Nigeria at the mercy of quacks

Many Nigerians; including this writer, embark on self medication because our health care delivery system is grossly inadequate and therefore not economically convenient. And since a generality of Nigerians are not covered by form of Health Insurance, water will always find its level with precarious alternative of Bush Doctors in neighborhood “chemists” and on commercial buses. Others parade markets and other public places some with loudspeakers hawking various concoctions.

The WHO considers 1 doctor per 1000 persons “insufficient” but in Nigeria it is 1 doctor per 4222 persons according to the National Population Commission.
I do not know which part of the moon Dr Chris Ngige lives on because according to him;

“We have more than enough doctors. You can quote me. We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send them back home here.”

This was the Labour minister’s response that was broadcast by Channels TV on April 24, 2019 when he was queried about the mass exodus of medical professionals from Nigeria. Ngige’s position clearly contradicts that of his erstwhile colleague on the Federal Executive Council, former Health minister, Prof Isaac Adewole who had previously in May 2018 declared at a conference of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) that they were 88,692 registered doctors in Nigeria out which only 45,000 were practicing in Nigeria – the rest abroad. This simply means in reality there is about 1 doctor per 8000 persons in Nigeria. I nevertheless humbly stand to be corrected.

According to the register of General Medical Council there were 5250 Nigerian doctors practicing in UK as at 2017. However, in 2018 the number had risen to 6289. An increase of more than 1000 in just one year! Interestingly, that represents a third of a total of 3230 doctors graduated by the 32 medical faculties in Nigeria out of a total of 174 NUC approved universities in Nigeria.

Nigerian doctors and other medical professionals understandably flee abroad for more renumeration and better working conditions. Let us not talk about lack of patriotism because we all know how impossible it is to get admission to either read medicine or pharmacy in Nigeria.

The topic of conversation should be why is our nation not investing in medical education. For instance, in the North West geopolitical zone only ABU, BUK and Sokoto have the capacity to produce 120,100 and 100 doctors respectively based on the approved quota for 2018 by the Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria. In the entire North East only UniMaid has the quota to produce 150 doctors. The highest quota in Nigeria of 180 is allocated to University of Ibadan. The lowest of 50 is allocated to the 5 partially accredited medical schools that include that of Benue State University headed by my good friend Prof Linus Saalu. In overall context out of the 32 medical faculties in Nigeria only 8 are in the North out of which 6 are federal owned (Unijos, Unilorin, Unimaid, UDUS, ABU, BUK) then that of Benue state as earlier mentioned and the ECWA owned Bingham University, Karu in Nasarawa state.

How has the preponderance of political appointments to the North alleviated health care delivery for the Talakawa in Nigeria’s must densely population region that produces only 15 dental surgeons annually out of a national turnout of 175?
What is the way forward? But before answering let us look at the number of pharmacists of which the following report speaks volumes;

“The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has expressed fear on the rising number of pharmacists who are emigrating from Nigeria to seek for a “better life abroad.”

Speaking with press men at the commencement ceremony of the Pharmacy Week 2019, Chairman of PSN, Oyo State chapter, Abiodun Ajibade, said: “Pharmacists population in Nigeria is very low, this is in spite of the great potentials for growth occasioned by continuous emigration of Pharmacists whom Nigeria has spent heavily to train as a result of poor practice environment.” According to Ajibade, “Out of less than 30,000 total population of practicing Pharmacists in Nigerian, over five thousand of them have gone outside the country.”

According to a post on Bloomberg.com entitled Trapped by Coronavirus, Nigerian Elite Faces Squalid Hospitals dated April 2, 2020 there are 180,709 registered nurses and 0.5% hospital beds per 1000 persons in Nigeria. But more disturbing than this is the report by Inspire Nurses Network Africa, an NGO, that “90 per cent of Nigerian Nurses lacked basic life support skills on emergency care.”

The way forward is obvious; the cost of running our democracy must be reduced starting with the National Assembly. As long as state governors and LG chair persons are not held accountable on “security votes” Nigerians will continue to be at the mercy of (Quacks) Bush Doctors!

