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August 19, 2018

EBOLA FREE NIGERIA!! – THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER (3)

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“When Yahweh delivered Zion from bondage we were like in a dream. Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy. Then it was said among the nations “The Lord had done great things for us and we rejoiced”. Restore our fortunes O Lord!  Like the waters in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping bearing the seed for sowing shall come home with shouts of joy carrying their sheaves!” (Psalm 126: 1-6)

 

(3)        INSECURITY AND KIDNAPPING

 

Foreigners who mean real business with Nigeria are warned to take care. Some well protected oil men decide to stay. Nowhere is safe – town and village.  Nigerians who must visit their fatherland for obvious reasons, like burial of loved ones or spend Christmas vacation in the village are always gripped with fear as mere thought of landing in the village for a few days to spend time with families and neighbors scares them.  They don’t even believe that better security can be assured in the big cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Kano, Kaduna, Ibadan, Benin, or Owerri. One could be kidnapped by hoodlums or young terrorists. Those who find themselves in the Northern states of the nation must be ready to face Boko Haram terrorist gangs. In public places, schools, parks and churches, there is no assurance of safety. There is nowhere to hide.

The state of insecurity has truly assumed an agonizing proportion as kidnapping and terrorist bombings have become a common place in Nigeria. The verb ‘kidnap’ (abduct, take hostage, snatch, capture), formerly associated with political agitations), has become a regular feature of life in Nigeria of today. It has become a lucrative business. It is easy. It is fast and yields incredible amounts of money within days, if not hours. It has continued to create young affluent millionaires if not billionaires! The traders in this human commodity have usually little to suffer before they grab millions of naira or dollar or even euro. Not only that they cart away, without molestation, cartons of money; they often murder their victims in cold blood!

One worried Nigerian teenager, perhaps for fun, put up a ‘questionnaire’ on Facebook, asking his friends to indicate the ‘trade’ or ‘profession’ they liked most in the modern Nigerian society, the one that yields fast money and with little or no sweat. Kidnapping was the most preferable means of getting rich over night!

The commodities for sale are easy to come by. These include men and women, old and young, adults and children, the affluent and the poor. Accessories and terms for quick negotiations include threat to kill hostages if challenged by security forces or if ransom demanded was not quickly released in time. And it works for abductors. Soon any organized chase for criminals is forgotten or abandoned. Jubilation and thanksgiving celebrations follow. The kidnapped dad, mom, brother, sister, child has been released ‘unharmed!’ The tool(s) used for the operation may not be expensive; a short gun and a bullet. A cellular phone does the rest of the job.

 

(4)        NIGERIA – A COURRUPT STATE

 

Most Nigerians are concerned that the international attention focused on Nigerian problems surely will continue to scare foreign investors and visitors to Nigeria and the cumulative effect of all these things is that they create a very bad image for this country. Nigerians are put to shame everyday in the lands of their exile. Many young immigrants are subjected to all sorts of harassment by police and security officials. Not a few had died in scuffles with police as these unwanted guests resist arrest or deportation.

For long Nigeria has been known to be a corrupt state and therefore not a place to do business. Nigerians are known to dupe not only foreigners but their fellow Nigerians too.  They lie or ‘swindle’ their very brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and nephews in business deals. How many brothers, sons and daughters living in the USA, Britain or China have sent home hard-earned cash to relations in Nigeria to begin family houses in the village and returned home to find not even a heap of sand for a new building? Many have been duped by trusted brothers and sisters!

Government officials and contractors have ‘chopped’ millions of Nigerians’ tax-payers’ money, abandoned their work and banked their money in foreign banks and no one has questioned or prosecuted them. Answer: “It can happen Only in Nigeria!” What a picture if an EBOLA stigma had been added to the catastrophe?

 

AFTER EBOLA WHAT NEXT?

 

WE HAVE SCOTCHED THE SNAKE, NOT KILLED IT

 

Nigeria’s endemic problems have not been solved if we are to tell ourselves the naked truth. Nigerians may happily sing songs of deliverance, simply because through the wisdom of our health officials and of course the mercy of God Almighty we have been lucky. The Ebola is not with us. But for so many other problems facing Nigeria, most of them mightier than EBOLA, Nigerian authorities have only scotched the snake and not killed it.

Let us re-visit few key areas where our handicaps are well pronounced and where we still have a long way to go. As our leaders warm up for elections or re-elections it is interesting to note that Nigerians so easily forget. They don’t need to.

 

“PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.”

 

“Prevention is better than cure,” is a conventional counsel for caution. It is an accepted principle of action everywhere.  To prevent simply means to impede, to obstruct, or to hinder. Do not allow it to happen. As much as possible avoid its occurrence. By successfully thwarting the evil plans of an enemy one can be satisfied and in fact reassure oneself of safety, and possibly saving oneself some losses.

A little mistake, error, an oversight can cost millions of lives and property. For example forgetting to switch off an electric gadget or locking a safe can cause a company or a community an irreparable damage.

So, one finds often in most offices and complex buildings warnings and reminders in red letters, addressed to workers and security men: “Have you switched off your gadgets?” “Check again!”

Lack of caution and avoidable errors have cost humanity great losses and unforgettable tragedies. Therefore to forestall, prevent and guard against tragedies people all over the world try to hearken to this old adage, a conventional Wisdom – “Prevention is better than cure.”

Even in situations where certain natural disasters by their nature are unpreventable, man should still remain alert and do everything possible to minimize losses and damages.  Some natural disasters can be unpredictable – earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, and tsunamis yet man takes every precaution to ‘forecast’ their coming. Because of the extent of damages, simple wisdom is preferable. Repairs can be effected soon, donor nations can rush to save life and property, donate millions of dollars to effect repairs, and even to repopulate communities wiped out in the disaster, yet prevention is preferred to the ‘cure’ or repairs.

Most developed and developing nations accept and embrace this age-old clarion call to prevent evil instead of allowing it to overwhelm you and later your run to look for solutions.

 

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