On Tuesday, the information broke that the Chief of Staff to the Nigerian president, Abba Kyari, examined constructive for COVID-19. Three of his aides reportedly additionally examined constructive. Same Tuesday, it was introduced that the Bauchi State governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed, additionally examined constructive. Then, there’s the son of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, whose take a look at consequence was introduced on Saturday. Given how many individuals near them they may have huddled earlier than diagnoses, we’ll by no means understand how far and extensive they unfold the virus.
About a yr in the past, The Avengers’ Endgame was all the trend. Looking at how artwork appears to be mimicking life, we will draw a parallel with the current time. The movie’s villain, a genocidal warlord known as Thanos, tried to rid the universe of half of its inhabitants. Today the world faces an identical enemy within the guise of a virus known as COVID-19. From Nigeria to just about each nation on the planet, the pandemic ravages and it’s projected to contaminate a considerable a part of the human inhabitants.
This illness is harmful, not only for the efficiency of its sting however as a result of it’s a leveller. From the highly effective to the disempowered, the clever to the witless, all are imperiled by this invisible enemy. Who might have thought the day would come when wealthy and poor nations of the world could be threatened by an equal alternative killer that’s not even the nuclear bomb? And who would have thought that sick Nigeria’s elites could be trapped in their very own nation?
Our leaders most likely thought themselves invincible and that most likely explains their preliminary angle to the pandemic.
Here is an instance of the slack of their pondering: Earlier this month, members of the House of Representatives resolved to droop plenary for 2 weeks to forestall the unfold of COVID-19 within the National Assembly. Without recourse to a scientific understanding of how the virus spreads so they may put together a coherent containment plan for the nation they fake to serve, they closed store and went on vacation. Some 17 days later, in line with the letter supposedly signed by Kyari to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, these similar lawmakers have been arrogantly refusing to topic themselves to authentic screenings on the airport.
In abstract, the lawmakers ran away from their responsibility posts due to the concern of COVID-19, however they might not adhere to primary guidelines that would have protected the nation from the contagion their our bodies is likely to be harbouring. In one sense, they didn’t see the irony of their totally different responses to the specter of the virus as a result of they’re a lawless, inconsiderate, and uncoordinated bunch. In one other sense, their asystemic pondering is sort of reflective of our angle to planning in these elements. We don’t typically consider points via of their complexity and now we have not discovered to construct social techniques and processes which might be overlaid, such that the lead to one space will generate a roborant impact on one other.
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As a society, we are inclined to react to a number of points as if they’re disparate. Without that sense of how one factor connects to a different to provide a series response, we hold attempting to place out countless fires. That angle has underprepared us to combat a virus whose mode of transmission operates, sadly, systemically.
In all of those developments, there’s the temptation by odd Nigerians in direction of both schadenfreude or sentimentality.
On one aspect are already those that, having been lengthy resentful of the cluelessness and the gross selfishness of those leaders, see it as a “God don catch dem” second. Those folks will have a good time the misfortune of our leaders and doubtless even want them lifeless. As a lot as I perceive the tendency to brag on the misfortune of the highly effective as a launch valve for the disenfranchised, I believe that response is ineffective. Sickness is just not punitive; it is likely one of the many realities of existence. No matter what we’ll wish to imagine, our our bodies usually are not fearfully and splendidly made. They could be fairly simply torn aside by the vicissitudes of nature. Every human physique was made to be ultimately destroyed, easy. Death itself isn’t any punishment; it’s a treatment for a terminal illness known as life. As such, I discover the celebration of somebody’s illness and demise an inclination of the emotionally unintelligent.
On the opposite aspect are Nigerians who’re given to public pretensions of advantage and who should sign it to appear to be higher people than the remainder of us. Those are those who will emotionally blackmail these of us who insist on being clear-headed about these points to “pray for our leaders.” Those ones have to be reminded that the lives of Kyari, Abubakar, Muhammed, and different members of their coterie, who’ve been contaminated or will probably be contaminated, usually are not value greater than these of different Nigerians who die daily. When 20 Nigerians died in Abule Ado two weeks in the past, what number of of our leaders threw a weeping material on their heads? How many hire their garments in anguish? Those who’re contaminated with the virus of sentimentality had higher dry their eyes immediately and get severe.
If there’s something we must be involved about for the time being, it’s how these of us who usually are not near energy and privilege plan to outlive within the unlucky occasion of being contaminated. Those leaders which might be being flown from Abuja to Lagos to obtain remedy will possible get precedence care over these whose solely supply of energy is their God within the heavens. That means until you’re feeding in the identical trough with the wealthy and the highly effective, you’re about to be twice robbed. The similar leaders who undervalued tens of millions of Nigerian lives and left them to die in underfunded hospitals are about to outbid them within the forthcoming competitors for the restricted healthcare assets out there.
For now, that’s my major concern about this case. I don’t imagine that our current crop of leaders, who’re mendacity prostrate on their dying hospital beds, can have a Saul-to-Paul conversion second the place they’ll immediately realise they may have accomplished higher for us after they had the prospect. They usually are not that human. They are VIPs, Viruses In Power.
APC nationwide chief, Bola Tinubu, confirmed himself that their management is a pestilence. Recently, Tinubu printed an article the place he likened the inordinate ambitiousness of his social gathering members to COVID-19. While I’m against his metaphorising ambitiousness with a plague (and thereby banalising painful actuality), I can’t consider a greater case that anybody might have made in opposition to the management with which they’ve plagued Nigeria up to now 5 years than Tinubu’s accounting of himself and his companions. And all of it got here straight from the horse’s mouth. What a revelation!
Let me repeat that it’s unproductive presently to be losing power on both shaming or pitying our leaders who get contaminated with the virus. They have constantly demonstrated they’re past the extent of humaneness that might make both response in direction of their situation significant. They can’t really feel the ache that’s not straight theirs, and the one sense of disgrace they’ve is dropping elections. What ought to matter to everybody now could be their particular person survival plan if issues get actually tight within the coming weeks.
This novel contagion isn’t any respecter of energy, and that’s what makes it extremely exceptional. It is an efficient factor that our leaders are discovering that their our bodies usually are not resistant to the cruel realities Nigerians must deal with daily. Now that they’re barred from nations the place they normally get handled for maladies as widespread as an ear an infection, they must face the shameful actuality of how their rooster has come house to roost.
How these contaminated elites course of their new actuality is as much as them. As lengthy as they don’t snag all of the out there medical assets belonging to the remainder of us, I can solely want them good luck.
Written by Abimbola Adelakun