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COVID-19: Confusion, Lies, Intrigues and Deceit

By Abuchi Obiora

Confusion and horse-trading defined the public pronouncements of world leaders who spoke from the vantage points of their respective power blocs, immersing the early days of COVID-19 pandemic in international and cross-border controversies.

In that confusion, the world stood aghast in helplessness as COVID-19 ravaged it with death tolls across China, Western Europe and America rising by the day.

In that same confusion, the world was shocked, using the words of Dele Giwa, ‘beyond shockability’ as a President cried publicly for help’

The American President, Donald Trump had called the pandemic ‘the Chinese virus’ before Americans began to die in droves with death tolls surpassing those of other countries including the supposedly-incriminated China.

It was not long thereafter when the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson tested positive to the virus. He was quarantined, treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) and later tested negative. He has long resumed duties.

The French President, Emmanuel Macron publicly shed tears inviting international community to rescue them from the tough grip of coronavirus. Cuba was later to send a group of doctors to them, and the situation in France has been taken under control.

In South Korea, 48.3% of the 5,212 COVID-19 cases (the figure has changed) were linked to Shincheoji Church of Jesus where thousands had gathered to worship in defiance to the social (physical) distancing order by government.

The 88-year old leader of the church, Pastor Man-hee got on his knees at a news conference in March to apologize to the nation for his recalcitrance.

In the same confusion, Chinese government was reported to have sought and obtained legal authority to apply euthanasia, mercy killing, to curtail the increasing number of her citizens trapped with COVID-19 infections

Euthanasia as a system of putting a stop to the suffering of a person encountering grave difficulties in living as a result of terminal illness has been a subject which attracted the attention of moralists as well as religious leaders.

With the Chinese approach on COVID-19 patients, a new legal, religious and moral issue of authorized State killing of a citizen to protect the common good of the society and limit the spread of an infectious disease, may have arisen.

This new exercise of the power of a state over the lives of citizens who have not been found guilty of any capital offence, and the infringement on their freedom to life as a result of their innocence shall attract the attention of jurisprudence and constitutional lawyers around the world, in years to come. 

They will be challenged to re-define, for public understanding and knowledge, the scope of the first and most important fundamental right of a citizen as enshrined in the United Nations chater on Human Rights, which is the right to life.

But the President of Madagascar, Malgache Andry Rajoeline was wiser. He quickly turned to indigenous researchers for a cure. They obliged him and came up with one.

Madagascar adopted the herbal tea COVIDORGANICS developed by Dr. Jerome Munyangi, a medical doctor born in D.R Corgo and resident in Madagascar.

Mr. President was later to publicly demonstrate the local formula, and the nationals moved on quickly to adopt the President’s prescription.

In a quick reaction to Madagascar’s adoption of a locally made formula for COVID-19, the World Health Organization. WHO, Africa Region warned against using any drug that has not been clinically tested to treat COVID-19 patients.

But Madagascar have not relented, and I think it is not out of place to find a localized cure for COVID-19. Given the grim prediction by Western Europe and America – the people that control the WHO – that COVID-19 may wipe out a good percentage of African and third world population, Madagascar decision is the right decision to take. It is incumbent on Africa, therefore, to take care of themselves.

On the ‘homefront’, the authorities managing the national emergency and crisis brought about in Nigeria by COVID-19 have been smeared in a litany of lies, intrigues, and deceit.

The observation of discussants in the Cable News Network (CNN) that the figure released by the authorities in Nigeria may have been tampered with showcases one of the intrigues of COVID-19 pandemic management in Nigeria.

Every death that happens in Nigeria now within the purview of the NCDC, is tagged death as a result of COVID-19 related complications. This is surprising because no Nigerian government agency knows how many people that die in Nigeria from other sicknesses. 

 I know that many deaths in Nigeria, beyond the knowledge of the government, are caused by malaria attack, typhoid fever, or hypoglycaemia, a medical term which is synonymous with wrong feeding as a result of poverty and penny.

It takes only people like us who have lived all our years in sub-urban areas with the masses and down-trodden, to understand this truth. 

