students. Indeed, it would be strange to graduate from Chinese Medical schools without acupuncture. But it is acceptable for our students to graduate without any training in traditional medicine.
Oh, they always pay lip service to inclusion of traditional medicine in the curriculum of schools but the conservative British trained physicians and teachers would not let it stand. At the same time, some of them are children of Babalawo that personalize their knowledge, sell the father’s combination of herbs to their patients selfishly without publishing them in medical journals for others to learn and repeat in separate laboratories. Recall snow as example in physics in Africa.
There are some academic looters looking for grants. Prof. Isaiah Ibeh, Dean of Basic Medical Sciences University of Benin, also claimed to have found AIDS cure until he was denounced by his colleagues. Gen. Malu even vouched for Doctor Abalaka's treatment of soldiers. So was Kofi Kankam, Sefwi-Boako Herbalist, in Western Ghana. All claims for AIDS cure so far are elusive.
There are so many traditional remedies that the schools of pharmacies should have studied for their efficacy and regulated by dosage while eliminating impurities in their laboratories. There is nothing about Bunsen burner or Petri dish that cannot be locally replicated or even improved on. Take dialysis machine for example, it has changed so much over the years that if you trained ten years ago, one would have to go back to school again. It’s enough time for local replication.
If Africans cannot boast of international standard, we can be known as world experts in tropical diseases. So many African students trained in Europe and American universities are specialists in their fields. Most of the old universities teaching hospitals in Nigeria have first class and fully equipped specialist wards at the top of their hospitals that many of the looter’s corps sent back home, refused to patronize. That is after spending so much on equipment and specialists.
Africans always complain about the lack of equipment and international standard laboratories in our schools. As long as we want their standard, we will never be well equipped. Africa has the biggest laboratory in the world for field study in infectious diseases. This is an advantage we refuse to take into account, but widely used by world scientists during their summer vacations to update and learn more about infectious disease. Ours learn standard to abscond abroad.
We can seek cooperation from outside just as outsiders can seek our cooperation in solving endemic problem but relying on outsiders to develop cure for our tropical diseases that we are more familiar with, is no different from children begging others for food on European and American television. After these years, Nigeria should be able to demonstrate some discoveries.
This is not the time for Africans to start feeling sorry for themselves waiting for help. They must push politicians into action for this outbreak and future one, so that they do not react after the fact. They must be proactive and willing to show diligence.