Wednesday, January 28, 2009
YOBE STATE GOVERNOR BITES THE DUST!
The governor of one of the Sharia states in northern Nigeria, Yobe State, Mamman Bello Ali is dead! Mamman B. Ali was 53. He died in a Miami-Florida USA hospital, of a yet to be conclusively determined cause but leukaemia, meningitis, liver-cirrhosis, colon-cancer, heart-attack, brain-aneurysm, and a host of other sundry diseases were respectively rumoured as the cause of death? Icheoku says, what killed the governor is irrelevant, since like every mortal he has answered his final call! All is vanity according to the preacher in Ecclesiastes 1:2! What he did or failed to do for the people of Yobe State will now become his final epitaph!
Like many other "leader/s" in Nigeria including President Umaru Yar'Adua, the ailment the late governor suffered from was a top secret and remained so till his death; leading to all the potpourri of speculations as to which of them finally claimed his life. Unfortunately, Nigerians including their leaders/officials keep their health-records very private, due to pride and cultural perception that being ill is a sign of weakness! It is instructive to note that Nigeria's current president Umaru Yar'Adua is presently wasting away from a yet to be officially acknowledged or confirmed illness! Icheoku has no sympathy for the dead as they have been set free and since moved on! And for dead Nigerian officials, because they do not really care for the well-being of the people they govern! Imagine a sitting governor, dead in a foreign land's hospital, because medical facilities in his Yobe State and country, Nigeria is nearly non-existent! Mamman Ali was able to die in a foreign-land because he had the capacity and ability to seek medical treatment abroad; and you ask yourself, what about the several hundreds of Yobe people who die every day of commonly treatable diseases like malaria, diarrhea, common-cold, ordinary fever, river-blindness induced sickness, polio and such other primordial diseases, just because no medical facility exist for their treatment? The dead governor, like many of his counterparts in Nigeria, had the opportunity to build, equip and cause to be run a world-class hospital or medical facility in Damaturu, Yobe State; but he did not. Why, because he/they can readily hop on the next available flight out of Nigeria to any part of the world to receive a first class medical attention? This time, it was to Miami-Florida, United States of America but peradventure, his time was up!
We are not as cold or unfeeling as any lay-reading of this piece might imply, no, but the foolery of many Nigerian officials in not setting their priorities right, sometimes, bleeds our hearts. Icheoku asks, why would these officials, who habitually travel overseas to seek medical attention, not be patriotic enough to deem it fit and necessary to build and equip such centers of medical excellence in Nigeria? Some of them even by their actions and utterances act as if they will live forever; but this governor is now gone and so will each and every one of these despondent Nigerian leaders/officials, who cannot do right by and for Nigerians through a selfless service to their fatherland. Anyway, may the bereaved family and the people of Yobe State bear the loss with fortitude!