Sunday of Palms and Qualms

Matthew 21:1-17World wide today is Palm Sunday. “In the biblical text above, Jesus sent his disciples to get a colt (donkey) for him, telling them to repeat His instructions if confronted when untying the colt. The next scene described Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. As the colt was untied and decorated to carry the Master. The colt was released from bondage to carry the Christ. We must note that the main purpose of our release from bondage is to carry the Master – an instrument to accomplish His mission.” This is the quote from ‘The Daily Fountain’; daily devotional guide of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)The timing of this year’s Palm Sunday is instructive in a number of respects. Most of the world is in lock down. Christians join the world is shutting themselves away from churches and congregational worship on a day that is most significant for communal worship.The hassles of daily life has been conditionally reduced to the bare necessities of live, namely;Life, Safety & Family.
The entire world has, without warning, withdrawn inside, together and it almost complete unison.As we wait for the coming release from this pandemic and it’s accompanying discomforts, are going to make the lessons worthwhile?Is the world using this moment to reboot it’s sense of priority?This spiritual anniversary of sober reflection coincides with a time of conscious assessment of what matters the most.Definitely this Sunday of Palms comes around with bouts of doubts and concerns. But for any attentive person of whatever orientation, creed & calling, this is a time for reconsidering what matters the most. Indeed this Sunday of Palms comes with it’s Qualms.Though we’re not in complete disarray but we will all concur that it could have been a whole lot worse.We will beat this as we did most others before it. This is a wake up call, we all know this. But have we all reassessed?

Who is this Imam of Peace?

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe



Mohammed Tawhidi is a rabble rouser whose middle name is controversy. That the third generation Iranian-born Australian cleric is fighting a political proxy war against President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is obvious. The million Naira question is on whose behalf is Mr. Tawhidi granstanding? It is politically significant that less than 24 hours after the launch of Tawhidi’s Social Media offensive Mr. President appeared in a series of photographs as a counter narrative to one of the Imam’s claims that Nigerians do not know where their leader is.


The Imam raised many other pertinent issues that are moot, but I shall endeavor returning to the one over President Buhari’s leadership capacity in my conclusion. That notwithstanding I feel the Imam has a personal axe to grind as his own words betray. Hear him; “Nigerians should know that I’ve actually had contact with (President Buhari’s) office before” Tawhidi continued “I was about to come to Nigeria for negotiations and help achieve peace between sects” As he rambled on Tawhidi even took a swipe at the Shia leader Ibrahim El Zakzaky on whose behalf he had sought to come to Nigeria in the first place.


How did a fringe cleric become a hero for the political Far Right in Australia, Europe and even the US? The Imam is no doubt a smooth operator that is media savvy. Interestingly, he is a fierce critic of not just the Shia theocracy in Iran but the Sunni mainstream. Is he an international political mercenary for hire?


I take exception to a foreigner deriding the Office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The fundamental issue is not really the person occupying that exalted office at any given time; but the office itself. Unfortunately, the ruling APC is chiefly responsible for creating an enabling environment that the highest office in our nation is under a Social Media siege from abroad. I will limit myself to 3 instances when APC was in opposition. First, on January 21, 22 and 29 2015, the presidential convoy of Goodluck Jonathan was pelted with stones in Katsina, Bauchi and Yola respectively.



This “single minded recklessness” was known to the nation’s security apparatus prior to when they variously happened. Stopping the treasonable incidences would have sparked off a chain of events that would have had deadly consequences – the exact intention of the planners now in government. Second, the Chibok abductions of April 14, 2014 was a puzzling chain of events that started when the Borno state government turned down WAEC’s call for the relocation of that vulnerable center to Maiduguri. Anyway, the #BringBackOurGirls immediately became a well orchestrated political movement fueled by the then opposition to reduce the esteem of the Office of the President to the extent that at the second term inauguration of Jacob Zuma the matter was dredged up as an aspect of Nigerian bashing engineered by opposition even abroad.



“On October 16, 2014, Chief Audu Ogbeh a chieftain of APC, who later became a minister, had said on camera at an APC rally at the Eagle Square Abuja, “I want to thank members of the #BBOG which is being led by members of our party” Third, former president Jonathan was openly accused of being variously a drunk while carrying out state functions. He was also openingly accused of being a sponsor of the Boko Haram insurgency to deliberately decimate the North’s population.


The preceeding narratives were among others engineered by the then opposition including another viral quote attributed to General Sani Abacha that “Any insecurity that lasts more than 48 hours has the government’s hand in it” All the foregoing were examples of hunger for power without due consideration of the consequences of diminishing the office that symbolizes that power. It is against the background of these instances that the recent tweets of “Imam for Peace” bashing President Buhari is collectively tantamount to poetic justice – not withstanding Mr. President cannot be proved to have been privy to these machinations when he was an opposition figure. He nevertheless became a beneficiary of the same information warfare he is now paradoxically a victim of from the Imam of Peace.



