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USAfrica: Alamieyeseigha’s death reflects ill-equipped shacks designated as hospitals.

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Alamieyeseigha’s death reflects ill-equipped shacks designated as hospitals.  

By Elsie-Bernadette Onubogu, an International Consultant, former Senior Policy Adviser with the United Nations and contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com

Special to USAfricaonline.com,  and USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. Follow USAfrica at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido , Facebook.com/USAfrica247 and Twitter.com/Chido247

With the ‘fury of a hurricane’, death came knocking the man Bayelsans called the ‘Governor General’ – DSP Alamieyeseigha.  He was the Governor from 1999 to 2005.

Whether you choose to love or hate him, one thing cannot be denied.  The wind of DSP’s death, perhaps quickened due to the non-availability of efficient, high quality and functioning hospital in Nigeria, presents a ‘future’ that must not be ignored especially by those who hobnobbed with him in the past.  

Without falling into the trap of ethnic prejudice, which seems to becloud others’ sense of reasoning at times like this, I would like to note.   Contrary to speculations and emotive outbursts, neither oil wealth, gold, poverty, lack of funds to medevac DSP to India’s functioning hospital as alleged by some, nor the spurious alleged witch-hunt by APC could have saved the man.  

What could have possibly prolonged his life or saved him, was, better medical care and a healthier life style.  Destiny has a rude way of dishing blows beyond belief.   

It is therefore within this dispensation that this writer emphatically postulates, that, DSP Alamieyeseigha’s death is NOT an APC or PDP problem.  Rather, it is a NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT that has plagued Nigeria with every poor person who died for lack of high quality, efficient, functioning and affordable medical care.  

It exposes the wind, the fury of a hurricane, which has decimated majority of poor people in Nigeria.  

Therefore, I have come to say, goodbye DSP Alamieyeseigha. I did not know Alamieyeseigha personally.  But to borrow from the lyrics of Sir Elton John’s song: “it seems to me he lived his life like a candle in the wind.  Never knowing who to cling to, when the rain set in”.  Adieu, DSP.  May your soul and the souls of the faithful departed, rest in God’s peace.  Amen.

 

For those wishing to immortalize him, let his death spur you to action for affordable, high quality and efficient medical care for all Nigerians.  Life is transient and like the wind, it blows when its least expected.  

 

And for death, as the Igbos (Eastern Nigeria) know too well, it does not discriminate.  Hence, the names,   ‘Onwuamaegbu’ & ‘Onwuamaenyi’  {‘Death does not discriminate, Death has no friends}.

 

Goodbyes in death provide us the contemplative platform to ruminate over this evanescent life, which is best encapsulated in the anonymous poem ‘Life is a Struggle’, written during the French revolution.  

 

“From the cradle to the grave, life is a struggle.  Life is full of crosses and temptations!

You come into it without your consent. And you go out of it against your wish”.

 

Therein lie the beginning of life and the inevitability of the end – death!

 

In the scheme of things, DSP’s death reaffirms the NATIONAL EMBARRASMENT that in 2015, fifty-five (55) years after independence, those affluent enough fly abroad for medical treatment, while the majority poor are left to die in ill-equipped, non-functioning shacks designated hospitals.  

 

Barely two weeks ago, while reminiscing over this beautiful poem, a friend and I pondered over the usefulness and inevitability of social media as a means to track my college teacher who exposed me to the piece.   I held the view that social media while useful in certain situations, was not inevitable.  Death, is, the only unquestionable inevitability.  

Beyond inevitability, death is a leveler of sorts, a common denominator, which does not discriminate, neither is it a respecter of persons.  

The death of DSP Alamieyeseigha (seen from varying lens – untimely, should not have happened, could have been avoided, etc.), was inevitable, simply because he was destined to die at this time.  

 

As mentioned earlier, neither wealth, gold, oil, poverty, lack of funds to fly him out to India’s functioning hospital as alleged by some, nor the spurious alleged witch-hunt by APC could have saved the man.  What could have possibly saved the man, was, better medical care and a healthier life style.

