Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Hero turned Victim

Lai Lai, actor no dey die'. 
Many of us have heard or even uttered this phrase at least once in our lifetime, most likely during a movie session. And more often than not, the heros seldom die. It almost never happens in our Nollywood movies. 

But life isn't Nollywood. In real life, there are no film tricks and if the actor isn't careful, actor go die and the Hero will become the victim.

This is the sad case of Dr Sheik Umar Khan, the Sierra Leonean who was involved in the management of more than 100 cases of Ebola virus in his country since the epidemic started in March .
He was the only Viral Hemorrhagic Fever specialist in Sierra Leone. 

The 39 year old doctor who was said to have contracted the disease last week died yesterday from the same illness.

He is no doubt a National Hero in his country and would be honoured by the world as one who gave his life for a cause he believed in.
He set out to help stop the epidemic of this deadly virus but lost his life in the line of duty.

I wonder if I would do the same.
Would you?

I can't imagine the pains and dread that this Dr would have felt  as he watched life slip gradually away from him. What horror his attending physician must have experienced  as he pronounced his colleague dead. 

Dr Khan's death reminds me of the character Khan played by Shah Rukh Khan  in the movie ' My name is Khan'; 'Khan from the epiglottis'. These 2 fellows had more than their names in common, they both put in all their efforts for the cause they believed in.

A lot of heroes that we celebrate today died for the cause they believed in. Dr Sheik Umor  Khan has joined that league and will be remembered for this.  

The question is ' what will I be remembered for?'
What do you stand for?
Is that cause worth your life?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Victims turned Villains?

I have noticed a new trend in the attacks by Boko Haram, an extremely disturbing trend which seems to be a medium to pass a message to whoever cares to listen that BH is still undeterred . It appears to me that Boko Haram is sending this message out to the whole of Nigeria.

In less than 24 hours, Kano was rocked with at least 5 bomb attacks/attempts. Some were successful, some were not. But 3 out of these attacks were by female suicide bombers, young females; one of them was described by the police as being around the age of 16. And I, like many Nigerians have wondered if these girls aren't some of our Chibok sisters.

I mean, how long does it take to change a person's opinion? Let alone a child? 105 days is definitely a great length of time to change a person's ideology.

And what if these female bombers were given no choice? I mean, what choice do they have, if these girls are really some of the Chibok abduction victims?
To make a choice betw
een hoping to be rescued by the Nigerian armed forces or ending their misery by becoming suicide bombers?

I agree with the government that this is a different type of war, which is obviously beyond their capacity and capability to handle.

Out of curiosity ( and a poor knowledge of Nigeria's geography), I checked Nigeria's map just to see if Sambisa forest and Kano shared a border , and as I suspected, they don't. They have at least 2 other states in between them. If these are our Chibok sisters, then some, if not all of them are no longer in Sambisa; yet the government keeps reassuring us that they know where they are but can't use force to rescue them.
Who is fooling who?

I don't want to believe that these female suicide bombers are some of the Chibok girls, but the truth remains that they are still girls!

We keep campaigning each day "bring back our girls", but what if these girls have been transformed into potential terrorists? 
What if these victim have been turned into villains? 
Will our girls ever return?

I am at a loss for words. Adamawa had 3 separate attacks yesterday leaving over 50 people dead, Kano had 3 bomb attacks in the spate of 24 hours, Kaduna a few days ago! This madness has to stop.

Boko Haram obviously isn't on a leash, they are on a rampage! A crazy, killing spree and little girls ( who are probably victims themselves) have become a means to an evil end!

We are tired of the statements from the presidency, their hopefulness and our seeming helplessness.
What will it take to stop this rampage?
What is Nigeria doing wrongly?

Someone asked me yesterday if Nigeria can ever become better, and I responded in the affirmative.
Naija which way forward?

Monday, 28 July 2014

Much Ado about hepatitis; an Update.

