“We are used to the slogan “make we manage wetin we see, e go better”, or “this one try pass the other one” forgetting that you do not compare two bad things and conclude that one is better. Bad can never metamorphose to good, so we could mean that one is “less bad” than the other. This is a pure mediocrity with no sense of humor”
By Rev. Fr. Okechukwu Paulinus Onyenuru OP, April 27, 2020, Article/comments
Nigerians are sarcastically called “the happiest people on earth” and we accept this without thinking twice. Truly, this is very pejorative. It simply means that we are at home with our “underdevelopedness” and make every effort to remain there because we want to survive at all cost- making no effort to live life to the fullest, to live out the full potential of our God given existence.
Nigerians are super “cushioners”. Throw a stone at them, they would absorb the pain and move on, do that with a rock, they lick their wounds and move one. A snake swallowed millions of naira, it was swept away. Price of fuel was increased to 143, we all complained and complied; the president engages in medical tourism, it’s his right; senators order for 2020 Toyota Camry at an outrageous price (whereas we have an indigenous automobile company-Innoson Motors). Oh! Our senators deserve the best but not the masses. We make funny videos, comedians joke about it and we move on. The youths mumble in pidgin, “last last, we go dey alright.”
When shall we begin to ask pertinent questions? Why must our leaders keep throwing such at us? What can we do to stop receiving these threats to our human existence? Covid-19 pandemic is now a reality making lockdown inescapable. Many governments of the world are working day and night to safeguard their citizens. To ensure that the spread is curtailed and disease contained steps are taken such as Identification, Isolation, Treatment (management of disease), Development of treatment drugs and vaccines and distribution of palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown.
When the Covid-19 index case was discovered in Nigeria, the health sector appeared to be up to the task but in reality, it was like a child learning how to speak. This became evident with an increase in the number of cases. Even though it took weeks for the virus to walk from Wuhan to Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, the government became perplexed to the point of importing health workers from China. This Minimalist approach is not new to Nigerians.
For instance, just before an election, a government official seeking reelection started many substandard projects which must be completed or raised to standard in the next tenure, feigning ignorance of that need since the beginning of his/her tenure. INEC’s declaration of the incumbent as winner becomes tantamount to a declaration of the end of those projects.
Interestingly, the one who started this unfinished project is lauded as doing better than the previous officer. We are used to the slogan “make we manage wetin we see, e go better”, or “this one try pass the other one” forgetting that you do not compare two bad things and conclude that one is better. Bad can never metamorphose to good, so we could mean that one is “less bad” than the other. This is a pure mediocrity with no sense of humor
The Nigerian government is not addressing the global issue on Covid-19, which are discovery of curative drug and vaccine. With the numerous research institutes we have in Nigeria, we have not been able to come up with an indigenous test kit. Are we even working at it? I forgot to mention, China has to donate. Speaking of maximizing the benefits of technology, Ghana and Rwanda are using drones differently to transport samples from collection centers to test centers and as a means of sensitization respectively. They did not have to reinvent the wheels. They simply put their God given intellect to progressive use. Irrespective of these shortcomings, we cannot lose sight of the first set of Covid-19 heroes. They are the health workers who are at the frontline, sacrificing everything including their lives to save others. Many of them have contacted the disease and many have died. Working with minimal equipment and protective gears, these brave soldiers of life (health workers) burn themselves out to ensure that the virus does not send many to their early graves. Health workers, we hail thee, because, you are the true heroes and heroines. Should we still hail our country Nigeria, that is for us all to decide at this critical time of our history.
….To be continued:
Fr.Onyenuru is a dominican Friar, Province of St. Joseph the Worker, Nigeria and Ghana, wrote from Saint. Thomas More Catholic Chaplaincy
University of Lagos, Nigeria.
For breaking news, call +2348028592006, +2348148704264, email us: email@example.com. Follow us on twitter: @afrikanwatchm, facebook: afrikanwatch Network, afrikanwatch, www.afrikanwatchngr.com, instagram, @afrikanwatchm