OPINION

I Can’t Breathe_Dr Biodun Ogungbo MBBS, FRCS, FRCSEd, MSc


I woke up this morning and farted. Yes, I did. And it had a horrible smell. It smelled like shit. Holy Moses, I cried. What did I eat last night that’s decayed so bad within me? Well, what?

I went into the kitchen and, even that smelled bad. There was a dustbin in the kitchen that needs to be emptied. I had dumped a newspaper in there. Some paper called the Punch was used to wrap sweet corn!

But, what did I ‘read’ last night that smelled so bad?

You have to know, don’t you? So, I picked up the newspaper and the smell hit me like a wave, again. It was right in the headline of the newspaper. It had been reported that the Nigerian government was going to repaint the National Assembly to the tune of N27b. The money for health was cut to N25.5b and that for education was reported as N51.1b. Both had been reduced by as much as 50%.

The news had disturbed my stomach so much.

Perhaps the National Assembly is possibly, probably, comparatively and unimaginably in a worse condition than the health of the nation. It is quite likely the place smells so bad it needs to be dewormed and then fumigated.

Yet, remember we are still in the midst of one of the worst health crises in the world, let alone in Nigeria. The Corona virus is still ravaging in many parts of the world including America and Brazil. Countries with arguably better health care systems than Nigeria. The virus has exposed the soft underbelly of health in Nigeria with our poor infrastructure, weak manpower and less than ‘adequate’ provisions for health nationally.

One would have thought that this pandemic was a big lesson for our leaders. We did hope it was a massive exposé, a wake-up call that would engender the restructuring and bolstering of the health care delivery in the country. A situation that should have led to massive injection of funds to resuscitate universal basic health care for the benefit of all, Kings and paupers alike!

In Nigeria, and in politics, interest is everything. The personal interest of the players trumps the national interest. The payment for the salaries and emoluments of the legislators and the judiciary were reduced by only 10%. The budget for the National Assembly is now N115.2B and the National Judicial Council, N99b.

I took the dustbin to the front of the house and left it all there for collection. Apparently, so many people had done the same this morning as the whole neighbourhood was stinking of shit. But it was a different smell. This was definitely something else and distinctly foreign.

Apparently, a man called George Floyd had been killed in the USA. Three cops in Minnesota held him down on a case of passing off a dodgy 20-dollar bank note as real. For real! One of the cops knelt down on his neck for close to 9 minutes and George Floyd died. He was asphyxiated to death and could be heard shouting, ‘I can’t breathe’ as he died.

He also asked for him mum to come and save him.

We need a breath of fresh air in Nigeria as we are slowly being suffocated in our own country. Our mothers and fathers in the National Assembly have turned up their noses at future generations and are strangling the children of today. We have a guileless and corrupt system of governance that does not pay heed to education and health of the citizens. It does seem that Corona virus has missed its target in Nigeria and we will instead die of the shit emanating from the rock.

😭😭😭
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkpUyB2xgTM

Alas, since many have survived the Corona virus, alooter continua!

NB: Wearing a face mask covering the nose and mouth doesn’t help. This crazy shit brings tears to my eyes!

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