 

In any event, aficionados who wish to bask in speculation, finger pointing, and the dangerous path of calumny, consider the following summation from a friend.  

 

“All of this (accusation) would have been unnecessary had Nigerian hospitals been adequately equipped, efficient and functioning well”.  

 

How many Nigerians have sought medical attention abroad? Unfortunately, in the majority stand public officials, who, have been in a position to change the narrative, including medical doctors amongst them.  

 

These include, former President Yaradua, former Governors, Chimaroke Nnamani, Chime, Godswill Akpabio, Liyel Imoke, and Maryam Babangida, to mention a few.  

 

How many times in the last eight years did the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan (Patience Jonathan) fly abroad for medical treatment?  

 

Isn’t Diezani Allison-Madueke {former Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister} currently in the UK purportedly receiving medical treatment?  Wasn’t that why she never returned after Goodluck Jonathan lost the elections in May?  

 

What happened to hospitals in Nigeria?

 

Nigerian hospitals are a NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT – certainly not fit for politicians, the rich, and those who have looted public funds.  

 

It does not have to be like this.  Nigeria can change this sordid narrative.  

 

Gone too soon – they say in the case of Alamieyeseigha!   What about the ordinary Nigerian?

 

The lives of poor Nigerians dying before now was not sufficient to beget change.  We would gladly accept the change if this death begets it.

 

May be gone too soon, but like the wind, death, blows when we cannot tell.  Subsequently, as a Benedictine monk once cautioned, ‘one should not be preoccupied with how they begin their day as much as how their day ends’.  

 

In his ‘Message in a Bottle”, Nicholas Sparks [http://uk.nicholassparks.com/stories/message-in-a-bottle/} presented one of the most beautiful summations, “There are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore.”

 

It does not have to be like this?  Nigeria and Nigerians can change this story.

 

In the final analysis, let this be a wake-up call to President Muhammad Buhari, State Governors, and, in particular, the Minister and Commissioners for Health  – appointed or yet to be appointed.  

 

Let them consider as their No. 1 priority, life-saving project, the establishment, and/or refurbishment of functioning, efficient, high quality and affordable medical care for all Nigerians, rich and poor alike.   

 

This fury of a hurricane, the demise of the Bayelsan Governor General presents a ‘future’ Nigeria can no longer afford to ignore.     
It is time to save Nigerians from the hurricane of poor quality, inefficient, and/or unaffordable medical care.  Nigerians deserve better! 

——————–

@Chido247 


Boko Haram: SkyNews London interview wt USAfrica Publisher Dr. Chido Nwangwu on BOKO HARAM vs BUHARI (Nigeria’s President inaugurated May 29, 2015). Interview on May 30 (Houston) May 31 (London) 2015

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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.  

Mandela-n-Achebe-by-Chido-book-frontcover-Lrs and friendship HOLD lessons for humanity and Africans, USAfrica Founder Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and CONSEQUENCE to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”
He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being CLOSE to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown UNIVERSITY in Providence, Rhode Island.“I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that HISTORIC Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief EXECUTIVE of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when PRESIDENT BILL Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and CAME to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes  Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia 
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 (GOVERNANCESECURITY, 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.   E-MAIL: Chido247@Gmail.com

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Steve Oscar O

    October 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Great reflection by honorable sister Elsie Onubogu

  2. Nwaneti Lambert

    October 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Well it reflect the kind of healthcare we gave and the state of things in Nigeria. Our leaders with very very few exceptions DO NOT MEAN WELL FOR. THE POPULACE. We have ill trained and daft medical system with individuals called doctors. Our hospital system is in a mess, staff training nothing to write home about unfortunately he could travel like the rest to receive treatment in European or American hospital. God will judge all of them.

  3. Chudi Nwafo

    October 13, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    He has played his role on this planet stage.
    Good or bad, it’s gone down in history page,
    Just as much for you and me in this time and age;
    It only matters what we do and say; our legacies, humanity’s heritage.

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AFRICA

World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

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PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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