In conclusion, I return to the issue raised by Imam Mohammed Tawhidi on President Buhari’s availability and capacity to lead Nigeria. That Mr. President has not being medically evacuated to “Cuba” as wicked rumor had it has already been debunked by the photographs circulated by the Presidency less than 24 hours after Tawhidi had gone viral. My take on the photographs are beyond the scope of this post. I must however question in passing what meaningful meeting can take place at such seating distance with 2 members in attendance wearing surgical masks that will muffle their voices? The photographs nevertheless underscore the need for adequate information to dispel wild speculation and conspiracy theories while still asking why Mr. President did not also wear a mask? Did Mohammed Tawhidi before his viral tweets watch the Kadaria Ahmed hosted “The Candidates” which featured Mr. President and VP Yemi Osinbajo? Because as the town hall meeting broadcast live nationwide established; it is one thing to be in power and yet another to be in control takeless of having the presence of mind to actually be in power.

The beauty of a joint ticket however was epitomized by Mr. Osinbajo during the broadcast hosted by Kadaria in January 2019. “The VP provided the much-needed fillip to make the session worth the efforts and investment. And when it appeared the President had difficulty in hearing (or processing) the questions from the moderator and members of the audience, Osinbajo was always on hand to repeat them to him. The VP also, on many occasions, guided his boss in supplying what he felt were appropriate answers for tough questions” At one stage I recall Ms Ahmed had to restrain Osinbajo from interjecting on behalf of his obviously overwhelmed boss. As far as I am concerned there was nothing wrong with the VP’s actions on air. If so why has Osinbajo been now consigned to a political Siberia of sorts? The answer is obvious and lies in Law 1 of 48 Laws of Power – “Never outshine the master”
I have noticed how Mark Pence defers to Donald Trump on issues. The US leader came into office with the deficit of never holding any prior public office. Pence complemented his boss having been Indiana state governor and for 12 years a member of the US Congress. The same could be said on the Buhari-Osinbajo ticket as the VP makes up for Mr. President’s intellectual lack. It is therefore the clear absence of a leadership synergy at the Aso Rock Villa that created the political vacuum Imam Mohammed Tawhidi

operated in with his tweets. That President Buhari is politically vulnerable is what makes him a target of opportunity by the Imam of Peace. Information warfare is defined as the spreading of propaganda or disinformation to negatively manipulate perceptions. The chief purpose is to politically demoralize.




The million Naira question remains: on whose behalf is Mr. Tawhidi deconstructing President Buhari?

Making Coffee or Tea

I love this analogy!

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee?

“Because someone bumped into me!!!”

Wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.

Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

Whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled.

So we have to ask ourselves… “what’s in my cup?”

When life gets tough, what spills over?

Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility?

Anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions?

Life provides the cup, YOU choose how to fill it.

Today let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness and love for others.

Nigerians, Are we preparing for the future as a country?

On Made in China 2025.
On several occasions I run across these Chinese kids here in Georgia Tech, what surprises me is the type of courses they study. Almost all of them under Chinese government scholarship here to study in Americas best universities are studying courses that have to do with the future.

They study artificial intelligence, systems science and engineering, and hard core courses for tommorows World, their social lives are zero and they always hold sophisticated telephones. Very suprizing, but China is a country that thinks ahead and every Chinese is a potential suspect.

Have you ever heard of the concept, made in China 2025? It is Chinese Development blueprint that had sent fear around the world. It is meant to transform China from a labor intensive economy that makes toys, cloths, pharmaceutical to one that engineers advanced products like robots electric cars, and space explorations.
The Chinese are believed to be the most determined species of the human race. Once they set their minds to achieve a goal nothing stops them.

Earlier today, I listened to a commentary where the presenter clearly stated that the Chinese state would not mind stealing technology and intellectual property just to meet their goal.
I also read elsewhere, that Chinese kids are sent in droves to study unique courses like artificial intelligence, information systems, system science, robotic engineering, systems engineering in American schools. Surprisingly this is a deliberate state policy. You never see a Chinese student on scholarship studying arts, social sciences or religion.

What is most troubling is that they study these courses in America and United Kingdom top ivy leagues. They are here on full state sponsored scholarships.
While the economies of the world including the United States are exporting production distribution and exchange in an era of globalization, China is pursuing an agenda of localizing production.
They promote a policy to get almost 70 percent of their production value chain domiciled locally. This is very dangerous because in the future the entire world will answer to China in terms of production. My concern with China is how can a country and a people get it so right? Always ahead of the rest. Always scheming at a time our own kids are holidaying and eating barbecue in foreign restaurants.

