By Adeola Aderounmu
There is a recurring dilemma with poor administration in Nigeria. No matter what the defenders of Jonathan or the previous useless rulers in Nigeria want to say in their defense they will not be justified. No, they won’t.
When Babangida was the dictator and paramount ruler from 1986 to 1994, he was too busy with corruption and it’s institutionalization that for those 8 wasteful years he did not occur to him that Nigerians deserve good health facility.
When Babangida got sick or had a foot injury he would fly to France for treatment. I have always argued that Nigerian rulers are fools. That opinion has not changed. When the ruler of a country like Nigeria flies to France to treat a foot injury or stomach ache, then that ruler is a stupid person. What should 140m Nigerians do when they get sick?
It is not only Babangida who did such. Invariably Nigeria’s corrupt politicians take turn to queue at hospitals abroad when they are sick. This has been on-going for over 50 years. When Nigerians got independence in 1960 caution was thrown to the winds. Everything you can imagine collapsed, either gradually or suddenly.
A few years ago Babangida’s wife died in a foreign hospital.
In 8 years this guy could have used some of the monies he stole to build the best public hospital in the world in Nigeria but he didn’t.
The state governors, the state ministry of health and the federal health institutions do not see the need to make health provision in Nigeria a top priority. It became increasingly difficult to get quality health services in Nigeria. I can only imagine the cost of getting health care from private health institutions. Still the politicians prefer to go abroad.
General Adisa died in a foreign hospital and recently Ojukwu died in a London Hospital. The roll call is endless of how Nigerian go abroad to die because they (when they had the opportunity) did not see the need to build or utilize the facilities at home.
Late Yar Adua during his short spell at Aso rock-the global center of corruption-oscillated between Germany, Saudi Arabia and other countries to seek medical help. When he was governor for 8 years he could have done something to change the situation of health care delivery in Katsina. Even for his own benefit he could have set aside a certain budget to actualize the dream of getting treated in Nigeria. He almost died abroad-but he was package home to die.
Obasanjo’s wife Stella died while Obasanjo was the president. She went abroad to do a beauty operation and never returned. If the health institutions in Nigeria had been given adequate attention-who knows-the operation could have been carried out in Nigeria, it could have been successful. Many people hate to even talk or hear about beauty operations because they think people should be proud of their bodies while not neglecting the concept of healthy living.
Who can forget when Atiku Abubakar went to London to get clutches? This is supposed to be the vice president of Nigeria and a former state governor. Tell me why Nigerian political rulers are not fools?
It is against the backdrop of these ugly precedents and incidents that the recent trip of Patience Jonathan to a foreign hospital becomes yet another sad development in the history of Nigeria. Patience Jonathan is receiving treatment abroad. The presidency can afford to waste tax payers’ money in facilitating the treatment of Mrs. Jonathan abroad.
Of lesser importance is the nature of her sickness. In a country where red is white and black is green no one knows exactly what is wrong with Mrs. Jonathan. This is because the government reported that she is on a “rest vacation” as the media reports food poisoning, to ruptured appendix and food poisoning.
But where should the rest of Nigerians go when they are sick? The presidency is saying that there are no health facilities in Nigeria and that Nigerians can rot away or go to hell! If the unreliable Nigerian presidency is not saying this, then what is the message when Mrs. Jonathan cannot be treated by any hospital in Abuja or Lagos? Or is the message that Nigerian doctors are incompetent? I would seriously disagree with the latter.
One of my best friends lost his mother a few weeks ago. If the health care is Nigeria was working fine, she would still be alive. She had a disease that was treatable and manageable. Several thousands of Nigerians have died has a result of illnesses that can be treated or managed to prolong their lives-but they never got the chance.
Nigeria still has probably the highest maternal related deaths in the world and remains a hot spot for malaria related deaths.
The government of Nigeria represented by the incompetent presidency, the useless lawmakers, the useless governors, and several collections of corrupt people is an evil organization where the occupiers of power care first for themselves (and their families) and almost never for the people. It is sad that the people of Nigeria have not “run over” these governments over the years. It is really unbelievable.
There will be no justification for the people living hopelessly in Nigeria and dying from preventable causes while the presidency and the rest of the politicians merry in Nigeria, merry abroad and die abroad or almost dying abroad as in the case of late Musa Yar Adua.
In every Nigerian family there are people who need medical attention. There are friends and acquaintances who need a little health provisions. Every now and then we see how Nigerians desperately try to raise a certain amount of money to help friends and family members. Often it is too late even as the money comes in as drops. In many cases there are desperations to fly the victims to a foreign country! This is a sad situation.
This is the reason for my argument that the present regime headed by Mr. Jonathan is just another useless regime. This guy has been around for sometime, first in Bayelsa where he cannot point to any reputable or tangible project he did and now in Aso rock. In all of these years, just like the fools who ruled Nigeria in the past, Mr. Jonathan and the corrupt presidency that he represents has not seen the reason to build a hospital or to support one that he and his family can utilize.
Tell me, where is the hope of the common man in Nigeria?