Pandemic Pandemonium-two words expressing despair and confusion. It is probably a state of hopelessness. The word pandemic is no more alien to Nigeria. Even a child knows its meaning. It is a state of a disease spreading beyond the border of a given locality. In the present day, pandemic which describes COVID19; has thrown the whole world into hell, a state of confusion – hence the word pandemonium. Pandemonium itself is referred to as “…the capital of hell…” in John Milton’s book PARADISE LOST. This shows how distressful the present situation is-no thanks to COVID19.
Perhaps one of the countries that are going through this distress is Nigeria. This is because before now, the authority and the rulers of Nigeria paid very little attention if any, to the health care system of the country. Truly, every year budgets are made for health yet the result is nothing to go by. Health Ministers upon Health Ministers display their prowess in the use of the English language just to illustrate how well the health system in the country has been developed and that the citizens have nothing to worry about. The rhetoric continued until one day, just one day, something happened.
Mother Nature decided to say enough is enough. This becomes a pandemonium-hell if you want to accept John Milton’s opinion-because in the past, Nigerian leaders would have jetted out of the country to care for themselves while the rest of the citizenry suffer or die for all they care. This time around, it became a hell-no place to run. Mother Nature said stay here and reap what you sowed. And stay they are. All foreign airports closed. All planes including their private aircraft grounded. Isn’t Mother Nature a leveller?
So what is the lesson to learn? Those human beings are equal before the Creator. Every man reaps what he sows. As far as the Creator is concerned, no one is above the other no matter how much wealth one may acquire. Empty you came and empty you must go back.
Leaders, come back home. Retrace your steps and do what you swore by the constitution to do. Look back at the health system and do something that will speak well of you when you are gone. Just thinking and I should be allowed!
Richard Akpan is Head of ICT, National Institute for Nigerian Languages, Aba, Abia State
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