They say the only natural disaster we have in Nigeria is leadership.
Nigerians are capable of overcoming any kind of disaster, even leadership. The problem with leadership is that is we only replace one bad leader with a worse one who starts recycling the stooges who used to work for his predecessor.
The initial alert on Ebola was issued by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health on Sunday 13th July 2014 before the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, landed on our shores with the killer virus. The first line of the alert contained a glaring typographical error and it made no sense grammatically. I pointed those facts out in an earlier article.
The question then was, “if the government could not even issue an alert about the disease without error how would they tackle the disease if (I dreaded using the word, ‘when’) it lands in Nigeria”.
Unfortunately, the disease hit our shores, infected about twenty people out of which eight people tragically died including two doctors who treated patients infected with the virus.
We cannot even begin to imagine the tragedy caused by the death of eight people but the effect would have been more devastating if urgent action had not been taken by Nigerians.
Immediately it was confirmed that the virus had landed on our shores, Nigerians wasted no time educating themselves on how to stop the spread of the disease with sanitizers and disinfectants flying off the shelves in stores.
Government played its role by providing information on the virus but it was Nigerians who carried out the implementation to ensure that the virus did not spread. If only government could learn from Nigerians how to implement other policies and legislation.
A BBC headline carried a story that Nigerians had resorted to ‘fist-pumping’ instead of hand-shakes to prevent the virus from spreading. The motive behind the BBC story might have been a bit of humour but its Nigerians congratulating ourselves now for successfully battling the virus. No doubt the ‘fist-pumping’ helped to contain the spread.
A Western press that considers bleak news from Africa more lucrative than good news has allowed the situation in Liberia, Sierra-Leone and Guinea to overshadow Nigeria’s success story.
Ebola is giving David Cameron sleepless nights in London as I write. He should come and ask Nigerians, there may be one or two things we can teach him.
The role played by governor Fashola of Lagos State in stopping the disease from spreading mustn’t go unrecognised. If only we had more people like him in leadership!
In all, it’s we Nigerians who should congratulate ourselves for not allowing what would have become a global catastrophe from taking hold on our land.