Ebola virus’ menace reminds of the ineptitude of the African
By Bucky Hassan.
Exclusive commentary for USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine (Houston).
The Ebola virus has been affecting African countries for decades, and some of our close neighbours the last few years. We received warning 3 – 6 months ago that Ebola might slip into Nigeria but our government sat on its hands and did nothing.
This is the do-nothing, uncaring attitude of African leaders that has led to the decline and debasement of the continent.
Hence, it is embarrassing that the Nigerian government and Nigerians are begging the United States government to provide ZMapp medication to Nigeria.
Here are the key questions:
Why have African nations not banded together since Ebola was first discovered in the Congo in the 1970s to carry out research into combating the disease, and creating drugs/vaccines to fight it? Instead of setting up research agencies and scientific think-tanks, our African government leaders and pastors have gone on spending spree, buying dozens of private jets, building huge official residences, looting and siphoning money, and crushing any opposition in their countries. If American, European and other Western leaders had been acting in the same way, would they have any experimental drugs or vaccinations?
Intelligent countries, their governments, alongside the political, social, economic and even religious structures in those countries, will seek to invest in and build up their societies. It is the reason why scientific research is highly valued in many countries, and often will have government and industry backing. It is realised that investment in research and development, is a long-term investment in a country and its people. This thinking however, is sadly absent in most African countries.
We are an extremely hypocritical people. We blame the West for ALL our problems, refuse to take responsibility for our failings, abuse the West whenever it suits us, but, as soon as there is a problem, we run cap in hand to the West, begging and demanding help! We are like spoiled teenage children who feel entitled to get whatever they want from their parents!
There are other questions we need to honestly discuss and debate as Africans.
We wonder why do we lag behind the rest of the world in research and development? Why does the African continent continuously turn to the West for handouts? Why have the Asian tigers and India with whom many African countries were on par with in the 1970s massively outstripped us?
Why are our best scientists and researchers frustrated out of our countries but snapped up by prestigious universities and think tanks as soon as they go abroad? Why can’t our leaders see that developing and making this continent great is to our benefit?
And why do we stay locked in the past, blaming the West and colonization for all our problems? The Indians and “the Asian Tigers” stopped that nonsense of blaming colonization and the West for holding them back, they decided to rely upon themselves and forge ahead, and the whole world can see how far they’ve come today.
Is the unnecessary love and adulation we seem to have for elected authority holding us back? Is it embedded in our psyche that any questioning of authority or those in power is wrong?
Back to the Ebola issue. Let us remember that he who pays the piper, dictates the tune. If America send us this drug, they will want something in return. What will America demand? Influence over our laws? An American base in Nigeria?
Why don’t we petition our own government to begin dealing with this Ebola menace, effectively. We need more information on preventative measures. More ban of large crowds in public places. More funding and protective gear for the Medical staff on the frontline of taking care of affected patients. Do we realize that the company that produces the ZMapp Vaccine has only 12 doses available? No more can be produced until the end of this year. Even if Nigeria was given all the 12 doses, will that stave off an epidemic if it swept across Lagos, tomorrow?
It is time we awaken to the fact that we need to take care of our own business and stop waiting for others to help us.
*Ms. Hassan is a contributor to USAfricaonline.com ; this is her first commentary, edited exclusively, for the platforms of Houston-based USAfrica.
On August 9, 2014 near the historic bowels of Hollywood in California, the board of the Los Angeles Nollywood Film Association awarded its MultiMedia Merit honor to USAfrica’s Founder Chido Nwangwu.
According to the Association, “Dr. Chido Nwangwu is the person who has done and continues to produce outstanding body of works for almost 22 years of mainstreaming African artistes, conveying the authentic message and images of dignity about our heritage, news and the diaspora.”
He established in 1993 in Houston, Texas, the influential USAfrica multimedia and public policy networks — including the first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper published on the Internet USAfricaonline.com.
The New York Times of September 23, 2003 and the CNN noted that USAfrica is America’s largest African-owned multimedia company; and arguably the most influential platform for African and American issues.
Dr. Chido Nwangwu who has been profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering leadership roles is completing the 2014 book titled ‘MANDELA & ACHEBE: Footprints of Greatness.’
#Achebe USAfrica Founder Dr. Chido Nwangwu gets award for his works on#ThingsFallApart author Chinua Achebe from ASA-USA Dallas. Chido is completing the book on Mandela & Achebe: Footprints of Greatness. by Chido Nwangwu ISBN 978-0-9893970-0-1. www.MandelaAchebeChido.com
VIDEO #CNN special #CHIBOK Girls n #BokoHaram Live intvw wt the Founder of USAfrica multimedia and public policy networks Chido Nwangwu. CNN anchors John Berman n Michaela Pereira.
specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/
•Dr. Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (Governance, Security, and Peace in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown University in Rhode Island and former adviser on Africa business/issues to the Mayor of Houston, is the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; CLASSmagazine, AchebeBooks.com, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of AfricanChristians, Nigeria360 and the largest pictorial events megasite on the African diaspora www.PhotoWorks.TV . He was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn e-mail: Chido247@Gmail.com wireless 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436).
IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary, exclusively, at USAfricaonline.com http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/
USAfrica: BOKO HARAM’s latest killings sharpen divide for security team at Nigeria’s presidency. By Chido Nwangwu
Dancing with “ghosts” of BOKO HARAM, President Jonathan, Sultan Abubakar and Nigeria’s national security. By Dr. Chido Nwangwu
Why Obama’s late to symbolic, historic meeting with Mandela. By Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/2013/06/26/obamas-late-to-symbolic-historic-meeting-with-fit-mandela-by-chido-nwangwu/
- Eight lessons of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. http://usafricaonline.com/2009/11/01/chido-8lessons-rwanda-genocide/
Margaret Thatcher, Mandela and Africa. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, and the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com. Click for newscast video of London-based SkyNEWS, the global, 24-hour British international tv network’s interview with USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu on April 11, 2013 regarding this latest commentary http://youtu.be/G0fJXq_pi1c )
There’s a compelling political trinity to Nelson Mandela: the man, the messiah and the mystique. http://usafricaonline.com/2013/07/18/mandela-95-hearty-cheers-to-his-footprints-of-greatness-by-chido-nwangwu/