The incident in which Dr. Christopher Kolade displayed courage and integrity as a role model leader and true professional, had to do with my news talk (analysis) broadcast on Radio Nigeria, on the surprise visit paid late in 1977 by General Olusegun Obasanjo, the Head of State, to the Federal Secretariat, Ikoyi on Lagos Island. Although it was about two hours to closing – time at 3pm, about half of the workers had left the office for home or other destinations.
In the first part of the article, I commended Obasanjo for his action, the first by any Nigerian First Citizen since independence on October 1 1960, as one that would make government workers to become disciplined while on duty and stay until the official closing – time every day. Since his visit had put fear in them that he could do so again and at any time of the day. Or that he could resort to sending his deputy, Brigadier Shehu Yar’Adua, the Chief of General Staff, Supreme Headquarters, or any other top military officer of the rank of a General to undertake such unscheduled inspection on his behalf.
At the time the traffic situation in Lagos was so terrible that workers and other people coming from such mainland areas as Ebute – Meta, Ajegunle, Apapa, Yaba, Surulere, Mushin, Ikeja and Agege spent one to two or more hours, to reach the island in the morning. As a result, many workers living on the mainland got up from bed at 4 or 5am and left home about 6am in order to reach the office on the island before the resumption time at 8am.
Given this fact, I made the point that most of the workers must have left the Federal Secretariat before Obasanjo’s visit in order to avoid traffic jam and be able to get home about 5 or 6pm. That if they had waited until closing – time at 3pm they might not return home until 6 to 9pm or beyond.
I therefore called on the federal government to do something by providing more buses and taking steps to reduce traffic jam in the city by having traffic lights in more places on Lagos Island and the mainland and deploying more policemen and traffic wardens on the roads during rush – hours in the afternoon.
About midday the following day the acting Assistant Director of News and Current Affairs (ADNCA), Mr. Akpan Harrison, sent for me to come to his office. On getting there I met him and Mr. Alexander Nwokedi, the Chief Press Secretary to General Obasanjo. He introduced me to him as the writer of the news talk in question and told me he had come because an aspect of my script did not go down well with the Head of State.
Nwokedi interjected with: “Sina, your article was very good until you spoilt it making excuses for the errant workers who left before the official closing – time.” He said as a government – owned station we were expected to always be on the side of our employers. And that it was indefensible for government workers to leave office before closing – time when their counterparts in the private sector do not behave that way.
I told Nwokedi I did the right thing and would do so again if I have to write on the topic under the same situation. Having rebuked the workers for leaving before the closing – time and urging General Obasanjo to pay more of such surprise visits to government offices or send top military officers to do so, I said I also had the duty to get him to take steps to tackle the situation that made the workers leave office before time. And that many of those he met in office were likely to be workers living in Ikoyi, Lagos Island, Maroko or Victoria Island and as a result would have no problem returning home or could even do so by trekking.
I also made him realize that the workers in the private sector closed at 5, 6 or 7pm and not at the rush-hour period of 3pm when it was very sunny. And that many companies had staff buses, some of them air-conditioned, for transporting their workers to and from the office. So they didn’t have to spend 30mins to one hour or more at bus stops when returning home as workers in government ministries had to do.
• To be continued next week Wednesday
Wonder – woman who cures prostate cancer with herbs
I can’t believe the rate at which Nigerians living in some African countries, Europe, the United States and Canada who read my column online have been reaching out to me in the last two weeks for the phone number of Mrs. Folarin on their prostate problems or in the interest of their relatives or friends. And as a growing number of pharmacists and others in the country have been doing, some of them, particularly those in the United Kingdom and United States, want to explore the possibility of marketing her medicine in their countries of abode. While some in Nigeria have asked for her number to see if she could train them in the cure of prostate enlargement or prostate cancer.
Today my effort is to let Christians and Muslims who shun herbal treatment because of their religious beliefs know that the Holy Bible and Qur’an endorse the use of herbs in curing diseases. To many a Christian, Almighty God and Jesus Christ approve the healing of people through only saying the word to that effect and the use of olive oil. This is because Jesus and the Apostles cured most people of their illnesses in the New Testament with mere pronouncements.
While the 12 disciples used olive oil to cure when Jesus sent them out two by two to preach to people and heal the sick in Mark 6:6 – 13. And it is also the method recommended in James 5: 14 – 15 where it is written: “is there anyone who is sick? He should send for the church elders, who would pray for him and rub olive oil on him in the name of the Lord. This prayer made in faith will heal the sick person and the Lord will restore him to health.”
The cures carried out by Jesus by merely saying the word with regard to skin diseases, paralysis, casting out demons and other ailments are in Matthew Chapters 8:1 – 34; 9: 1 – 8, 9:18 – 34; 12:9 – 14; 15:29 – 31; 17:14 and 20:29 – 34. The others are in Mark Chapters 1:21 – 34; 7:31 – 35; 8:22 – 26; Luke Chapters 14:1 – 6; 17:11 – 19 and in John Chapter 5: 1 – 18.
For the healings performed by the disciples see the Acts of the Apostles Chapters 3:1 – 10 and 9:32 – 43 for those by Peter. Acts Chapter 8: 4 – 25 for Philip’s and those by Paul in Acts Chapters 14: 8 – 13 and 16: 16 – 40.
More to come next week