Now that we have succeeded to some extent in the containment of Ebola in Nigeria, what key lessons and latent facts were revealed? Here are (5) five lessons/facts revealed by the successful containment of the Virus in Nigeria recently, as we continue working to prevent another introduction of the virus :
Whenever we are really serious about something, we’ll achieve results – We are not an entirely unstructured nation, though our institutions may be weak, having the right people in positions of public affairs is very key in times of crises and national emergencies. Whenever we are determined to work together, we always achieve results, even faster. The level of seriousness and speed with which the Lagos State government swung into action is commendable and the Federal government too wasted no time. If we are serious about issues, about results, about change, we will always achieve results.
Once more in our lifetime as a nation, we didn’t focus on sentiments – Our non-tribalistic, non religious and non-partisan approach to the ebola scourge saved us from a potential epidemic. The Governor of Lagos State, the Minister of Health, other health workers, TV and Radio personalities etc didn’t add tribal sentiments to the fight. Some myopic politicians wanted to attribute our collective success to their political party anyway, but we knew better.
Despite our tribal and religious differences, we always unite against a common external enemy – Unity is key to collective success. We all didn’t become Muslims or Christians, neither did we all turn Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa, yet we successfully contained Ebola and will eventually win the battle. If we want the change we have always yearned for, we must unite in purpose despite our tribal and religious differences. Our unity against Boko Haram has been profound too. If we had not united to unequivocally speak against it, without tribal or religious bias, we would have provided a more fertile breeding ground for Boko Haram. Whenever our collective existence/life is threatened, we become unbelievably united to fight the common enemy.
There are still people who have the genuine interest of Nigeria and Nigerians at heart – Not all people in government and public service care less about the fate of other Nigerians. We lost a hero, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh who in my opinion, at least deserves an official national recognition posthumously, because she thought about the fate of fellow Nigerians by placing Patrick Sawyer in quarantine. She saved me and so many other Nigerians by not allowing Sawyer to have physical contact with the public. What if she had applied the popular O.Y.O principle that most of us live by today? The O.Y.O (On your own) principle would have made Ebola thrive if key people in public service had been selfishly thinking about themselves alone. There are still a few who are truly concerned about the welfare of Nigeria and Nigerians. Are you one of them?
Nigerians fear death so much – Nobody wants to die in Nigeria, the simple reason the salt bath rumour was welcome with open arms. Unlike some countries where reports claim family members of Ebola patients forcefully took their relatives away from care centres and debunked the Ebola story, the fear of dying helped Nigerians to not doubt, house or forcefully take Ebola patients from care centres. Information passed quickly as TV, radio stations, media houses etc raised awareness, mostly free of charge. The fear of dying of Ebola made a lot more people cooperate with government rather than doubt the news or work against the government.
Ebola is still ravaging other countries and we can’t bask in the euphoria of our present successful containment for too long. We must be alert, to avoid a re-introduction of the virus into the country, while we provide help to our fellow brothers in other countries.
We have been successful at this collective effort. Injecting such unity and commitment into every other areas of our national heritage, especially politically and economically will always produce results that leave us better off, but are we willing to let go of our tribal, personal and religious sentiments, knowing that a polarized nation is a weak nation?