Today, 28th of July has been designated as World Hepatitis Day by the W.H.O.

A while ago, I wrote about hepatitis and what we should know:

much ado about hepatitis

I came across a simple chart that talks about some facts about hepatitis.

Here's the link to that chart:

Remember Nigeria, in times like this, stay healthy!  

God bless Nigeria. 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

That annoying siren!

One of the new and widely accepted trends in newly-built or recently-refurbished houses are the alarm systems that go off when electricity is restored from PHCN i.e. when ' Nepa brings light'!

If you are familiar with these sirens, you'll know that they are so loud and alarming ( and sometimes upsetting).
To have these sirens go off every time PHCN gives you light is a source of joy for a lot of us. But when the bored NEPA official keeps switching off and switching on the power, it becomes ' that annoying siren!'.

How many things in our lives that are supposed to be a source of joy and contentment have become that annoying siren?

The circumstances around us tend to turn the once-enjoyable experience to a routine, tasking responsibility.
The once great husband has become 'that man', your lovely wife that "fat woman", the job you once loved has become a burdensome routine.

The challenges of life tend to take away the special moments all around us if we allow them.
 A lot of people have fallen into this trap without even knowing it.

It's time to put off that siren and just enjoy the joys of the restored electricity! 

As we go into the week, put off the siren if you must, and enjoy the little victories that come with each day, appreciate the numerous blessings around you and watch the seemingly big challenges become infinitesimal. 

Say a kind word to your subordinate because some people don't even have a job, appreciate your spouse and embrace your kids . 
Do something to show that you acknowledge and are thankful for the small blessings and watch God take care of every other thing.

Have a great week folks and stay healthy.
God bless Nigeria. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Much Ado about Ebola!

This week hasn't been a cheering one in terms of news updates et al. Various airplane crashes, worsening insurgencies and conflicts, bomb blasts here and there. I decided to listen to the news just once a day unlike my usual and consistent tab-keeping of the latest news!
I shivered as I saw tweets about a possible case of Ebola virus in Lagos State. God forbid I thought to myself. My fear was confirmed when I heard it from Ijeoma on Channels Newstrack at 8pm!

What is it with Ebola you wonder?
Here are some scary facts:

90 percent of people who are diagnosed as having Ebola virus do not recover from it. They die!!!

Ebola virus is transmitted from an infected person to a healthy person by contact with body fluids and secretions ( blood, sweat, urine, saliva , semen etc).

The symptoms are similar to what an average Nigerian will call malaria or typhoid fever. Headache, fever, weakness, muscle pain, rash, vomiting and easy bleeding.

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa which started in February is the worst recorded so far!

A few days ago, one of the chief medical directors in charge of managing Ebola in Sierra Leone was also reported to have been infected.

More than a thousand cases have been reported in this recent outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and over 600 of these people have died!

There is no known cure presently for Ebola virus.

So why did I shiver at the news of a possible case of Ebola in Lagos?

We CANNOT afford to add this virus to the plate of our challenges. No we can't.

Apart from the present health sector crises, we are not equipped in any way to deal with Ebola!
So please pray! Pray to God to keep Ebola out of Nigeria and let our port health services be more aggressive.
Let the health workers begin to update their knowledge and the Ministry of health get to work!

God forbid that Ebola finds it's way into Nigeria! Because if it does, hmmmmmn.
I don't want to think of the possibilities and consequences.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Wrongly wired.

I have often wondered why it seems so hard to do the right thing in Nigeria. I mean, you decide to be a good Nigerian citizen as you step out into your day, and at the end of the day, you just want to bury your face in shame or shake your head in disgust. 
Why is it so hard?

Today, I came up with a hypothesis. I think Nigeria has been re-designed to accept corruption and dishonesty as the norm. An average Nigerian condones corruption and sees the person speaking or acting otherwise as Oversabi or a goody-two-shoes. 

