Author: Barrister Al-Hussein Momoh
Some time this past week, I expressed my random thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccine. I wrote about what the Nigeria civil service will do when and if the vaccine ever gets to our shores. Today I reflect on the Global community’s attitude to Nigeria and Africa at large on “COVID-19 vaccine distribution”.
Nations worldwide (including Nigeria I believe) have been making frantic efforts to ensure receipt of early doses of the vaccine for it citizens. The reason is obvious; how fast a nation gets the vaccine will largely determine how well it recovers and stems the consequential damage the COVID-19 flu is wrecking on national economies globally. According to a CNN news flick I listened to recently, It is already being speculated that Nigeria and indeed the rest of Africa will not get its “fair share” of the vaccine until the second half of 2021! This is where the “politics” come in on the global vaccine distribution.
The reasons adduced for this bad news is that Nigeria and most of Africa lacks the “infrastructure” and the “means” to guarantee a safe, fast, and efficient delivery of the vaccine to our nation and continent. What they are simply telling us is that “we” – by which I mean Nigeria and the rest of Africa – shall have to pay a “huge” price to get our doses of the vaccine, if and when they choose it will get to us. While the rest of the “developed” countries and their “elected” will be getting immunized in no time, Nigeria and the rest of Africa must wait and continue to die in their numbers!
I recall that in the very recent past, when “trials” for the same vaccines was being contemplated, their first thought of a trial venue was Africa. Our “infrastructure” then as it still is now was good enough for a “trial vaccine run”! The “means” and the “time” then was not of the essence. I also recall that when this strange virus first took hold, much of the discussions centered on the ravages it will wreck on the African continent. Casualty projections was in millions. We were all condemned to death even before the flu made its landing on the continent! They were already mourning Africa!
But for the hand of faith that doomsday prediction did not come to pass and now this! WHY DO THEY WANT TO SEE US DIE! WETIN WE DO DEM!
Sadly, amongst a lot of Nigerians, there is a false and horrendously unfortunate belief that Nigeria is isolated from the Covid-19 Pandemic. This belief is largely borne out of the tragic consequences of the false interaction between Nigerians and their leaders (civil servants and politicians) over years. While a large number of citizens believe that Covid-19 is a grand scheme by the “deep state” to further enslave the citizens, the government on the other hand is desperately trying to convince an increasingly sceptic citizenry on the realities of the global pandemic. There is deep seated mutual distrust no doubt between the governors and the governed. In the midst of all this our rights to a piece of this planet is being undermined by selfish self serving international buccaneers!
I see a lot of obviously false narratives being pushed by vested interest to justify the carnage in the coming months. Africa’s story has alway taken a different turn. I ask again in all my innocence “WETIN WE DO DEM?”.