May God not place on me a burden that is too much to bear. This is one of my prayer points during my worship everyday. Many also make this supplication. It should in fact be a compulsory prayer for all. We all need to pray that in the course of our earthly sojourn, we do not encounter a health challenge that even when the victim desires to hang on to dear life, there is no means to and death itself would not come until all is lost: savings, investments, property, family contributions, self esteem, dignity, et cetera. Sadly, this is what many Nigerians are wading through. It was bad to suffer a life-threatening ailment that requires millions of naira to treat before the recession. It is worse now, when the naira is on a free fall; when money is scarce. Cost of drugs is on the rise. Cost of treatment too. What is the fate of patients who must undergo surgeries, particularly those who need transplants? What is the fate of patients who must provide money for tests, scans, x-rays and treatments? What is the fate of patients who could barely feed because they are poor, but need huge funds to pay hospital bills to stay alive?
Quite often now, I come across cases of patients suffering chronic kidney disease, a condition, which makes the kidney unable to discharge its functions in the body. Many of the patients need to undergo dialysis sessions to evacuate wastes from their system. They must continue to have the dialysis or a kidney transplant to sustain life.
The dialysis sessions cost as much as N75,000 per week and from N300,000 and above per month.
And to have a kidney transplant, a patient must be able to cough out millions. Whether the transplant is to be done locally or abroad, the patient must own or be able to raise millions of naira or dollars.
How many patients can afford such treatment in these hard times?
The patient suffers double jeopardy, the unpleasant experience of a life threatening disease and the sad knowledge that neither himself nor his relations and friends can afford to pay for the treatment.
He then resorts to seeking help from friends and public-spirited Nigerians just anywhere.
While some succeed in raising the millions and undergoing a successful surgery, many die from complications arising from their inability to raise funds.
Information from experts put the figure of Nigerians suffering chronic kidney disease at between 24 and 20 million.
And chronic kidney disease is just an example of debilitating conditions that millions of Nigerians contend with. Millions of other helpless citizens are encumbered by heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, injuries from accidents, et cetera. The conditions confine them to an uncertain fate. It’s a matter of life and death, but they have slim choices and feeble hopes largely because of financial limitations. There is another category, those who get detained in hospitals after being certified healthy due to their inability to pay hospital bills.
My heart goes out to these Nigerians. I pray God to lift the burdens off their shoulders. I pray God to provide them the opportunity to get over their health challenges. I pray God to heal them and bring them back on their feet.
But beyond prayers, the plight of these fellow citizens is a sad reminder of our inadequacies. In which area, what sector of life and living are we really excelling as a nation? We’re just condemned to lament and lament every time and over everything.
Is there anyone in government thinking about Nigerians who need urgent medical help, but who cannot just afford it? Is anyone thinking about how many are going through harrowing experience, how many are dying everyday?
I just wish government could set aside a reasonable chunk of the recovered stolen billions of naira as endowment to assist citizens who cannot afford surgery and treatment. Or won’t just any funds apart from those recovered from looters help solve this problem? Government should be about taking care of the needs of the citizens. Even at that, don’t Nigerians who are faced with health challenges so serious that they cannot help themselves deserve to be given some priority?
Recently, I heard the story of a man who had a disease, which he had spent all his money to cure to no avail. With no more help from anyone, he decided to end it all by committing suicide. Before he could complete the act, neighbours stopped him and law enforcement agents were called in. He was arrested and charged to court for attempted suicide. It is not only a sin to take one’s life, but an offence. But isn’t it a bigger sin and offence to fail to help poor people with health challenges who are incapable of helping themselves?
Re: How much of Jonathan’s largesse was stolen?
Abdulfatah,the former president provided an answer and opinion to a question posed to him on the goings on in his country, which he also only until recently presided over at a most prestigious English university forum. It is called being polite! Do you on your own believe with all honesty a prince of the caliphate who retired a colonel from the Nigerian military and did not use his family connections to be made a General, can deep his hands in our public purse and soil his and family reputation? It will be against all the teachings of Usman Dan-Fodio. The nuture of truth!
Let GEJ not provoke Nigerians over his comments about Dasuki arms scam trial. GEJ should go and enjoy his loot and leave this present government to do their investigation on how tax payers money were looted under his watch. Is it not this man that said corruption is not stealing? We are watching. GEJ said Dasuki didn’t steal money meant for arms? Then why were those mentioned that shared arms money returning money to EFCC? Are they Father Christmas? This recession Nigerians are facing is the handiwork of the past government that failed to save for the rainy day, because of their selfish interest. There is God.