As y'all know, I am currently serving the fatherland in Northern Nigeria. 
At the beginning of the year, my Federal allowance was paid twice in a particular month, while some of my colleagues had a backlog of unpaid allowee.

I sought to do the noble thing and alert the authorities to the surprise of a lot of people.
I went all the way to the headquarters and they agreed to do something about it. 
Of course they didn't and I could have rested my case. After all, I had done my part.

Anyways, recently, I asked again about my overpayment and this time, I was given definite instructions.  
Believe me, it was not an easy feat! Imagine being stressed while trying to do the system a favour! I went back and forth between the NYSC office, my bank and their bank before I could get their money out of my coffers . The NYSC officials were as surprised as my bank manager and all said their own forms of prayers and even though I said Amen, I was more grateful that that burden had been lifted. 
What a relief!

I didn't bargain for the stress I got. I had imagined that since I was doing a good deed which was in fact a favour to NYSC, they would save me the usual stress attributable to this institution. I guessed wrong.
And I concluded: the Nigerian system is wired to enhance and propagate corruption and wrong values; and at the same time, frustrate the few sane Nigerians that still hold on tenaciously to our integrity.

Would I do this again if the opportunity arises? Of course I will. 
And that's why I have written today. 
To encourage you to do the same when faced with a  similar situation. 

God bless Nigeria!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


100 days and still counting. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to write today about our missing sisters, but alas here you are, reading yet again about them.

We can't get tired of talking about these girls. The international community has lost steam about them and they can't be blamed. It's high time Nigeria took care of her problems.

I wonder what every morning has been like for the families of these ladies since their abduction. I call them ladies cause in a few years, less than 5 years, that's who they'll be.

I imagine that their family devotions would be centered around their missing daughters, every opportunity to say a prayer would be harnessed towards the safe return of their missing sisters.
I don't think the immediate families of these girls 
will pray for them just once in a while when they come across the hash tag campaign or when they see the red movement at the Unity Fountain in Abuja. 
I believe that these girls will be paramount on their prayer points.
And I think that we all, the majority of well-meaning Nigerians should take this more seriously. 

We have been called the most prayerful people in Africa If not the world; so how come we haven't prayed these girls back?
I would suggest that our campaign be rebranded. If the government haven't heeded our#bringbackourgirls cry, I know that our Father in heaven will hear us as we #praybackourgirls.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Is this Demoracy?

For many who do not yet know,the Nigerian government is at it again! They have once again given me reasons to wonder if we are on the animal farm where all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others!

I follow Oby Ezekweseli on twitter and was surprised to read her tweets this morning.
The SSS delayed her, seized her passport and almost cost her her flight! She was heading to Britain for BBC's hard talk!  

I reckon they figured that she was going to hang Nigeria's dirty linen on the line for the whole world to see; but I beg to differ! We have done that by ourselves already! 
The FG, GEJ, his die-hard followers and the Nigerian populace in general have not exactly represented the nation well in recent times or times past for that matter!

So why stop one of the few courageous elites from doing what is right?
I wonder: if Oby can be detained, then why not the common Man like B8 who doesn't have a national or international voice yet?

This isn't democracy, this is the demonstration of craze!
They started with the likes of El Rufai and now Oby. Who's next? Pat Utomi? 

This is absurd! We can't go on like this! 

Come 2015, they'll  start silly jingles and splashing rice and money and supposed achievements in our faces! 

Nigerians wake up! This isn't democracy! 

What shall we call it sef?


Recently, I tried to dissemble my niece's baby cot. Armed with the screwdriver,  I got to work, and screw after screw, I got closer to my goal: to see this great masterpiece become pieces!  
Little did I know that the cot had its own plans.
After several attempts at unscrewing the last piece, I realised that I couldn't do this on my own. 
I had changed screwdrivers, tried using different knives, and almost used my teeth too! 
After sweating and groaning, I gave up on that screw and asked for help!
And alas, my mountain was surmounted! 

