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Dreaded killers in Nigeria

By Tony Afejuku
01 October 2021   |   3:00 am
This is a very intriguing time of the very intriguing idea of the Delta variant of COVID-19 or of COVID whatever hue and its invisible virological cues.

This is a very intriguing time of the very intriguing idea of the Delta variant of COVID-19 or of COVID whatever hue and its invisible virological cues. And how enthusiastically enthusiastic was I as I ruminated upon the subject! Enthusiastically enthusiastic? Maybe. Perhaps. Or perhaps not. I am re-learning how to be still and to be quiet to be in the mood to hear precisely the voice of a Spiritual Master of Merit in my heart pertaining to the intimidating jumble of distress, anxiety, disappointment, pain and portraits of death everywhere about us.

How can things be what they presently are in our land – your country my country our country? And when truly shall come the time and the possibility that something might soonest come into being to produce some mysterious substance, some mysterious secretion, capable of eliminating all the things we don’t crave for?

I was on the road in a car driven by a woman, a lady, a friend’s cousin, who was giving me a lift from one Niger Delta city to another Niger Delta city when my rumination and its chemistry over-powered me. I was unusually quiet for my friend’s cousin who I was meeting for the first time and who equally was meeting me for the first time. But was I really unusually quiet? Certainly not, I must alert you, dear my readers. I was communicating with the voice from my inner-self which actually was the winged voice with a determined flight into me as I craved for it to be from its deathless owner and master. Was our patience as a people or as a nation not over-stretched and over-taxed? My driver-and-companion was puzzled when my rumination became a loud rumination. And the quiz which she created began thus: Why was I in the mood I was in? What was I fearing or getting afraid of? What sadness was over-powering me? Or what was I dreaming about and longing for? Those questions came to me ceaselessly and in a manner that tended to elicit from me as numerous answers as I could possibly magnet in profusion from my clear mind.

I started with the unnecessary strike of our medical doctors, our crème de la creme who are members of the National Association of Resident Doctors our apex government is maltreating even in a time of an ailment called Covid-19 whose Delta variant, we have been told, keeps on being the mysterious secretor of a peculiar pheromone or so whose code is yet to be broken – and may never be broken. Simply put, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is a deadly disease that is more than a deadly disease. Yet our apex government is playing purposeless politics with our medical doctors and the health of our people and compatriots. Perhaps after all said and done so far COVID-19, or better, the Delta variant of the disease is a ruse. And this must be one reason, in fact, the real reason why Buhari’s presidency does not give a damn for our medical doctors’ strike, which it is politicizing. This means, rightly or wrongly, that Nigerians fear not – or dread not – COVID-19 and its Delta variant.

People are dying every day. But COVID-19 is not a killer disease our people dread. This accounts for a huge reason why our people – and countless of them – are against taking the jab. Already they are ready to rebel against governors or states who/which want to compel them, against their wish, to take the COVID-19 vaccine. They don’t trust any governor who wants to decree – or who is decreeing – them to be COVID-19 vaccine-complaint. I say it again – and I am underlining it – our people don’t dread COVID-19 as a killer. Clearly, this COVID-19 nonsense is becoming a silly jargon whose negative impact on their well-being does not sound dreadful to them anymore. So it seems from what I observe and hear.

Our people dread kidnappers, so-called bandits, accidents on our highways and in our rivers, streams and high tides more than COVID-19. And without mincing words, they dread hunger, the result of poverty which this presidency allegedly has inspired and endorsed more than Covid-19 of whatever variant. Bandits and kidnappers and highway and river accidents and hunger have killed our country men and country women far more than COVID-19 has done on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. These are the real killers our people dread. They want our governments to tackle them in their usual head-on fashion against our redoubtable striking university lecturers and striking medical doctors, who currently are rightly telling our central government never again to their exploitation of them.

These were the various coloured-marbles of my rumination that stirred my female companions’ lips and in a look that puzzled and confounded her when my inside spoke in loud words that went through her binoculars of ideas that she surrendered to me with immense goodwill and trust. I drove my point home with a report a friend of mine, a political ecologist, who has done considerable work in Ogoni-land presented to me in verbal and written forms. In Ogoni-land, according to his report, the indigenes bury their dead almost on daily basis. Poverty-induced hunger, which the people dread is the grim reaper of the natives of the oil-rich land. The people don’t know COVID-19, but they know hunger and poverty which waft them unfriendly countenance and crushing tenderness every now and then.

As the people of oil-rich Ogoni-land experience what they experience so also do many Niger Delta homeland people endure the agony and pang and dread of the killer disease: deep and shallow poverty as well as its twin brother called hunger that whirls around the people like a python. Many people in other communities, localities and regions suffer the same fate.

Indeed, some places in the north – for example, in Kaduna and Zamfara States – get killed almost every second by dreaded bandits and kidnappers let loose by our governments pretending to be our governments. Hell! And the southeast, what do we say about what is going on there? That place is another hell. And where really is free of dreadful and dreaded killers? I answer loudly and loudly: Nowhere, brethren, nowhere! Hell!

Our country is not the country that we used to know. May Nigeria and its true destiny experience Restoration with the sensibility of certainty NOW and NOW that is heralding a new dawn and dusk that must be and that must be because it has been so ordered and so ordained.

Blessed be. Peace profound.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.