By Dan UGWU.
Nigeria is at the crossroads of history. It has gotten to a point that being a Nigerian becomes abysmally frustrating and incredibly exciting. A pervasive feeling of betrayal and disenchantment is sweeping across Nigeria like the desert sand.
The besetting factors of our democracy is the uncultured self-depreciation, self-immolation, stone throwing, name calling, buck passing, bickering, treachery, blackmail and wangling that swing as pendulums among the Nigerian people. From muffled grumbling to loud murmuring, and now unguarded and uncensored propaganda.
It is hard to outlive any week in Nigeria without being fed with one propaganda or the other. In the last few days, Nigerians feasted heavily on the 5G network deployment. Dino Melayi; former Nigerian Senator was a major vanguard of the crusade.
In the emerging unnecessary debate, social media analysts caved in, pastors queued in and before the arrival of telecom pundits, the entire Nigerian space had been polluted with fake news. As the propaganda is gradually fading, fragments of the 5G writing are still appearing epileptically on social media.
While 5G news is fading, Nigerians will not easily be starved of propaganda. Another information has preoccupied the media and this one for sure will rage for days and weeks. What is it this time? NIGERIANS WILL NEVER ACCEPT THE EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE DOCTORS TO TREAT CORONA VIRUS. Where did the information emanate from?
Three days ago (April 3, 2020), the Honorable Minister of Health; Dr Osagie Ehanire announced during the Presidential Task Force Media Briefing, that an 18 man team of Chinese medical experts are expected to arrive Nigeria within a few days with a consignment of globally scarce medical supplies, to augment the government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Health Minister; Dr Ehanire, the donations by the group of Chinese Companies in Nigeria, includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other Medical consumables, with one million surgical masks for health workers and also ICU ventilators valued at over $100,000, all sourced in the face of global scarcity of these items.
In addition, the Minister noted that the Chinese medical experts, comprising of doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and public health managers will share their knowledge, skills and real-life experience of fighting covid-19 with Nigerian expert personnel in strengthening management of COVID-19 cases, especially with regard to critical care.
The Chinese professionals will only educate our experts on the usage of some of the sophisticated equipment they produced and will not necessarily take over medical duties.
Ever since this information hit the media, it has been cooked in various pots as is customary with Nigeria. Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB’s leader led open the floodgates of this latest criticism, alleging it was a way to kill Nigerians.
Sadly, the Nigerian Medical Association led by Dr Francis Faduyile has issued a statement saying the association vehemently rejects the spreading news of the invitation of Chinese doctors to Nigeria on the grounds that they are already experts.
Some other analysts are of the opinion that Nigeria must reject any offer from China, maybe because they are harbinger of Corona Virus. This is coming after some weeks Nigeria received her own package of medical equipment from Chinese Billionaire; Jack Ma.
Apart from China, South Korea and Taiwan are now sending resources around the world to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. As part of a larger global initiative to send Chinese medical experts to Europe, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf among other regions, China has already given $20 million to the World Health Organization for COVID-19 efforts. China is supplying millions of masks and other desperately needed items to struggling governments, hoping to build political ties and defuse unwholesome criticisms.
As we write, Serbia’s president plans to be at the airport this weekend to welcome a shipment of medical supplies from his “brother and friend,” Chinese leader. Xi Jinping. Xi’s government has flown gloves and protective clothing to Liberia. It is sending 100,000 test kits to the Philippines. It is shipping supplies to Cambodia. More than 10 flights carrying millions of masks and other supplies are bound for the Czech Republic this week.
In Africa, Ethiopia has commenced the usage of their latest supplies from China. Algeria has already received her Chinese envoy of medical experts with their consignments. Nigeria is next and after which the experts will land in Zimbabwe. At one level, China is reciprocating assistance it received.
Nearly 80 countries sent supplies to China, some on charter flights they sent to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan. On another scale, China is deepening ties with countries that have been receptive to its outreach as it assumes a larger international role. So, what is Nigeria’s worry over the Chinese aid?
Every government effort must not be viewed with the prism of politics. For any unbiased and sincere observer, this initiative would greatly build the capacity of hard working and resourceful Nigerian health workers at the fore front of fighting coronavirus.
The encounter will sure provide a window of opportunity to strengthen our own response mechanism through lessons learnt from any country that has had the experience and can provide hands- on demonstration of dealing with the outbreak and give the Nigerian clinical workforce the opportunity to share global best practices.
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Dan Ugwu and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite. The World Satellite will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”