Who art thou mountain before Zerubabel? I asked!

Now here's my point.
Severally, we try to do a lot on our own and most times, we get results. But sometimes, we get to a point where we can't do it all by ourselves and have to ask for help.

Please, don't hesitate to do so.
Asking for help isn't a show of weakness, rather it's a show of strength, a show of security. 
You are secure enough to know that you aren't an island.
We all need each other. That's why we are in a community, that's why we we born into a family. 

Asking for help makes challenges easier to tackle. 
The worst that can happen is to be turned down. But you'll never know till you try. 

Dear friends, don't hesitate to ask for help this week. It could be from a friend, a boss, a subordinate or anyone else. 
You'll never know till you ask.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

In times like this!

Empty promises from our leaders have made my heart grow faint! Hope deferred maketh the heart sick! 
I am sick! Sick of words that are just mere! Words that are devoid of actions! Speeches that lack an ounce of compassion! Statements that are lyrical but lack sincerity! 

I have begun to wonder if we are asking for too much as Nigerians, or if GEJ just happens to be unlucky to be the head that the crown fits at a time like this. 
A time when nations are rising against nations and sons killing their fathers; a time when communities that once lived peacefully can no longer tolerate each other's differences.
A time when corruption has become the norm and injustice has become cancerous. 
A time when values mean nothing and integrity is seen as just another unattainable human trait.

At times like this, people hold on to whatever gives them a sense of assurance and security; we have evolved defence mechanisms and coping strategies that have gradually eroded our beliefs as a nation.

I believe that these are the end times that the bible warns about in the gospel of Matthew, the 24th chapter. 
If you don't believe me, all you need to do is spend a few minutes flipping through the newspapers or listening to the news on CNN, BBC, or our own Channels TV.

The battle between Israel and Gaza is proof, the hurricanes and landslides are signs; the missing Malaysian plane is evidence, the deadly  Ebola Virus endemic threatening West Africa substantiates my belief. 

At times like this, even the elect can fall if care isn't taken.
Let he that thinks he stands take heed. 

What are you holding on to at these times? 
Definitely not the promises of our president or the words of any man for that matter.

Fellow Nigerians, I would advise that we take a retrospective look at what we have held on to  and make the necessary changes as we deem fit because we need an anchor! 

Be sure that your anchor holds dear Nigerian! 
My anchor is Jesus and he is the surest! 
Who or what is your anchor?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Genie GEJ and Malala's birthday wish.

The bible says in Psalm 8:2 that "out of the mouth of babes, you have ordained strength".
Out of the mouth of a child, President Jonathan has found wisdom! Hallelujah!

In celebration of her 17th birthday, Malala Yousafzai made a single birthday wish; to have our Chibok sisters back and alive. The Genie bequeathed with responsibility of making this wish come true is our very own President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Lessons from Brazil 2014

I enjoyed watching the matches in the just-concluded world cup.
I didn't particularly enjoy the opening ceremony ( I think Shakira did a better job with the 2010 Waka waka! ), but I enjoyed most of the matches!

Starting with the unexpected defeat of Spain at the group stage, to Nigeria's fair performance - (I had no hope in the Super Eagles so I wasn't as disappointed or excited as most Nigerians).

I missed Suarez's biting moment and Neymar's mandatory exit thanks to the Colombian defender. 

I blame this Colombian for Brazil's woeful and Epic 7 - 1 loss to Germany! ( I must console my friends that have developed some Brazilian traits in them by virtue of those Brazilian weaves which must have passed some form of gene into them! Most certainly!)

Several lessons have I learnt in these matches. But one lesson stands tall from ALL the matches: the spirit of sportsmanship.

