From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Professor Oyewale Tomori, professor of virology and educational administrator, has blamed the Federal Government for United Kingdom and Canadian governments tightening of the noose on Nigeria, following her link with the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
According to him, rather than refer to the action of UK and Canada as racism and inequity, Nigeria was paying for condoning errors of commission and overlooking errors of omission.
He blamed the citizens for enabling poor performance by telling those in government that they are doing well when they are not.
The UK government had at the weekend included Nigeria on its “red list” of countries placed on travel ban. It also suspended processing of visitor visa applications from Nigeria. The Canadian government has also said that it would no longer accept result of COVID test from Nigeria, Egypt, South and seven other countries on the continent.
In his paper titled: “Global Health Security Threat: Repositioning To end the Pandemic and Build Back Better”, the former vice chancellor of Redeemer’s University, regretted that stakeholders when discussing “Build Back Better” often tend to forget that disasters and pandemics seriously affect environment and most especially culture.
He noted that no matter the plans formulated to respond to pandemics and disaster, it will surely fail, if the issue of culture and environment are not seriously addressed.
“…Global health security just as the individuals make the nation, and the nations make the world, so also global health security must be built on the foundation of National Health Security and the National Health Security must be laid on the foundation of individual or personal health security.
“COVID is not the enemy. Lassa fever is of minor league. Yellow fever is yellow livered. Monkeypox is child’s play. Cholera is a dehydrator. Our underdevelopment and backwardness rest on four pillars. They are the real enemies of our nation, and they are: Lack of patriotism, the main destroyer of our nation; self-interest, the burial ground of our national interest; corruption, the executor of our orderly development and Shamelessness, the destruction of our national pride.
“Over the last 60 years, these diseases, all affecting our culture, have become the combined endemic demolisher of the foundation of our individual health security which has shaken the foundation of our national health security and in turn determined our irrelevance as a nation in contributing meaningfully to global health security.”
“…But soon an outbreak occurred, which later become endemic. It came on us surreptitiously, killing our nation slowly. It was a disease that affected the three pillars of our nation, touching every stratum, damaging every fiber of our nation. The disease slew good governance, murdered societal sanctity and eradicated individual integrity. The disease annihilated the good in our culture and elevated to prominence the ugly in our culture. The disease came in three forms- greedy self-interest, blatant lack of patriotism, and unabashed shamelessness
“Today, we lie to each other. The government lies to us, and we reciprocate with bigger lies, telling the government it is doing well, when we know it is not. We clap with the loudest ovation for a non- performing leader. We acclaim in pretended joyous ecstasy, those we should not, even when we know they are not telling the truth. We pray that our king lives forever, and he says AMEN, when we BOTH know we shall all die.
“I woke up today to hear that Canada no longer recognizes my genuine vaccination card. And Britain has clamped a travel ban on us. A few days ago, I had to know there was omicron in Nigeria from outside. The same Canada was telling me that Nigerians who travelled out with negative COVID lab result were Omicronised, before my own CDC finally tells me that we had the variant, detected in samples collected from people recently travelled from South Africa….were they people on the entourage of President Ramaphosa. They did not tell. We painfully call the reactions of the UK and Canada, racism, inequity. But I say we are paying for condoning our errors or commission and overlooking our errors of omission.