To complicate issues for the NCDC, the founder of Daar Communications, the owner of Ray Power Radio and Africa Independent Television, Dr, (High Chief) Raymond Dokpesi has asked the NCDC to explain to him whether he was infected with malaria parasite or coronavirus. The High Chief, who was quarantined in one of the centres after testing positive to the virus, said that he was given only malaria medications throughout his stay in the centre. He has long tested negative and now in his home. 

To make matters worst for the NCDC and other COVID-19 management authorities who have received several billions of naira to eradicates COVID-19 in Nigeria, the remains of an elderly woman, the much-respected Hajia Buratai in Borno State, and the mother of one of the Service Chiefs in Nigeria who died of ripe old age after three months battling with ailments that may be ascribed to old age, was almost ‘confiscated’ by the  officials of the NCDC working in concert with the office of the Deputy Governor of the  State. But for the timely intervention of one of the brothers of the service Chief who was accompanied to the hospital by soldiers to ‘rescue’ the remains of Hajia Buratai, the Service  Chief would have lost the opportunity to pay the final respect to a  beloved mother.

The percentage rate of infected patients released in Nigeria by NCDC, when compared with the percentage rate of screened persons, is not a good story to tell. If these figures are right (they are wrong!)  then, Nigeria as a country will be said to be testing 30% positive. That is why the figures given by NCDC must be subjected to the truth test to defray accusation and suspicions of lies, intrigues and deceits filtering down from people close to the COVID-19 management authorities.

 It is not a new information that the Nigeria media as the fourth estate of the realm, have severally complained of inadequacies in the information sifted through the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. For example, not much information has been  released in the  manner of distributing palliatives to Nigerians.  

I had written in this medium that Nigeria will find a cure for COVID-19 within the boundaries of the country. Nigerians are good in scientific research  and this has severally been proved by many successes in this area by Nigerians in the Diaspora.

It is suspicious that Nigerian health authorities are reluctant to hold the long-scheduled meeting with the alternative medicine Practitioners. 

The founder of Iris Medical Foundation, Dr. Paul Olisa Ojei, a long-time researcher in alternative  medicine, came out  to  announce that he  has  a cure for COVID-19. For the avoidance of doubt, Ojei has been in the forefront of promoting alternative medicine in Nigeria for several decades.

To prove his claim, he asked the authorities to inject him with the virus, and he will cure himself in few days. 

This Foundation has come out publicly to tell Nigerians that the government has put deaf ears to its appeal to avail the government of a cure for COVID-19.

Some other capable Nigerians like Professor Maurice  Iwu, another renowned researcher in alternative  medicine  and a former Chairman  of  INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission ), have declared the success of his research to avail the government of a cure for COVID-19.

With this background, one wonders if a group of Nigerian allopathic Medicine practitioners, some politicians and some officials of the federal Ministry of Health are not using COVID-19 as a conduit pipe to enrich themselves while putting fears on Nigerians  and inflating the infection rate of COVID-19 in order to attract government sympathy, foreign grants, loans and other multi-lateral assistance.

The government must listen to the collective opinion of her citizens. Though the government is charged in the social contract between it and the citizens with the power to oversee public health, the government has no right to usurp  the individual’s right  to oversee his own health. Besides, it has been shown overtime that because of the neglect and irresponsibility of government to deliver public health facilities, the people have, most times, resorted to alternative herbal medicine to sort out themselves. This has worked for them.

Sometimes, I cannot understand how Nigeria works. For example, a professional organization founded by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health, says that its members have perfected cures for COVID-19. Some of the members of the organization are Nigerian Professors. The organization is called Nigeria Traditional Medicine Practitioners, NTMP.

The Director General of NAFDAC was reported to have given kudos to Madagascar for their invention of COVIDORANICS as the Federal Government accepted the herbal formula from Madagascar. 

Why not grant Nigerian researchers a quick audience to conduct clinical tests of their formulations as the government in Madagascar did. 

I do not understand why the government feels that its opinion on COVID-19 cure must be the best. That is why it has recently adopted the Madagascar’s formula for Nigeria.

However, I am consoled to know that it is not unlawful for any Nigerian who is infected with coronavirus to obtain his cure from any therapeutic means that is available to him, including herbal medicine. 

Nigerians must shine their eyes!

Abuchi Obiora can be reached through abuchiobiora@gmail.com

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