Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Mr President, we are DYING
The headlines read “Yar Adua heads to Saudi Arabia for Medical check up”. This headline is enough to tell anyone that things are not right here. The fact that our sitting President cannot find any hospital in the country worthy of treating him is not the only issue at stake. Aside from the fact that it’s the most appropriate indication of the long way we have to go in order to achieve the greatness we are capable of it is also more worrying that our President is knowingly taking what is ours to another country. We all know the extravagant expenses that are incurred when a President, moreover a Nigerian one, travels from one country to another. Imagine the difference that would be made if all the funds were invested and given to the millions of Nigerians who can’t sleep at night not because they don’t want to but because the degree of hunger they are suffering form won’t allow them. Think of what can happen if the money was ploughed into our disastrous power system.
Millions of us whose ears are being subjected to the harmful noise and fumes emanating from those industrial noise makers called generators would be saved from medical hazards. I was told recently of a Nigerian girl who went to England to further her studies. It’s no secret that we are a country blessed with determined people who are willing to go the extra mile to succeed. Our compatriot was trying hard to ensure that her parents’ investment was not being wasted but her efforts were proving futile as she could hardly hear anything she was being taught. Our dear compatriot sought an answer to this problem by visiting the hospital. The doctor upon running a medical check up on her discovered that her ears were wax filled. The wax removed from her ears and I am told that had it been sand it would have been enough to fill a bucket.
Mr President, what happens to the millions who are not privileged to go to Saudi Arabia like you for medical check ups? They are misdiagnosed and some end up dying avoidable deaths. Our health facilities have been on a steady decline for as long as I can remember. If we can put our acts together wouldn’t it be better if people came to Nigeria for medical check ups. It would reduce the number of people who go to Europe and America to have children and set them on the paths to greatness by claiming passports for them. By path to greatness, it’s no secret that citizens are entitled to basic amenities that are a big deal to us Africans. Subsidized education, free housing and Unemployment allowances are some of these things. I dream of the day people from all corners of the world will struggle to get Nigerian passports the way we struggle to get American and E.U passports.
Mr President, we are dying. Our roads are not pliable and millions of us lose lives everyday. It’s not rocket science that the economy is worse for it. People who try to go to work but get there late are fired. The unemployment level sky rockets and then the crime rate also rises and the few who are left with jobs are attacked and stolen from. Shop and business owners don’t want to operate past 7pm because they fear armed robbery attacks. Apart from GSM I would love to know of any 24 hour enterprise running in this part of the world. As a child I was told by my mother “If you lie, you will steal, and if you steal police would catch you and you will end up in prison”. Whatever law that is called is applicable to the Nigerian situation. In other words, one thing would lead to another and God help us if it is not the right thing. (Apologies Mosun Owo- Odusi)
Mr President, we are dying. When people have no jobs they can’t send their children to school and I must say when there are no educated people this ticking time bomb called Nigeria shall finally explode. It is only as a result of poverty, and ignorance that people would lock their Tiger generators with them when they go to sleep and the wrong things such as carbon monoxide fumes go to the wrong places and they end up not waking up in the morning. As if our miseducation is not enough those who can send their children wake them up early to go to school but are turned away because their teachers are on strike.
Mr President we are dying. See the number of children hawking in Ojuelegba and Maryland. The number of girls going to Italy, Belgium and other European countries to engage in prostitution is alarming. Even more alarming are the number of children taken across borders within and outside the country to get their baptism of fire in the act of child trafficking. The reflections from my lenses convince me that our elders who should set good examples for us suffer from a great level of ignorance. (God forgive me). Nigeria hosted the FIFA U 17 World Cup in 1999. In 2009 we have been given the undeserved honour of hosting this competition, and it is worthy of note that the rights were almost taken from us. Why? Dearth of facilities! If we could maintain the stadia from Nigeria 99 FIFA would not have had the displeasure of threatening to take the rights back. More noteworthy is the fact that the bulk of the players supposed to represent Nigeria have been found out to be over age. For a long time we have enjoyed stolen goods. While I might be labelled unpatriotic for my feelings I am extremely happy that we shall have the dubious honour of disgracing ourselves in our homeland.
I heard someone say recently “Hopefully your generation would make the difference”. Instead of getting excited I laughed and said “God knows how many people told my grandfather that, if a thousand and one people told him that ten thousand probably told my father same; then how did we get to the despicable state we are in?”
A look up tells me I have gone off point and overboard so I reckon it’s time to sign out. Hopefully our tears would become smiles and our sadness shall turn to happiness. Amen. What would the world be without hope?