DID you see the news about the birth of the multi- billion dollar University of Ghana Medical Cen- tre, a hospital designed to provide cutting edge medical service that Ghanaians had been seeking in advanced countries? The 1000-bed facility was put together by an Israeli entity. Wow, I said to myself. World class facility in Ghana and then I heard the Interim CEO of the hospital, Prof Aaron Lawson, say,‘ We are not looking only at Ghana but also at the sub-region.’And it got me thinking.
The television report was done in 2016. Was it a fluke, a PR stunt? I put a call to those who should know and I was told that the hospital is currently recruiting. So, it is not a fake news hos- pital. It is real, a next door reality and reminder of what Nigeria cannot do.
Am I promoting Ghana? Did I win a PR ac- count to promote this new hospital? No, I’m doing it for free because it’s filling a void in my heart. Because there is no hospital like that in Ni- geria that I can gush over and decorate with purple prose. There is no government-owned hospital in my oil-rich country that is ready to harness and harvest all the low-hanging fruits of health issues in Nigeria and in this part of Africa. And a world class hospital in Nigeria by Nigeria is in itself a low-hanging fruit for any smart government to pluck and pocket. It can be built in four years. It can be equipped in four years. It can be up and running and an all-time legacy of any govern- ment. Just imagine how it can silence the racing tongues of APC traducers and Buhari abusers. I just imagine everybody calling it the Buhari Hos- pital. The present Minister of Health would have gone down in history as the man who made the health services in the country a foreign exchange earning sector of the economy.
How many times have I written about this, one world-class health complex in Nigeria, not just to care for Nigerians but also to stem exit of our hard-earned forex via medical tourism? Why we don’t have one is still a mystery. Customs has de- clared more revenue. The FIRS has declared tril- lions. We can get investors involved from all over. One hospital, just one hospital that the whole world will talk about. But how can we when our ‘dispensaries’have no dispensers, General Hospi- talswithout generallybasicneeds?
How is it rocket science, doing just one thing and doing it well? How difficult can it be for a na- tion like Nigeria to replicate just one world class hospital in India, Germany or United Kingdom? We ought to even have 36! Yes, a top of the range Eye Specialist Hospital in Gombe, Women’s Hospital in Rivers, Cardiology Centre in Lagos, Orthopaedic Centre in Osun and so on and so forth. Will the people in Lagos not go to Gombe for Cataract and Glaucoma solutions instead of begging and appealing for alms on television and radio for N3m to go to India while the case de-
teriorates? And let no governor tell us he cannot afford in four years to bring in equipment for one, just one area of specialization because that would be a lie before God and man.
What exactly is our problem? Are we so poor or we just can’t think? Why does every deliver- able end up looking like enriching Uranium for nuclear warheads? Why do we see great things in other places and can’t replicate it here? Why, for instance, is the Dubai Mall better run and orga- nized than the Murtala Mohammed International Airport? You step out of a mall, an ordinary mall in Dubai and there are taxis waiting in an ordered line . In Lagos, right from inside the arrival hall, 10 drivers and 10 touts harass one passenger, struggle to get his luggage. You don’t know where the cab is or how it looks. You are not even sure they are not kidnappers. Yet, every President swears in two ministers for Transport like any other Ministry. A mall, an international Airport, side by side and Nigeria just can’t run a taxi service at its international airport. Are you feeling my frustration?
Anyway back to my world class anger, so now, can all our leaders present and past who have not been able to give us one world class hospital all our national life take a bow, no, kneel down and worship at the feet of smart Ghanaians who know what to do with revenue apart from just issuing press releases about their bank balances.
What is the size of Ghana compared to Lagos, one of the 36 states in Nigeria? Does Ghana just have more thinkers, more focused leaders with enough balls to leave a legacy? See some of the Nigerians doing well in Medicine abroad. Dr Oluyemi Badero, a New York-based Cardiolo- gist, Prof Ferdinand Ofodile, a Plastic Surgeon, Dr Chukwuma Okadigwe, Dr Beneth Omalu , a neuropathologist and forensic pathologist, Dr Oluyinka Olutoye, a paediatric surgeon, Dr Stan- ley Okoro, another plastic surgeon. The list is as
long as from Yenegoa to Dutse. Combine those geniuses with the hardworking and uncommonly gifted doctors doing exploits already in Nigeria and tell me exactly why we are at this sorry pass.
We can import them to help if we are too lazy to do it, right? I’m soo angry here. How did Ghana get to overtake us? I mean no disrespect, but Gha- na, that Ghana of Ghana-must-go, from where Ghanaians came in droves to Nigeria in the 80s to be teachers, shoemakers . It’s not the Ghana in Sapele, Delta state, it is the Ghana of Ghanaians we once felt superior to. In those days Ghana had bad leaders who led them into recession, misfor- tunes of gargantuan proportions until they became refugees in Osun state and everywhere. They sold ‘banku’ and ‘donkunu’. But where they are today shows they have moved from bad leadership to a season of good leaders. And we, Nigerians have moved from where to where? From having Gha- naians making our shoes to Ghanaians taking our dollars because their schools are now better than our schools. Are you corking your guns yet?
We pompously thought we were better than everybody in Africa. Like the children of the rich with no skill set, no care in the world and no frigging thought for tomorrow we frittered our oil wealth on trivials. We spent it watching the ‘Gelede’ masquerade. We shooed the Ghanaians away and they left, head bowed with their Ghana- must-go bags. Now they are back with those same bags to cart away our savings. Smart folks. They liked the colour of Nigerian money. They know there is more where we got the school fees for Ghanaian varsities from. They know we like to seek medical help wherever we can find it. They saw what India is making from us. So, now they have built what we refused to build next door and since it is cheaper to fly to Ghana than India, we will nicely, willingly pour our money into the new Ghana-is-smart bags.
Ghanaians are smart. Nigerians are not. That is the summary of the matter.
Re- Time to walk away
There is no reason for any reasonable person in a relationship to doubt your projection on the issue. Most people who hold on to discordant relationships between spouses do so on senti- ments; in most cases. Some women would keep an unworkable relationship just for the sake of their children while some men would keep their wives based on sources of their marital together- ness. For example, if a man marries the daughter of his father’s closest friend, he might find it dif- ficult to opt out of the relationship on his wife’s misacts; as long as she does not cheat on her hus- band. There is no doubt that many people who are privileged to read your piece would benefit from its submissions. The piece might, in some
cases, induce reconciliation between dissenting spouses while in a few cases, it might traumatise relationships. It fulfils the principle of two sides to every issue. More grease. -Lai Ashadele.
No matter the physical or verbal abuse and/or toughest storms, I think the time to walk away depend on personal and emotional decisions. A woman who has made a vow and decided not to marry twice in her life could not easily walk away like that. Rather, she would continue to endure and pray against any impediments on her way. -Afolabi Eludini, Ajah, Lagos.
To stay in a relationship one has to make sacrifices and no amount of sacrifice is too much. Holy book demands that we should tolerate one another. -07032412391
Relationships are seen as give and take by both partners but now it has become something else. I pray that this advice will be used effectively.
Nigeria is not like China because it is ruled by some indisputable foolish cabal that resort to foolish mismanagement of our God-given re- sources. However painful male circumcision is, the shank still go through the razor for it to be- come a good modifier, abi be koo?