Now that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is upon us, do we now realize the need to wail? Uncontrollably? When I wrote that we should all be wailers last week; not an insignificant amount of people thought that I was being a scaremonger, and accused me of all sorts.
But it was easy to see that the same thing that happened to countries that are better equipped; in terms of infrastructure, human and financial resources; was about to happen to us. We were being too complacent and believing in the myth of “melanin popping” to save us from a fast-spreading scourge.
We thought it could not be us. In fact, we felt that anyhow no matter how the coronavirus take waka, e no go reach us; or even if e reach us, a combination of prayer warriors and otumokpo from our various villages; plus enough “it is not my portion” soaked in the “blood of Jesus”; would be sufficient to ward it off.
So much for that.
Here we are.
Right in the middle of it and my greatest fear is that; if nations like America and the UK are struggling – even with efficient ambulance and emergency response systems; as well as a healthcare system that seemingly works; if NYC’s Cuomo is angrily asking what he is expected to do with 400 ventilators when he has approximately 30,000; in dire need of same – leaving him with a deficit of 29,600; that looks like they have been destined for certain death; if the UK’s doctors are collapsing from exhaustion and Italy contracts out the digging of “1000 graves”; where do we stand in all this?
This same country where an educated man, a minister of Labour and Productivity, gave resident doctors the middle finger; simply because they were labouring but their labour was unproductive. He asked them to go eff themselves and if any of them wanted to leave Nigeria; they should get going. There were plenty more where they came from. Another minister advised them to go and farm or trade; if they were tired of “shuffering and shmiling” and the worst part?
The people – fellow suffering masses – would turn on the members of the healthcare profession; who, in turn vented their frustrations on them. Dog eat dog. When two elephants fight…
In a way, it is almost therapeutic that this peripatetic plague chose the cushiest part of Nigeria to land. It must be a plague that is used to comfort because rather than attack the masses; like its elder brother Ebola did; coronavirus chose to creep in quietly with the elites and celebrities, in their business and first class cabins. It shared the comfort of their bucket seats and soft blankets; snoozed comfortably beside them all through the night; landed in Nigeria; and hands across their shoulders like suddenly re-united long lost friends; followed them to their elite haunts.
First into the Senate and House of Representatives.
Then a brief detour through Aso Rock to check if Baba was aware.
From there, it followed them home to their wives and families. The same ones who could be on a private jet and in a London or Dubai hospital; faster than you can say “kovikkkkk wan nain bairus”. A quick stop over at a meeting of all APC governors (isn’t the God we serve a good God?); and then to a night club or two to boogie down.
Welcome to Nigeria, Mr. Corona.
You chose the right entrepôt.
If you had chosen to identify with us the masses first; these politicians would not have had the dubious pleasure of being hosted in the hospitals that; they consistently assured us are world class quality; while flying themselves and family members out to go and manage what they want us to believe are lower class hospitals which they are just managing because they don’t want to dilute our enjoyment of the wonderful infrastructure they left for us in Nigeria.
This is the time for Akpabio’s futuristic hospital to play host to the elite. We were assured it was equipped for the stars (even I believed all the hype then).
The rich also cry?
Well, cry me a river.
Yes, the Coronavirus is no respecter of persons, but he that is down need fear no fall. Those of us wey near ground now have already suffered untold hardship; as a result of the corruption and mismanagement of our resources at the hands of greedy and wicked leaders; that we virtually face death daily.
So we die of Coronavirus?
Living as an average Nigerian, is nothing but dying in instalments. Every day is one foot closer to the grave.
If it is not SARS, it is hardship and frustration-induced suicide.
We fall upon our own swords; attack each other with little to no provocation; and run into the swords and rapid gunfire of Fulani herdsmen. What is one more way to die to a man who dodges a million other deaths daily?
But to you all who thought you were insulated from death because you are a corrupt Nigerian politician…
… Well, what do you know? Cheers to coronavirus.
Just a couple of short weeks ago, you all voted to hang vocal social media opposition for just that; being vocal. You wanted to see young men and women whose only crime was being passionate for a better country; one that could compete with their global peers, hang for wanting better.
Well, nothing gladdened my heart more than seeing the video of the senator who removed his face mask; to sneeze into a chamber filled with other senators.
Spread it, Sir. In fact, spread it like Blue Band.
Or the one in Abia state that celebrated a birthday where people pulled down their face masks; in order for their sycophantic voices to be heard as the loudest singing “happy birthday to you”; to an irresponsible person who ought to have known better than to gather people together in these dire times?
What about the one who rushed off to hold a public lecture after banning public gatherings for the masses? Turns out he is the biggest vector in the game.
Dear Nigerian elite,
Cheers to you all.
Welcome to our world.
For any of you who survive this ordeal, we may not need to wail too loud; especially to get you to focus on building and repairing Nigeria instead of embezzling public funds.
Enjoy what the masses have been “enjoying” under threats of intimidation from you all; if they so much as wince in pain.
Watching you all squirm is our delight!
*raises champagne flute*
The rich also cry.