As the world grapples with tensions and devastations of the global pandemic, opinions have been divided on whether it was intentionally created for a purpose, whether it is truly as deadly as claimed or a tool to cripple the economies of nations, wrestle powers and implement a global vaccination agenda! Irrespective of perceptions and conspiracies, we all have felt and still feeling the terrible impacts in our lives as we are forced to live a conditioned life. While we are in lockdown, we must look both ways for the sustainability of the future. A great number of people are inoculated to criticism and do not bulge to animate their surroundings knowing that they will come back after covid-19. While being locked down, we must exercise the chances of strengthening our surroundings especially spaces yearning for development.
We need a diversity of opinions to develop different places in our communities especially through town hall meetings. There are incoherent messages coming from people on different issues of life during this covid-19. We should not allow ourselves to be victims of these issues or lose hope or not knowing how to start life again. We all hope to opt for next new life in the “new normal”. Some may not have the courage to meet up with the exigencies of life in that new life because Covid-19 has devastated them while some may see great opportunities and embrace them in the new life. Those who see the world black and white have a lot of struggles to make. It is very sad when people tell lies before they get what they want. Lies fly over Nigeria. Lies have also destroyed businesses in Nigeria and abroad.
The people want us to believe that Nigeria is the hub of lies and illicit ways of doing things, a hub of illicit politics and does not know how to handle the problems that are yearning for attention. Looking at what is happening in America today with Covid-19; those who wait for America for help should find alternatives because America has not solved her own problems and not to think of solving our problems. Frankly speaking, there is no problem Nigeria cannot handle with her rich mineral resources, the monies they have embezzled and the monies they have returned.
The Nigerian dailies are always screaming of monies returned in Dollars, Euros and Pounds. If these monies are kept securely plus the efforts our indigenous Technologists have put in manufacturing some of the items to tackle Covid-19, we will go far in containing the corona virus. We know what hush money has done in our economy and dirty politics on our psyche. The high rate of embezzlement in all major sectors including politics has ruined the economy. Even those entrusted to fight corruption have been caught in web of corruption with the allegations of re-looting the recovered loots! What a tragedy of errors! The Acting EFCC Chairman has been cooling off in detention with several charges of corruption and money laundering. This is a sad situation we find ourselves in Nigeria. All these looted wealth should have been put in good use to feel proud like Cuba that refused foreign aids because there are strings attached to it.
Once a Nation enters into the foreign loan web, the creditor automatically becomes your god-father and re-colonizes you which are another form of modern day slavery! You can’t have independent political, economic and development initiatives without being afraid of their interferences. It looked funny when the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria said President Trump called him. He was crushed by anxiety when he promised to send some ventilators, PPEs and face masks which America is currently lacking as their hospitals are filled to zero capacity. Good enough, many Tailors are producing masks today and we don’t need to rely on the yet-to be fulfilled promises. Also many Nigerians have not been admitted in any ICU requiring ventilators which we don’t have enough in supply. This could have been disastrous. Many Nigerians have recovered from the virus without the luxuries American coronavirus patients enjoy. God has his own way of looking at our problems.
Corona virus has defied science and Technology with the way it is ravaging developed countries with advanced technologies. America being the world’s largest economy, cannot handle this pandemic surging every day in several states of the country. Seeing all these, where are we and what can Nigeria do? We can only keep our trust in God with our own little efforts. We need to look deeply inside ourselves to discover the type of Nigeria we need to follow the world and develop our country and be proud of ourselves. China did that for years and that is why they are the second largest economy in the world now competing to overtake America. Nigeria could have gone very far in world technology and economy but for the nuisance caused by corruption.
In America today, there have been divergent opinions and confusions on the management of the Pandemic and its cure. President Trump and the entire Whitehouse are discrediting the Director of the USA Covid-19 Taskforce; Dr. Fauci because he (Trump) seems not to trust him. They have had many issues because it was said that he doesn’t have the interest of the President at heart. The Americans believe Dr.Fauci because he is an expert and a trusted voice on coronavirus while others believe Trump. There is confusion and polarization over the pandemic. Misinformation from the white house is not helping matters. It looks like the Coronavirus has a political undertone in the US. What is the way forward? Now that Dr. Fauci has announced the possible use of an anti-body drug to manage the virus till the vaccines are available, many people are spreading several conspiracy theories that Dr. Fauci is part of the global agents promoting the Corona virus to make people accept the vaccine aimed at depopulation. The vaccine promoters are strategizing on the best way to ensure global acceptance and erase suspicions. Is Nigeria making serious preparation for a pullout to be able to sustain herself? A local drug discovery earlier endorsed by NAFDAC has gotten a surprised rebuttal. With all these international wrangling on coronavirus, who do we trust, Trump or Dr Fauci? Should Nigeria continue waiting for the “real vaccine” without making use of available alternatives and people keep dying?
If Nigeria gets out fully from the pandemic, she should use the lessons of the past to become a great nation. This is done by creating conducive environment for Nigerian business men to help strengthen the economy and also by encouraging indigenous technologies to produce home-made technologies that can serve the people. Many Nigerians like Innosson has indicated interest in local manufacturing of cars. Nigerians should patronize him. Nigerians have inferiority complex. They have insatiable appetite for foreign made goods and despise their indigenous technologies. This is a big set back because China started using what they manufactured before selling out to others.
They are proud of their products and use them. Many countries were criticizing China and looking down on their products including the third world countries but today they have no other choice than to embrace their products. Even the USA cannot do without China even though they are great competitors! Nigerians should adopt that patriotic spirit. Indians in Nigeria can never be seen driving other vehicles manufactured by other countries except their own brands like KIA, TATA or HYUNDAI. This is what patriotism is all about. If you don’t appreciate what you have who will help you to appreciate it? It is you that will advertise your product to be believable! It is even sad that most goods produced in Nigeria carry labels of other countries, giving them credits to become marketable. They use foreign names to seduce customers because they don’t appreciate what they have made. How can we become like America, China, India or Japan when our boss in charge of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) reported to senators that “kilishi” production is a breakthrough after their 33 years of existence in this 21st century? There are many technological research breakthroughs that are not given the desired government supports due to nepotism and ethnicity in appointments. Look at what ethnicity has done to Innoson and Ibeto! Today we are still importing virtually everything including raw materials we can produce locally! Embracing indigenous technologies and products would help us to stop paying primitive loyalties to the developed countries fighting to maintain their status quos.
Very Rev. Msgr. Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate.