By Mallam Asunogie Nurudeen
It is an indubitable fact that we are all held captive by a most tenebrous moment in the history of the cosmos. All are manacled by inscrutable despondency and the trepidation of outright immolation.
The situation is all the more dolorous given the fact that leadership is either insouciant or utterly denuded of the ethics of action by which worth and unworth are calculated by the degree of success a leader achieves in disturbing the flow of space -time in the exercise of power. Where the primary concern of those who exercise leadership is the desperation to hold on to conquered and dominated constituencies as well as the incurable addiction to demographic expansion, anarchy would eventuate without fail.
Dealing with the deadly pathologies to which men driven by sublunary proclivities are held captive, is herculean. Men who forage for oblivion can be by far more deleterious than a synthesis of Covid19 and the tsunami.
It is a common fact that Edo state is one of the states in the country that has donned her own wrapper of people who are Covid19 positive. How prepared is the state? The state government had always sounded ready. A statement that is draped in the traditional costume of knavery that is the ethnographic finger print of the government. The state, like in everything, is the least prepared for the pandemic.
This is not a lone voice. It is reinforced by the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association. For me it was a most lachrymose thing when I heard the Commissioner of Health say that that the Stella Obasanjo Hospital for Women and Children, one of the isolation centres in the state would be ready in a week’s time. Giving an assurance that an isolation centre would be ready for a state that is perhaps the third or fifth in terms of the number of high cases of Covid19 victims, is to say the least appalling. It would mean that the centre would only have become ready in the eighth week of when the virus first entered the country.
It is a statement of truth that government hospitals had gone comatose even before the pandemic. Basic materials such as cotton wool is difficult to come by in the hospitals.
On the 9th of April the police were everywhere on the highway enforcing no face mask no movement. It was ludicrous to hear the government say it has entered into an understanding with the tailors in the state to mass produce facemasks so as to make them affordable for the residents of the state to buy. The implications of this are legion. It simply means that government does not intend to provide the people who had been rendered economically prostrate with free facemasks. I am not aware of any palliative for those who are required to stay in their houses.
As I did some deep retrospection about the fiendish tendencies of the government, I am reminded of Kevin Carter. Kevin Carter was a prolific photojournalist. During the famine of 1993 in Sudan he took the picture of a Sudanese girl who had become completely enfeebled and dying slowly and on instalment. A vulture was waiting patiently for her to die so that it could have her as a sumptuous repast. The picture was so arresting. It won for Kevin the Pulitzer Price for an exceptional caption. Later during a phone-in program a caller asked him what happened to the child? He said ” I did not wait to see what happened after this shot as I had a flight to catch. He was reminded by the caller that what he didn’t realize was that on that day there were two vultures; one had a camera. That statement hit Kevin like a bullet. It tyrannised him until he ended his life. In Edo state the government could possibly go for the vulture that waited while the helpless masses die slowly. Whereas the government is harassing residents who go out with no face mask, there is a man dyed in Catholicism who is doling out succor to the ululating masses. He doesn’t want to be like Kevin whose fear of missing a flight dulled his senses of humanity and compassion. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is at it again saying whereas he has no powers to stop the pandemic, but he cares about the downtrodden who ordinarily before now struggle to eke out a miserable existence. Truck loads of food items have been given out by him. He is the very typification of a refulgent dawn. One that repudiates this lugubrious present. One that is deoxygenating the putridity that had become completely asphyxiating. A consolation for the sobbing winds. An anodyne for our maimed spirits. The one who makes us remain sanguine of a blithesome tomorrow, for his actions are affirming assurance of a fructifying future.
This sordid present must end. Now is the time to upend the choking hubris of a leadership that is luxated from the people and the reality about them.
As chairman of my Muslim community, I presided over the distribution of the items brought by Pastor osagie Ize Iyamu. May Allah grant him greater good. May Allah grant him greater platform for service to humanity.
*_Mallam Asunogie Nurudeen_*