By Ajayi Dada

Coronavirus pandemic aka COVID-19 has become a household  name all over the world because of its attendant consequences on public life, the economy and thus bridging the gap between the wealthy and the have-nots. What a parody about life. Several of the so-called wealthy individuals who had stashed billions of the nations’ currencies in God knows where  had bowed to death from attack from this rampaging pandemic.

This has reminded me of the statement by the late MKO Abiola when his first wife, Simbiat Abiola, died that several years ago that “Oju ti owo’’ meaning money had become shameless. Indeed, with the way Coronavirus is operating, it has confirmed that there is something money cannot buy no matter how stupendous wealthy one may be. Those who felt preys to this predator called coronavirus could not jet out of their countries to the so-called sophisticated healthcare facilities in Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia, Australia and in America. Our God is indeed, awesome.

Fortunately, most of them had been in the corridors of power before and had been able to identify those state-of-the art healthcare facilities during their jamborees and junketing aboard but had never thought of replicating such in their home countries. Even, when memoranda are sent through them to their bosses by those who should know for consideration on the need to replicate such back home such memoranda never saw the light of the day, not to think that they would be presented for debate by the relevant stakeholders and possibly for implementation. Indeed, it was a case of what goes round will surely come round as the chicken will one day come to roost.

Unfortunately, several paupers and poverty stricken individuals are still as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar. Majority have been surviving on local herbs, marinated spirits, fruits such as oranges, water melons, as well as on spices like garlic, gingers and the likes. Life is indeed a theatre of absurdity where the wealthy are not surviving but the have-nots are praising God always.

The masses are not waiting for the arrival of the World Health Organisation {WHO} approved and recommended drugs from the white man’s land. They say that how are they sure that they will be able to afford the price?

They put on their thinking caps, approach their natural gifts of roots, herbs and local food items which they say have been working wonders in healing them of their illnesses. It is now a case of what a Nigerian residing in Lagos is looking for in Madagascar, only to discover that it is available at his or her door mouth.

Let our governments at local, state and national levels encourage the production of indigenous herbs for the consumption of our people instead of relying on foreign ones or its approval by the WHO. This will amount to waiting for the Parousia {the second coming of Jesus Christ}.

Professor Joseph Agbedahunsi, the Director, Drug Research and Production Unit, Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria dwelt extensively on the importance of promoting indigenous herbs and roots in Nigeria. Agbedahunsi speaking during a radio programme recently lamented that Nigerians do not appreciate what nature has bequeathed us as a nation talking about the advantages inherent in natural herbs, roots, cereals and leaves.

According to him, government is no longer funding researches in tertiary institutions, and wondered,  “where will cut-out-edge research findings come out’, a word with a million meanings. If our politicians can look inward and invest a quarter of what they spend recklessly during electioneering into developing our health sector, the country will be better for every Tom, Dick and Harry.

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