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Friday, February 19, 2010


I'm not one to talk about issues that people term serious, but something happened this week that really got to me.
On Wednesday I was having a normal busy day at work when this guy walks up to me and says he wants to see a doctor. here's the conversation that ensued
Me: Good morning Sir
Him: Yeah, Good morning
Me: How may I help you Sir (this was still early in the day so I was still cheery)
Him: I want to see a doctor
Me: This is a childrens' clinic Sir, is it you or your child that wants to see the doctor?
Him: Okay its my child
Me: Does she have an appointment?
Him: Ehm she has
Me: Can I see her appointment card Sir
Him: Ehm, sister, actually she doesnt have an appointment today
Me: Is she very ill
Him: She is
Me: Then take her to the emergency unit sir. This clinic is strictly for those on appointments
Him: Whats your price?
Me: Excuse me?
Him: I said whats your price?
Me: Sir, please can you excuse me so I can attend to the other patients?

He then stretches out a 500 naira note to me
Me: What's this Sir?
Him: I guess this will shut you up
Me: What exactly are you saying?
Him (to his daughter): I didnt know it would be this expensive

Takes back the 500 and replaces it with 1,000. At this point I cant take it again.
Me: Please Sir, we dont do that in this clinic, please take your money somewhere else
Him: I dont even know why I'm wasting my time. I'll call your boss.

True to his word, he calls my boss who comes to attend to him and allows him for a meagre 500 naira note.
You can imagine the look on my face while this was happening. My boss then has the guts to tell me that next time, I should refer people like that to him.

But, I got my victory, at the end of the day, the doctors still sent him to the emergency section he didnt want to go. Sweet victory, it felt like, but there are deeper issues embedded in this.

You see, it was this same boss who had sat together with me to analyse the situation of Nigeria after the Amanpour interview, the same boss who reads the Daily Trust everyday and says one of this honest journalists should be president because there'ld be change.

The question I have for this man is wasnt this the way they all started? Did it not just start from simply taking a bribe at work or giving out a bribe for your child to be admitted into the prestigious secondary school.

Did it not start from 'just this once, there's no food at home'?

I dont want to start sounding like Manye, but if we are sure that we are the generation that wants to change Nigeria, we must be ready to remain hungry and poor.
We must be ready to stand up for the truth, fairness and equality in everything and at alltimes, no matter the circumstance or place (even in the hospital). We must be good examples to the younger generation who are seriously looking for people to look up to.
If we are not ready to do these, we, like the generations before us, would have utterly failed Nigeria and the generations yet unborn.
I rest my case.

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