My surprise at the response was not because many people did so. That was expected given my offer of free treatment for three readers by the Ijebu – Ode – born herbalist I wrote about last week. But what consternated me was the stunning behaviour of five readers who reached out to me not because they wanted to be part of the three for free medication.
Like those before them I thought that was why they phoned me. I therefore told them that I already had the three patients I requested for. I was shocked when they said they called to tell me that they wanted to pay for their treatment or that of their child.
I told them to wait until the three beneficiaries and reported back that the medicine of the Ijebu – Ode herbalist had cured their sickle cell. I was in for another surprise when I informed them that the man’s fee was two hundred and fifty thousand naira and that they should start looking for the amount.
I was taken aback when they replied that they were not ready to wait for the report of the three free – offer patients. They said I should give them the herbalist’s telephone number straight away because they were already convinced by my write-up that the man could cure their sickle cell disease.
I believe they had such positive or confidence mind-set because I wrote that the herbalist was 77 years old and an engineer who studied and worked in Germany for more than ten years before returning home. And that he learned the treatment of sickle cell from the herbalist who cured his daughter of the disease and had been doing so in the last fifteen years, that is since 2004.
The man phoned on Monday to correct me that he had been curing sickle cell people since 1985, which was 34 years ago. When he first reached out to me three months ago, late in July, he gave me the name and telephone number of an orthodox doctor in the ADIGBE area of Abeokuta who for a decade had been sending sickle cell patients to him.
I called the doctor, but he declined to discuss the issue with me because by the Hippocratic Oath orthodox physicians take, they must not give information on their patients and that consequently, it would be unprofessional for him to do so.
I did not write about the Ijebu-Ode herbalist until last week because I felt that his fee of two hundred and fifty thousand naira was too high and that only people in Lagos and parts of Ogun, Oyo and Ondo States would be prepared to go to Ijebu – Ode for his medicine.
All the three herbalists I wrote about before him were sending their medicine to patients anywhere in the country through commercial bus or taxi drivers traveling to the towns where they were based. I was proved right on September 11 that people may not want to go to Ijebu-Ode when I gave hint that I would soon write about the herbalist.
When I told them that treatment would be free I thought they would jump at my offer. But to my surprise two readers who are very close to me that I got in touch with in Lagos declined because they said they could not travel to Ijebu – Ode for the man’s medicine. It was the same with one Anambra State – born Chris who sent a text message from Kano.
But in spite of this decided to go on with the publication of the herbalist’s story last week because of the first – hand experience I had of the ordeal of sickle cell victims in 1972, forty – seven years ago.The person was a form four student of a female secondary school in Yaba, Lagos and the daughter of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, but who was then a judge of the Supreme Court in Lagos.
I was the girl’s once – in – a – week private lesson teacher doing so in her father’s official residence at Ikoyi, Lagos.I was then a Current Affairs Officer at the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), which was changed to the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in April 1978.
I did not know that the teenage girl was a sickle cell carrier until she had a crisis when I was teaching her. That day all of a sudden she just let out a loud agonizing cry and started wriggling her body and shedding tears. I was stunned because I did not know what could have caused her instant panic and distraught situation. But fortunately her dad was in the living – room (sitting – room or parlour) next door to the downstairs corridor of their house where we were.
He said: Teacher, she’s a sickle cell patient and was having a crisis. He called his wife to come and take care of her. Of course, that was the end of the lesson session for that day.
But unlike last month when people declined to go to Ijebu – Ode from Lagos and Kano to see the herbalist, the situation was different last week as people accepted to travel down to meet the herbalist. The first four to phone or send text messages were one Mrs. Ngozi in Nassarawa State, one Mrs. Usman in Abuja, one Mr. Patrick in Benin City and one Mr. Jerry in Ayingba Kogi State.
As at Monday none of the first three who are the beneficiaries of the free offer had gone to Ijebu – Ode to collect their medicine. But the herbalist told me the result would be known three weeks after they had used the medicine. In other words, I would report back on the issue sometime in November or early December, depending on when the people who went to Ijebu – Ode for their medicine give me the result of their medication.
More on the story next week.
Who paid five thousand naira into Yakubu’s account?
It has become necessary to ask this question because one of the three readers who paid the amount into the bank account of Mr. Yakubu Adeiza did not use his name. He sent someone to do so for him. The other two who carried out their payment in their names had since received their medicine from Yakubu.
The third person should therefore call and tell me the person he sent to pay the money. If it corresponds with the name I have I would tell Yakubu to call the person for his address and dispatch of his medicine to him.
The situation arose because it was after I sent my script on Monday for last week’s column that I decided that the three who were to have free treatment for prostate cancer or enlargement would have to pay five thousand naira to Yakubu before I gave them his phone number. This is because he lives in Adavieba village which I understand is about 20 kilometres to Okene, where he would travel to and fro to give the medicine for the three readers to commercial drivers who would take them for a fee to the town’s where the trio live.