I watched opponents strive so hard to come out tops from each match and yet stretch out a hand to help the fallen opponent get back up.
Most memorable for me was the Semifinals between Argentina and Netherlands. As Javier Mascherano of Argentina staggered following a head bump, Georgino Wijnaldum from Netherlands helped him as he fell to the ground.
I was impressed. I have added a link below for those that missed that moment:


The fact that we are opponents doesn't make us enemies! It doesn't mean that I can't help you.
A lot of us get this wrong and we keep a long list of enemies and put ourselves in the cage of dislike and hate.

We can be opponents and still have a healthy relationship. The sky is big enough for birds to fly without being on a collision course!
Love your enemies, so the bible says. Wouldn't it be easier if we had less enemies?

Opposition isn't synonymous with enmity!
Stop the hate! Be a sportsman!
The world would be a better place.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

When will they return?

It's almost 3 months after the Chibok girls were abducted from their schools, and more than 2 months since the #bringbackourgirls# campaign began on the streets, meeting everyday to ensure that these girls have a voice despite their absence.

I suppose that the Federal Government would have thought that this campaign would be extinguished like the #occupyNigeria# campaign.
They must have realised by now that when it comes to lives, Nigerians will not keep quiet. We have been quiet about corruption, injustice, unemployment and inequality. But when it comes to the lives of fellow Nigerians, we won't keep quiet again!
We were silent about the boys that were massacred in their schools and our silence strengthened Boko Haram!
Never again will we let our silence give the enemy a foothold.

The #bringbackourgirls# campaign has remained tenacious despite various attempts to frustrate it's efforts!
They have tried to have an audience with the President twice, and on both instances, they were turned back at the gates!

I am almost sure that the presidency will not do the same to Malala Yousafzai.

For those who do not know, Malala is a 17 year-old Pakistani girl education campaigner who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 in her own country for supporting Girl child education.
Malala arrived in Nigeria yesterday to meet with families of the abducted school girls and also seek audience with Mr President.
I hope our president will not turn this young woman back at the gate too!
I am (almost) sure he wont!

If he doesn't, then I'll ask him this question?
Why grant Malala audience and not Oby and her team? Aren't they asking for the same thing? Are they not championing the same course?
I will wait to see the events unfold before I start with my questions.

But please dear GEJ, you are supposed to be in charge, we are tired of promises and speeches, reassuring us that our sisters will come back. It's almost 3 months already.
When will you bring them home?

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Family Feud???

It's 12 days after the commencement of the nationwide NMA strike and there seems to be no end in sight. Some of my colleagues are bored stiff and are beginning to wonder what the point was in the first instance?

A lot of people have said and written a lot of things, most of which have painted doctors as inhuman. Doctors have also written articles and have presented JOHESU as overbearing.
And the patients who bear the brunt of this "Clash of the Titans" are dying per second!

The management of a patient is often multi disciplinary and no one can dispute this fact.
The present power tussle between NMA and JOHESU can be likened to the war that occurs in a home when the Husband believes he is the Head, hence a dictator and the wife believes both of them are equals, hence she won't be submissive.

Both of them are right and at the same time wrong.

The husband is the head but shouldn't be a dictator or tyrant. The wife isn't her husband's slave, yet she has to be submissive.
However, some marriages have broken down because of the inability of both parties to understand and maintain this balance.

In the same vein, Doctors and JOHESU are at war and aren't listening to each other.
There is an order, which has always been maintained. If a change to this order must occur, let it be clearly legalised and let the boundaries be known to all.

How can two walk together except they agree?
A house divided against itself cannot stand.

If these issues are not quickly resolved as a matter of urgency, the silent rivalry that I observed as a medical student and now face as a medical doctor will escalate into a cold war which will spread as an epidemic and destroy the already sickly health sector!

Let all concerned parties come down from their high horses and settle these matters like adults.

People have died, people are dying and more will die even after this strike is suspended! But God forbid that more lives that could have been salvaged were lost because of our actions!
What then, is the essence of our Profession?
 Be it a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, radiologist, physiotherapist or lab technician?

How good and pleasant it is for health professionals to live and dwell in unity.