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The Chris Ngige’s theory on doctors

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige. Photo/Twitter/LabourMinNG

Minister of Labour and Employment in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Christopher Nwabueze Ngige was recently quoted as saying that ‘we have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess. We have enough, more than enough, quote me’.

Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have disagreed with the minister stating that whereas the World Health Organisation (WHO) prescribes a doctor-patient rate of 1 to 600, Nigeria has 40,000 doctors caring for 200million citizens, which roughly translates to 1 to 5000 citizens.

The honourable minister went on to brilliantly state that ‘there is nothing wrong; they go out to sharpen their skills, earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign earnings from them, not from oil’.

Nigeria indeed has too many doctors. We should export them to other countries which need them and ask our native doctors to step in and fill the gap.

As time goes on, we should also export our native doctors to America and Europe to complement the efforts of Western-trained doctors’. Indeed we should close down all medical schools now that we have enough doctors, as explained by the minister in charge of labour and employment in Nigeria. We should learn to respect our public officers who have details and statistics that we do not have access to!

It has been said that Nigerians in the Diaspora earn more foreign exchange for Nigeria more than oil. In the State of New York alone there are over four thousand doctors of Nigerian descent who practice medicine. One Dr. Omalu who investigated how American football impacts the head of footballers is a Nigerian.

Another Nigerian trained at the then University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University is credited to have opened up a pregnant woman in America, brought out and did a corrective surgery on the baby and placed it back inside the womb. The baby was safely delivered at full term.

These excellent acts could not have been performed if these doctors were locked inside some backward hospital in Enugu or Sokoto or Sapele or even Lagos.

We must allow the world to see our expertise. One can imagine the joy in the heart of our dear president if he stepped into a hospital in London only to be treated by a Nigerian! Of course his heart would be at peace that he is safe hands, the hands of a patriot who is selling his trade in the beauty of a London hospital. We have Dr. Ngige to thank for his wonderful policy on exportation of skilled labour. And I am doing so on behalf of all grateful Nigerians.

The beloved Chris Nwabueze Ngige came to limelight after he was elected governor of Anambra State and some hoodlums wanted to sack him from office in an unholy manner (kidnap) and all Nigerians queued up behind him to support his bold resistance to the Chris Uba machine.

A resignation letter was fabricated and transmitted to the House of Assembly which in turn directed the Chief Judge to swear in the deputy governor. Ngige came out of the kidnappers’ den the next day and proclaimed that he had been abducted and calm returned to the State.

Let us not bother ourselves with the story that Ngige was videoed naked at the Okija shrine swearing to some oath! It is not the subject of this celebratory essay on the indefatigable Christopher Nwabueze Ngige. Let us also not dwell on the fact that he was removed from office three years into his tenure by a court of law and that ended his dream of becoming governor of the troubled Anambra State.

I have known men of/in power who smoke weed or knock down bottles of VSOP or Xoxo before coming out to the public to make great policy pronouncements. Sometimes, public service work gets so stressful that officials need some tonic in order to have the courage and strength to do great things.

Ayi Kwei Armah, that Ghanaian writer with a filthy sense of putrefying humour, once espoused the ‘blinding clarity of vision’ which ‘igbo’ or ‘ganja’ or ‘wee wee’ gives the acolytes of that powerful herb. Bob Marley calls it spliff in his epic song Easy Skanking, in which he refers to ‘herb (for) my wine’ and ‘Good God I gotta take a lift/from reality I just can’t drift/ that’s why I am staying with this riff”.

To be sure, our beloved Chris Ngige does not, by any stretch of the imagination, fall into this category of public officials even though some have argued that his latest pronouncement was unusually out of turn, capable only of a mind that is distorted and may have sworn an oath in the wilderness of the very fetish Okija. I have argued and will continue to argue against this preposterous postulation on the powerful appointee of our president.

Ngige is an Honourable man and I am not one to disparage public officials even if they speak from both sides of their mouth and eat their filthy utterances later and laugh them off and continue with life as normal and get appointed to higher office.

It was the inimitable dramatic Wole Soyinka who, as chief marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), once suggested that drivers who drive crazily in Lagos and around the country should be sent to psychiatrists, popularly referred to as ‘Yaba left’ for specialist evaluation. I do know that some bus drivers need their heads examined just observing the way they display madness while piloting the affairs of passengers. Although I am a mental health enthusiast (with an NGO to show for it) I do not have the qualification or authority to make such a definite pronouncement on the political drivers of our nation’s bus.

The Ngige statement therefore is the product of refined global thinking which sees the world as a global village that must trade its best products. It doesn’t matter that in our hospitals some doctors perform surgery with torchlight or go without pay for months or improvise each time they have to perform some tasks which require sophisticated equipment.

As for me I vote for all our doctors to teleport to other countries so that they can source foreign exchange for us, so that anytime we have to travel abroad our kith and kin would be waiting for us with open arms in foreign hospitals. That is the best and greatest way to kill a country for which future generations will applaud the most distinguished Senator Governor Doctor Christopher Nwabueze Ngige!


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