(By Odeyemi Afis Olawale)
“Anywhere you turn today, the fear of Ebola was palpable. The young as well as the old had nothing else to discuss, but Ebola and its possible cure; even in the light of insurgencies in the north, kidnapping in the south and the political fuss within the Nigerian community. Little wonder the much circulated bitter cola and salt water therapies, among other possible cures. Thank goodness, the Nigerian government rose swiftly by making sure the killer disease was decisively eliminated from it region“.
Practically, the Ebola virus disease has so far been decisively curtailed; yet it was not without a fierce battle by the Nigerian government under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Consequently, we shouldn’t forget in a hurry its eerie pang, in other words; its adverse effect on the Nigerians integrity, so much that we would go to sleep while our roof is on fire.
This is so important because the natural outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD), known formally, Ebola hemorrhagic fever has taken its toll on man, while threatening his freedom to existence. It is as though it was the first of a disease to ravage the human race. The popularity accorded the said virus became too large than it was necessary as it became the focus point of discussion in every household. The media was not spared either, as pages upon pages of national dailies centers on this popular disease. A brief history shows that the Ebola virus disease, a severe, often fatal illness in human having a case fatality rate of up to 90%, with outbreaks occurring primarily in remote villages in Central and West African countries is transmittable to human from wild animals, spreading to the human population through human-to-human conduction, while fruit bats of the Pteropode family are considered natural host of the virus. Ebola is said to have first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and later, DR.Congo, in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which it derives its name. The disease is famously introduced to the human population through close contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected dead human bodies or animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, among other forestry animals. Since the inception of the virus in Nigeria in July 2014, health care workers have falling victim of the disease while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control methods are not duly administered.
A typical question popular among Nigerian on the outbreak of the virus is; “What Has Nigeria Got To Do With the Ebola Virus Disease?”
Whereas, a much disturbing question on my mind remain; “Is the Ebola Virus the Only Disease Affecting the Nigerian State; Or Just Another Virus Added To An Already Existing One?
Be it as it may, I need not remind us the intensity of panic and bitter pain the dreaded Ebola virus has invented on the African race and the world at large. The disease which crippled its way into the Nigerian region was imported through an Educated Vagrant Decoy (EVD), Patrick Sawyer, the educated illiterate Liberian-American citizen, who literally was carrying death in his luggage, yet defiled every standing rule in his home country and evaded to an unsuspicious Nigeria, in a purported search for a proper medical health service, but later died in a Nigerian hospital in Lagos. The Late Sawyer whose conscience refused to prick him not to make that wicked trip to Nigeria in such a poisonous condition made a country of over 160 million at risk of the killer virus through his despicable act, with the virus spreading to other parts of Nigeria despite the state of emergency declared on it. Anywhere you turn today, the fear of Ebola was palpable. The young as well as the old had nothing else to discuss, but Ebola and its possible cure; even in the light of insurgencies in the north, kidnapping in the south and the political fuss within the Nigerian community. Little wonder the much circulated bitter cola and salt water therapies, among other possible cures. Thank goodness, the Nigerian government rose swiftly by making sure the killer disease was decisively eliminated from it region.
If you will ask me, I would tell you Nigeria has got too many axe to grind at the moment. I would tell you Nigeria, is currently undergoing a period of intense Insecurity, political unrest, religious acrimony, infrastructural neglect, industrial decay, fallout of the educational sector, a total breakdown of rules of law and order, to mention just a few. We inhabit in a country comprising turn-coated individuals. A country endowed with so much, yet suffers from too much. A country largely governed by the same system that annihilated it. Our individual interest revolves around having a share of the “National Cake”, a diehard interest of the country’s natural wealth. Worse still, every hiccups suffered, informs an institution known as ‘THE NIGERIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM’, a polity of self aggrandizement, or better put, a polity of Individualism. Consequently, the political institution is in shambles, the ruling class is unwilling to give up power, the opposition at the receiving end remains desirous in its clamor for the same power. Alas, we all pledge to Nigerian our country in faithfulness, loyalty, and honesty of interest; in utmost service to humanity, in defense of her unity and upholding of her honor and glory.
Despite 54 years an Independent nation, Nigeria still ranked low among developed state of the world. Yet, we still believe Nigeria remain the giant of Africa.
Regrettably, the spate at which insecurity loiter in the Nigerian community is quite alarming, as insurgencies has taken a charge on the populace, killing and maiming scores of innocent citizens, while others have been forcefully sacked from their homes, displacing them of their family and properties. Others have been made to suffer a permanent injury, while the innocent abducted Chibok girls remain lost in the clouds. Ours is a society were kidnapping is the order of the day. Worst still, the Health and Power Sector remain an abysmal condition, with our roads recording approximately over a 20 deaths daily. On the other hand, the Commercial Sector among other crippled government owned institutions, is a major concern that must be thoroughly looked into and subsequently resolved. More worrisome is the conspicuous Ebola virus disease menacing our individual life, a threat to national existence. Personally, I opined that we all NigeSians at home and abroad must come all together and solve and forestall our numerous challenges as a one big nation united by a single tie, and not as an individual entity separated by divergent of opinions.
In the light of this, if you would ask my opinion yet again, I will tell you the current opposing challenges facing the Nigerian state is but another Political Virus worse than an Ebola.
ODEYEMI AFIS OLAWALE, UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, KWARA STATE, NIGERIA
You can reach him via – firstname.lastname@example.org
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