Death – often due to fear – amplifies all surrounding objects of danger and insecurity to cripple the will of its victims and prevent them from saving their lives with the necessary action. Under the giddiness of the majority, the greatest crimes in history were committed by a few emboldened.
In Nigeria, the fear of the current plague has not only multiplied new hotbeds of crisis and corruption in the corridors of power, but also amplified the pride of the men of Alleluia, who imagining themselves at the gates of Heaven are more busy as ever in collecting the final tithe while misinforming people about the reality of the rapidly changing contagion. Even the well-received scientific determination by the federal government to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all Nigerians has become an opportunity for the ruling class and its criminal partners to practice their brawl against the people.
Isn’t it troubling that a languid fate, not science and action, seems to temper our philosophy and our national response to a coronavirus that has claimed the lives of more than 3.5 million people worldwide and infected over 170 million people with the growing ability to kill more people of its increasingly emerging and virulent strains? Unless the nation awakens from its slumbering slumber, it can return to its formal petty white masters, the days of slavery, or become wholly dependent on imperialism while we still bear its neocolonial scars. The hard facts stated by the Organization for Economic Society and Development (OECD) are that nations’ economic recovery, rate of industrialization and assimilation to new digital technologies and globally dominant jobs are directly proportional to the percentage of their population vaccinated. or have overcome contagion. In addition, long durations of vaccination can allow the virus to mutate into more virulent strains which become resistant to currently available vaccines, making labor recovery more difficult.
It is astonishing that more than four months after its import, most of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines reported in cold rooms in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory under the supervision of governors have not yet passed the privileged class. by the common majority of the people. National and state bureaucracies responsible for mobilizing and administering the vaccine – The Presidential Working Group (PTF) with the ad hoc Presidential Committee; The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and to top it off, in the government’s words “for accountability and transparency,” the Independent Commission on corrupt practices and other related offenses (ICPC)). Perhaps the government with its ICPC wishes to assuage the anguish of the Nigerian people who have been stripped of the palliatives passed by their governors intended to serve as a remedy for hardships and unemployment due to government-ordered COVID-19 lockdowns.
The Nigerian people do not expect the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines to be stolen and sold to the lucky few who can afford them, as their palliatives have been sold to them by government agents on the black market. It shouldn’t become another business venture. Why should the streets of London, New York and Delhi be lined up with their citizens for vaccination, while those of Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Kano and Ibadan remain empty? How many of the health workers, the millions of old people in our remote villages and overcrowded local markets, or the several thousand students, have returned to their campuses from the last strike to their classrooms and hostels? overpopulated people received the opportunity to receive their vaccines, beyond the desperate abandonment of an unscheduled herd immunity or the fatalistic resignation that what will be, will be?
The purchase of limited boxes of vaccine from Oxford AstraZeneca and the demonstration to the people by the President, Vice President and members of the Nigerian ruling class through the mass media that the vaccine was harmless while receiving their vaccines, do not ensure the effectiveness of vaccination of the Nigerian population. It may be a start, but a real solution to getting the vaccine to the people would have to include the transfer of technology for the production of COVID-19 vaccines from a friendly fraternal nation like Cuba. The nation can then be self-sufficient for its own production. Such a stand-alone approach can then be complemented with imported and purchased COVID-19 vaccines to speed up the vaccination rate to reach all regions of Nigeria in the shortest possible time. Without true technology transfer and autonomy in vaccine production, the Nigerian people remain vulnerable to exploitation and at the mercy of foreign powers and vaccine imperialism. Such useful technology also remains necessary for the manufacture of vaccines for future and more dangerous visits.
The abandonment of most Nigerians to fatalism in response to the current pandemic is reinforced by the character of the Nigerian ruling class. It was only recently that the nation gained notoriety in the United States when the wife of a state governor traveled to the United States to illegally purchase her own vaccine against COVID-19 as the This nation’s government had sanctioned all of its citizens for immunization, except for health workers who needed it. vaccine to protect themselves from their infected patients. His answer ? “Not all fingers are created equal,” showing off his truncated gold and diamond fingers. Nigerians have also seen how their state governors and members of the legislature looted their palliatives intended to cushion their suffering from the lockdowns of the current pandemic. What guarantee can ensure that the COVID-19 vaccines will not go into subterfuge in the same direction?
Their fatalism is also encouraged by the pride and false statements of the men of Alleluia in order to develop their churches and religious businesses.
For the sake of money and profit from their many church members, they launched their attack on science, which for over 100 years has demonstrated the existence of induced antibodies in organisms exposed to foreign agents such as viruses or bacteria. Thus, the principle of vaccinations is the use of dead pathogens or their particles to induce the formation of antibodies by the organism, which destroy the invasive living pathogens stopping their propagation and their multiplication thus preventing them from causing the disease. Vaccines have been shown throughout history to be effective weapons against pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. The 1918 influenza pandemic, smallpox, yellow fever and many other infections were all conquered with vaccination. More recently, vaccines have also proven to be humanity’s decisive weapon against malaria, which kills thousands of children in Africa every year.
Yet most of the Hallelujah men in Nigeria continued to spread pride that COVID-19 vaccines should be used to track individuals in addition to new technology contained in the G-5; this bad government will use the vaccine to control and regulate movements and trace the location of their citizens. The purpose of such false and ridiculous pride is to grow more vulnerable and fatalistic members in their tithes, donations and profits from growing churches. A reasonable number of these pastors have bought and smuggled their own vaccines, wisely preferring not to part with their dollars and the church’s lucrative businesses.
According to Forbes magazine’s most recent account – which maintains tabs and rankings of the richest men in the world – Hallelujah men from Nigeria are in the top 20 with a total value of $ 500 million. A frontline Nigerian pastor was recently prosecuted in Britain and fined for spreading false information to the public about the COVID-19 pandemic in order to grow his churches around the world. Here in Nigeria, the government and political parties regard men’s fear of Alleluia as the beginning of wisdom. They continued to be cautious that the men of Alleluia will use their enormous votes and the influence of their many members against them in their quest for power. It should not be forgotten that religious bodies have always had alliances with all governments and even more so now as part of the ruling class.
The Federal Government, human and people’s rights activists should learn from the British people by prosecuting or imposing taxes on Allelujah’s men for their pride against science which prevents Nigerians from appreciating the importance of vaccines as the most effective means of protection against the present devastating plague. In addition, the money collected through these fines and taxes can be used to equip our health workers in the acquisition of the scarce oxygen tanks and personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to overcome the contagion also by increasing the ‘money budgeted to acquire more vaccines, or by putting their millions of dollars into building infrastructure for technology transfer in vaccine production from fraternal and friendly nations, now and against future pandemics.
Onwubiko, PhD is professor and head of the biochemistry department.
University of Nigeria, Nsukka.