By The Reverend Canon Idowu Adewakun
The FESTAC 77 was being planned and a lot of human, material and financial commitments were being prodigally invested by the then glowing country Nigeria. This was when Nigeria was enjoying great encomiums from the praise singers, the sycophants, the parasites from within Africa and outside the continent of Africa. The eulogy was so loud that it drove Nigeria into foolish sponsorship, unwarranted waste and exuberant use of the nation’s resources.
Some of the press took time to ask the sage, Obafemi Awolowo about FESTAC; Awolowo, like Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego, answered the nation unconditionally that it was a wasteful exercise, and he questioned what benefits Nigeria wanted to derive from celebrating primitivity. Primitivity has to do with ancient, antique, primordial and pre-developmental stage. The animalistic stage pre-dated the humanistic stage as eating raw meat pre-dated eating cooked meat
In my encounter as a Chaplain, I had opportunity to sit with all medical heads of units at joint meetings at hospice and teaching hospitals in the United States. The experience opened my eyes to real science, research, and efforts to conquer the challenging diseases, and illnesses. It was at one of the sessions of attending to a mother that an experienced professor and practicing medical doctor humbly explained to the mother that Medical Science has achieved a lot in addressing many diseases and ailments, but there are still many diseases that medical science is yet to overcome, and the issue at hand happened to be one of them.
As a kid, I hit my toes against a stone, native and primitive people around sprinkled sand on the open wound. Some of the people were younger than my Grandmother, who insisted that I washed the wound, she applied Iodine and bandaged the wound. This is to prove that some people of today can be primitive in mind and actions even in this modern time and age.
Every time there is a disease or sickness going around in the world, Nigerians and Africans will reference some concoctions – Things to boil and mix to produce drinks to cure the disease or sickness. Some balms are quickly produced for skin diseases and as remedies to skin infections. The problem here is that many of the brews are not scientifically mixed, as to what portion of one plant should be added to another known portions of other plants and fruits. Also, there is no scientific measure as to dosage and quantity of the brew to drink or the frequency of usage. Unfortunately, there are no records of people who have been cured and survived using the potions, and no record of death and complications from the same.
I was a bank manager at a rural branch in 1983 -1985. One of my customers was a chief, a hardworking and successful Cocoa farmer. His son was brilliant, a medical student at the University of Ife then. The Chief was sick, and he told me a quack doctor was attending to him. He was to go to the quack doctor for surgery. I was forced to stop the chief from going, luckily his son, the medical student came home, and I had a thorough, frank, and honest discussion with the young man.
He discussed with his father, went back to school and must have quested wisdom from his professors and mates in the medical field. Two days after he departed, the son ran back home, came to beg me to follow him to his father, to prevail on the chief from the intended suicidal mission with a fake doctor.
Before we start cooking and mixing the herbs and plants and whatever, the scientists have developed capacity and ability to do same in a civilized way that eliminates toxicity and prescribes adequacy as to volume, quantity, and extent of usage. There is nothing wrong in drawing from what was to develop what should be, but it is relegating, diminishing and crude to leave the improved products for the raw and primitive mixtures. The sophistication of the world warrants that such primitive brews be passed through modern science for confirmation, refinement, and standardization. Science will also proffer warnings against such concoctions if they are found to be hazardous and ineffective.
My candid counsel here is that people should not propagate, amplify, or perpetuate primitivity but imbibe the enlightened ways of healthcare that will help further improvement of medication and healthy living. The Coronavirus is not a myth, it does not warrant fetish rituals and self-poisoning. The world is better than it was, and human advancement is helping the scientists to address the plague. Let all living beings cooperate with the professionals, who are working on solving the problem by complying with informed directives and avoiding contagious and infectious situations. It becomes necessary that I state that prayers to God, for wisdom, means, and capacity to completely stop Coronavirus like other previous viruses, is appropriate to complement the medical support.
The Rev Canon Idowu Adewakun is the Rector of the Cornerstone Anglican Church, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
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