• Friday, February 23, 2024
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Port-Harcourt gains free Ebola status-TAN?


I could sense my wife’s apprehension upon hearing the discovery of Ebola in Port-Harcourt with one medical doctor falling victim and numerous on quarantine lists. Obviously, her discomfort stems from my regular visits to Port-Harcourt as no week passes without two or three trips from my base in the South-East. It is equally my desire to protect my family that I found it extremely difficult travelling in the past weeks else I am placed on quarantine by my wife and children. Imagine missing those hugs from my family and eating together.

The public announcement of Ebola in Port-Harcourt and the death of Dr Iyke Enemuo by the Health Minister, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, shortly after celebrating containment of Ebola may have shook the walls of 2014 World Book Capital and possibly, sent jitters down the spines of numerous in South-South and South-East as the virus thought as Lagos Wahala suddenly finds space. It is no longer Patrick Sawyer’s escape but this time a Nigerian diplomat against public interest moved. Do we conclude that diplomats are not very conscious and passionate people on issues of supporting humanity? Also, the carefree attitude in us as Nigerians and Africans may have joined to form part of the warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) and our President, Goodluck Jonathan followed suit warning us against certain activities that have been usual in African culture. Indeed, as Africans we are close knit in grief and celebration but, the new code by the authorities called for a stop and recently, Apex Igbo Sociocultural Organization(Ohaneze) cried out over corpse of Igbo people barred from leaving Lagos to their different States and homes in the South-East in keeping with the directions of ‘Oga’ at the top. It is equally instructive that orders barring School resumption may have been part of measures to contain the virus despite shades of opinion for or against and threats by the National Human Rights Commission to prosecute any going against the directive. Interestingly, some of us would naturally abide by the directive as we want to keep living and possibly support our children to grow.

However, I was caught in an ocean of fear upon tuning Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Saturday to see the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) doing their thing in Port-Harcourt with thousands in attendance. The event had the trappings of royalty with long list of dignitaries and power brokers who may have been part of Policies toward containment of Ebola virus. The Secretary to the Government of Federation, Finance Minister and her colleagues with sitting governors and ex-governors that I now began to wonder on how Policies of government can now be set aside freely. It is good as a philosopher stated that “written laws are like spiders web, they catch the weak and beggarly and torn apart by the rich and powerful”.

Equally, one could notice the surging crowd of TAN converts chanting their victory songs and dancing, holding hands including the dignitaries as if no prior health warnings exist. Let me take another rough route vowing that the great transformer, Our President did not know of TAN’s activity on that day and  would not accept any report on his table stating that TAN visited Port-Harcourt. Let me also gamble that Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu did not see it else he would have organized another round of Press Conference to give us reports on the State of our fight with Ebola containment strategy. So, I can declare that Port-Harcourt is now free of Ebola virus as no report tends to suggest otherwise despite the massive turn-out at TAN’s rally, and the danger of their coming from different States in the South-South region and beyond.

Yes! It is possible for some to tag this as part of opposition to President Jonathan and I say, No. I have always admired the President despite perceived odds knowing that most of the people masquerading as possible competitor remained part of whatever symptom noticed in the Nigeria sphere either as Military cronies or Political Contractors whose stake are in building family empire to forestall any revolt from the masses who may have endured numerous mental torture. It is equally a dangerous gamble creating another dislocation in another region of the country considering the threats from the North-East through Boko-Haram. Indeed, if Niger-Delta comes on fire in an attempt to stop GEJ, then we may have prepared a requiem for our Nigeria.

However, I may not be at ease with the organizers of the rally or call it campaign for GEJ despite warnings on the dangers of such gatherings. Would it not look like an attempt to place re-election ahead Public Health issue and the outcome of the election is supposed to produce leaders that would lead only the living. According to Mr Udenta Udenta, a ranking member of the organizers, they have put in place measures to contain same and I ask, how many Sanitizers were put in place and the Blood Pressure of how many were checked?

Haba! Our Nigerian youths as revealed from the observed participants are still in the same old pot as most could be seen jumping with little or nothing in the name of being mobilized and possibly for an amount that would never be enough for a day. It is for the very reason of our gullibility that has made Politicians to always wanting to sit on us and often, freely dispense lies as truths and tomorrow, we are clapping and dancing in agreement. Indeed, our future is at the bank of the River and can only be preserved by our ability to rise above the present kolombo dance for enduring stake.

I think TAN has given clearance on Ebola free status in this case Port-Harcourt, and it is now safer, and I hope Governor Rotimi Amaechi would not go ahead releasing funds unnecessarily that would end in Peoples pocket as Ebola has gone with the winds of numerous that gathered in the city without casualty.