–Mrs. Ijeoma N. Lagos.
Perhaps we are all naive in assessing political leaders in a country once described as ‘God’s own impossible experiment’. Look, politics in Nigeria is business not service. If holistic fight on corruption is carried out in Nigeria unlike the selective fight going on, we shall see and agree that actually Nigerians are ‘fantastically corrupt’. We live close to our leaders, so the amassed wealth cannot be from legitimate earnings. You spoke well though. May your ink never dry.
–Tony Enyinta Isuikwuato.
Keep quiet if you are short of something to write anymore. Jonathan has left office almost two years now. Let this government generate its own fund and stop the hunger that is ravaging this country. This government is still using the weapons purchased by Jonathan, otherwise they should tell us how much weapons they have purchased so far. I’m surprised you are still writing about this phantom corruption when Nigeria has been ranked as the most hunger- ravaged nation in world under Buhari. Tell Buhari the truth so that he will not spend the whole of four years fighting corruption when hunger is ravaging the people.
Abdulfatah, your position in “How Much Of Jonathan’s Largesse Was Stolen?” was premised on your perception of Jonathan as a naive person. Unfortunately, this affected your judgment which skidded back and forth. First, you gave the impression that the mere fact that Dasuki was alleged to have stolen $2.1bn. is judicially final. Then you confirmed that anytime media men asked Jonathan about diversion of public funds, under his administration, he would plead no comments on the grounds that such is sub judice which is indisputable. Then you went at the closing paragraph to say “Perhaps Jonathan would just explain to Nigerians how much of arms funds were stolen” while in the preceding paragraph you asked “Should Jonathan not just keep quiet now and allow anti-graft and security agencies and the law courts clear the Augean stables?” What most people fail to consider when talking about Jonathan’s “naive” stance in government was the unusual situation of Boko Haram, which required handling by a president with sound military experience, which Jonathan could not be said to have. So, he had no choice but to cede so much to the NSA’s office in funds and materials; a thing anyone in his shoes would have done as well. Don’t forget that the issue of Boko Haram was politicised by some Northern leaders who thought that Jonathan should not have made attempt at a second term. Recall the issues of even some Nigerian soldiers at the warfront refusing to face the insurgents for various reasons including short supply of arms et al. Even to date, some Nigerians believe that Chibok girls’ abduction was a ploy to get Jonathan’s government off the leadership saddle. Under such a scenario, a man in his position had no option than to hinge on the security outfit. Why has America failed to publish Nigeria’s looted funds in their country other than the fact that such funds enhance America’s economy? Even the greatest dunce knows that corruption is endemic here. Even those touting themselves as “angels” many of them are equally culpable of corrupt practices, in all areas of human endeavours in Nigeria. It is wrong to ascribe such practices to Jonathan’s administration alone. Why does President Buhari not heed the call of NBA to include the Generals in his anti-corruption war? Even now, corruption is festering in spite of everything. Are the Discos not using estimated charging system on electricity consumers for epileptic power supply, with government looking away? Eradicating corruption is a continuous exercise. So, let President Buhari do whatever he could on it during his term in governance. All suspects of corrupt practices should be made to face the law as provided and not subjected to corrupt media judgments.
Why is GEJ defending Dasuki when the man in question has explained how he shared arms funds meant for insurgency, while the beneficiaries are returning the money to government? GEJ should just keep quiet as the case is in court, after all, he said he would not make any comment about the Dasuki matter since it is in court. Why now? Let him allow the EFCC to do their work in the interest of Nigerians. PMB should ensure he recovers our stolen money. If they like, let them say it is witch-hunting or that rule of law is not followed to try looters. God bless Nigeria.
–Gordon Chika Nnorom
The ex-president was only trying to be economical with the truth. He knew, because during his handover speech, he said many of his aides would suffer persecution, for what? –Rev Ayojesu Kosemani
Your article on Jonathan’s largesse was rather funny and irrelevant (no offence). The country is in an economic recession and you have nothing else to write about than an ex-president who is probably relaxing and laughing at the choices we Nigerians have made. Everyone knows during Jonathan’s administration, there was corruption, and maybe truly the said money stolen, but since the new president has been in the seat and claims he has caught all the billions please have you seen a cent? How naive are you? Stop looking for who to blame and who not to. I perceive you need a rethink, don’t be biased.