Much ado about nothing

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By Denrele Animasaun

“Life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children—all of our children—a better world.” —President Obama.

There must be something  in the  waters at home that are not good that is making our leaders unwell such that they are seeking medical treatment abroad. First, Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan, the president’s   wife, was airlifted to the hospital by an air ambulance to Germany.

Before the flight of  mercy we were  unofficially informed, the ebullient first lady had been on a secret mission to Dubai (the specifics, debatable) The  official line is that she had been unwell due to food poisoning, it was so bad she had to be flown to Germany. I assume her food poisoning could not be  treated in Nigeria.

Staff close to the president let it slip that that Patience lost her voice as a result of her ailment. They let it be known that the president was not pleased that it was common knowledge that his wife had sought treatment  abroad.

Within the week, we were informed that Mrs. Alison-Madueke had to make a dash to the UK where she is also receiving treatment for a potentially serious  condition. So she hopped on a jet but  left message with  her  staff  that  she was  accompanying her children to  the   UK. They school in the UK. It then   transpired she was in UK   for medical treatment.

I really  do not understand the cloak and dagger charades. If you have not got something to hide, what other reason would they seek medical attention abroad other than the fact that they are unable to get adequate treatment at home. But we all know that there has been a brain drain of doctors and nurses for years.

About time the government prioritises and  puts more investments (no cutting corners here, mind you) into the  health care system.In the last couple of months, it has been reported that government leaders from Gabon,Togo and Tanzania have all sought treatment abroad. They do not entrust their health in the hands of their countries’ doctors.

It is quite  intriguing as over here in the UK,the Queen’s husband took ill, the public was immediately informed about his ailment, where he was being treated and  regular updates about his response to treatment.  He is 92 years old and it was expected that his health would get  poor as he advances in  age.

As soon as he was  released  from  hospital, The Duke of Edinburgh resumed his official duties. What more, he was treated in a local hospital and he had to endure an hour ambulance ride tohospital. Let’s wish both ladies speedy recovery.

Eight of September

“ Education  is  the  most powerful   weapon   which  you  can  use  to  change  the   world”-Nelson  Mandela

I am not sure if the   8th of   September was   celebrated    in Nigeria. It was The   United Nations’ International Literacy Day, to raise people’s awareness and concern for literacy across   the   world.

We  know  what  education   can  do; it  can  improve  and  raise  people  out  of  poverty, improve  their   living condition, increase economic growth,  increase civic engagement, improve health, prevent ill-health   through  information, enhance and  improve cultural tolerance and cohesion.

It   does wonder for self-esteem, empowerment and so much more.

So, literacy can be instrumental in people’s achievement of a range of capabilities such as maintaining good health and living longer, learning throughout life, controlling reproductive behaviour, raising healthy children and educating them.  Literacy is a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning. It is fully essential to social and human development in its ability to transform lives.

We need to prepare our young and arm them with tools to become productive citizens. Some of the crude oil proceeds  should go to educate our people -old and young- so that we can have a country worthy to be proud  of. Our government needs to provide the opportunity for people to work their way out of poverty and improve the life chances of ordinary  Nigerians.

Perhaps out of the crop of educated Nigerians, we will have eminent surgeons, doctors, nurses, architects, scientist and educationists. If not, we will continue to store problems for the future. I know  that the free education in Nigeria enabled many to improve their life chances and some of the top people in Nigeria were recipients  of the  system. It’s about time they gave back.

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