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Africa has nothing, but God will help her!

Published by The Nation on Sun, 05 Apr 2020


Oyinkan MedubiEven now, there are no heroes driving the fight against this virus in Nigeria. In Africa generally, the peoples welfare is left, by the design of her leaders, in the hands of the Almighty. This is so entrenched in our thought system that we even have an expression for it: God will help us.We are still in the midst of the pandemic called COVID-19. We are still watching the entire world fight this invisible enemy. I know just how the world feels. I think Dr. Goodluck Jonathan went ahead of us there. Remember when Boko Haram first burst on the scene and everyone was mad at him for not immediately taking up his bow and arrow and hurling himself after them' Remember what he said' He said, and I quote, How can you fight an enemy you cant see' So, I thoroughly understand the frustration of the world right now as people grasp at straws and nibble at pin-head hopes and mutter, how can you fight an enemy you cant see'I mean, here we are, spending perhaps the second or third week in home invasion. Oh yes, its the parents that are now invading their own homes and the privacy of their children. Well, when you remember that normally, the parents are out and the children are in, you will know that things are very unnatural indeed. Parents are now getting to know their children truly as the ogres they are. Next time they are told that their children did something, I dont think theyll be too quick to say No, not my child. They are now seeing firsthand how nimbly their childrens minds can turn chief to mischief, treat to mistreat and hang the cat on the line by the tail to dry. Children too are now getting to see that their parents are not the avatars they have taken them for; but are rather very generously endowed with innumerable stupidities and plenty of Achilles heels.Reason' Because we must all still cower in our various homes, with the curtains drawn, while Mr. Coronavirus walks the streets freely, hat at a jaunty angle. It is a little like the western cowboys stories, isnt it' When the bad shooter comes into town, everyone shuts their doors and windows and lungs. No one must hear them breathe. Oh yes, you do sometimes get the unreasonable ones who insist on meeting the bad shooter at their peril.I have posts of such unreasonable people, who left their homes for no good reason, being chased around in order to corral them for their own good. One such had the police, mounted on motorcycles, chasing him round and round as he gave them the run around. In Nigeria, there were those being slapped, frog-jumped or had guns pointed at them by uniformed men, all in a bid to prevent them from wandering around.You know, I had always wondered why lawyers are richer than doctors. I mean, here are doctors who literally hold peoples lives in their hands and holding near-empty pockets. I once heard a doctor tell an argumentative fellow, look, all I have to do is give you one injection, and youll sleep and not wake up again. All arguments ceased from that point. That power notwithstanding, when they treat a patient, the doctors fees are, by the nature of their accomplishments, negligible. Rather, they get all the blame when things go wrong.On the other hand, lawyers command outrageously high fees because they hold peoples freedom in their hands. Thats why it appears that many people cannot determine now which is worse, the coronavirus or the loss of their freedom. They are straining at the stay-at-home order so badly they dont mind risking being frog-jumped, slapped or even shot at. Strangely though, I havent heard that anyone has taken the government to court for attempting to save his life by tampering with his/her freedom to roam. Hmmm!I am told that the fee commanded by lawyers is nothing compared to that commanded by footballers. I said, come on, people! I have a post where one notable doctor asked the government in irritation to rather ask the footballers that are paid hundreds of millions to come and treat coronavirus patients! But this was not in Nigeria. From talks in the western media, you would think that doctors/nurses/hospital workers were the real avatars! However, will this translate to better appreciation after coronavirus' I doubt it. Let all the dust settle and youll see what I mean. The rhetoric will automatically reset to default thinking: everyone was doing his/her job!One lesson most people have been claiming they have learnt so far is that life is in the hands of God. I mean, people always cite the fact that the health system in the western worldUSA, UK, France, etc.with all its sophistication and power, is presently unable to cope with the magnitude of the pandemic. Over the centuries, the west has carefully built up its monetary, political and health systems to a super efficient level.So confident was the west indeed, that when the virus first struck, the people were relaxed. Come on, the hospitals were there, the doctors were there, they were the best in the world, and so on. I was also confident for them. I thought, come on, all that President Trump needed to do when he sighted the virus was to have shouted, What the hell'! Where is that almighty nuclear button' Now, look what has gone and happened: the coronavirus has made nonsense of everything: hospitals, doctors, nuclear buttons, in short, the entire armoury of the western world.Africa, on the other hand, has nothingno health system (many people still depend on agbo, the traditional medicinal drink), no notable number of doctors (most of the trained ones have gone to the west) and no hospitals (many of the buildings are mere shells). It is not that we cannot have these good systems too; it is that we do not have the leaders who can deliver good changes.Even now, there are no heroes driving the fight against this virus in Nigeria. In Africa generally, the peoples welfare is left, by the design of her leaders, in the hands of the Almighty. This is so entrenched in our thought system that we even have an expression for it: God will help us. This is why we have no hospitals and other things.Imagine, I saw posts where fumigation was being done in different parts of the world. In Turkey, Italy, US, UK, and so on, the very streets were soaked in layers and layers of foam to kill the virus and all its offspring, should it think to procreate. In Nigeria, the story was different. A truck that looked suspicious like one used to evacuate stuff from the you-know-where was used, and with nothing significant coming out, just air that raised dust. It looked like it was done purposely for the media. God will help us.Things are so bad with Africa that everyone is afraid for her, should this coronavirus relocate here. There is another post in which some French doctors were said to have suggested that Africa should be the testing ground for a new coronavirus vaccine, whenever it is developed. Some people took umbrage at that but I am a lot more practical.These people know that Africa has no health system or any system. If the coronavirus were to find home here, it would be a massacre worse than Noahs flood. Without adequate doctors, hospitals, nurses, drugs, masks, respirators, beds, and even agbo, every single African would be a sitting duck. Those doctors know better, and their suggestion might have more altruistic purposes than insulting ones. In other words, if they dont look out for us, who will' Our leaders' Just saying. Like I always say, God must help us, one way or another.
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