The more I study the Chinese, the more I fall in love with these guys. They have leaders that think. They have leaders that plan for tommorow. More interesting, even children as young as five years in China know in every transaction they have to eat up their opponents or be eaten.
The big question: Can we ever have a country built on values? Unfortunately, this is our biggest handicap in Nigeria. Our leaders think only of themselves. Selfish and greedy, and some of our young people think only of what they can scoop out of these greed.
Vision 2020 we planned, this is 2019, nothing to write home about. Even the government themselves are busy politicking and killing themselves with no regard to attain the goals of vision 2020. Open a discussion with a federal minister on how his ministry plans to meet the vision 2020 goals he has no idea what you are talking about.
Our hospitals are still consulting clinics, women still give birth at home without medical support, our roads in disrepair, our schools abandoned and our politicians clueless.

Is there hope for our country that we can ever plan and execute with precision like the Chinese?
Sometime I wonder, do we embrace the Chinese and be recolonized or do we continue to align with the west?
These young Chinese kids in Western schools studying robotics and artificial intelligence are the ones to compete with our own kids 20 years from now at a time our educational system and universities are dead and lecturers still going on strike. I fear for my country and our future, to be candid I fear!

Princewill Odidi, a Development analyst write from Atlanta.

FRIENDLY FOES: Another must read

A World of Sentiments
Friendly Foes

Strangest explosion rocks the Karachi international airport just as a massive deployment of US marines arrived the busy airport. Stories of the victims and their relatives, responders and their purpose, perpetrators and their reasons, unfolds a tale of current resolutions based on old conceptions. The narrative tells of the most diverse colorful global characters surrounded with a good mix of friends and foes.
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There is David Holden, the English Doctor who loves humanity more than his origins. His idea of getting use to scarcity in the midst of plenty paid off in his later years as a charitable medical doctor with the United Nations, WHO and Red Cross, while working with refugees all around the world.
GB Flag - Copy
Abdul Kazaar Ali is Doctor Holden’s opportunistic aged patient who lives out his perception of Muslim norms like he desires. In Karachi, bearded old men must daily demand the honourable respect only reserved for them after death. Only the living can tell the honour bestowed on them and the dead, the judgment they spent a life-time waiting for. Abdul Kazzar wanted his reward on earth and his son; Umar Ali, held much promise after he ran off to England and started working in London to learn the lucrative wisdom of the English.

Aaamu and her mother Rael are Kenyans with Somalian origins. They live by their wits as their circumstances allow. Ladies always come first in typical English fashion and Rael Amu is obsessed with being first but there are very few things in which a young Muslim maiden gets to be first in. Rael passed on her obsession to her daughter and gave her all the tools she needs to be first.

Then there is Fatima, who is smart enough to outwit her sexuality but too human to resist normalcy. From a tender age Fatima figured out that she only got a better deal when she isn’t identified as Arab or Muslim. In America the distinction between the two is inconsequential. Fatima only had to behave ideally in the care of her uncle, Suleiman.

Suleiman’s wife is a delightful gentle half-literate girl named Khadija. She is younger than Fatima and imported from Yemen especially for marriage. Khadija came to Suleiman untarnished by western ways and speaking some English, just enough. Partially caged-in, according to Suleiman’s mildly liberal interpretations of Islamic rites, who ensured Khadija isn’t more exposed than her elbows. But Khadija discovered a lot more than Suleiman cared for.

Ruth is the young Israeli genius whose Jewish father; Avi Jonah, gave her a lot more than just his name. She was born in Tel Aviv and grew up there into a strong healthy industrious lady. Ruth had a pleasant childhood, unlike her controvertial nation’s. All through history every true super power took its turn in bullying the proud Jews.
Peace
Avi Jonah is more Hebrew than he is Jewish, that comes across in his lessons to Ruth and her siblings. It is the Hebrews forte to be proficient in history and like everybody else, their history is always opinionated.

Lee is Ruth’s Chinese boyfriend and school-mate in London, who is trying out his fantasies alongside his opinions. Lee didn’t talk much and hated talking about himself to anyone, Ruth was the only exception. Lee spent most of his leisure time, while growing up in main land China, learning what most enlightened minds in the world had to say about things. His brilliant mind was full of information about diverse cultures from every part of the world.

Professor Henry Benjamin is Lee’s octogenarian landlord, a world renown, multiple award winning, retired academician with many reputable publications to his credit. The steady presence of Lee and his equally excellent girlfriend was a big plus for the aged man with a very weak heart.

Then there is Sean Samuel, the Irish-American reporter with a huge reputation he constantly seeks to live up to, like his proud American nation. Sean wasn’t ever much of a fighter, with his uncles’ tough reputation he never had cause to prove he is a descendant of an Irish gangster from Dublin who migrated to New York city to continue being a crook.

A MUST READ

FRIENDLY FOES
Friendly Foes - Copy
A World of Sentiments
https://www.createspace.com/6131298
http://authl.it/B01CUVBCSU