It appears the thicker your reportage on current juiciest news item, Ebola, the wider your readership and followership status. When switching on the tv to watch, probably CNN or even Supersports, or buying your favorite newspaper from your diligent vendor, just attune your mind to the 3-syllabic word: Ebola. Variants of the name have even appeared, so that maybe due to typographical errors, you see such outlay as: “F.G set to combat ‘Evola’ virus, or “Enola virus reported in Nigeria” lazily scrolling across your tv set, when switched on. My uncle’s 2 year-old son, who is finding it difficult to properly communicate, now has a very beautiful song, which has ‘Eboya’ as it’s recurring theme.
Away from the joke now, but seriously, this attitude of blowing every little thing out of proportion is certainly the actual killer of many Nigerians. Don’t get me wrong, I am not disputing the deadly prowess of current news item, Ebola, neither am I arguing if it truly exists or not, but for goodness’ sake, waking me up by 3 am, and bombarding my dazed mind with the ‘helpful’ and ‘preventable’ effects of bathing with salt-water by my old aunt in the village-because the news was spread by whoever she doesn’t and probably won’t know-is way out of the line. To take us just a little back in time, at some point in the history of the earth, there was an outbreak of a deadly contagious flu which threatened the existence of mankind, yet flu today, is no longer adored as a deadly disease, the earth and its fullness thereof continues to be inhabited by humans. Before the whitemen ever stepped their foot on African soil, diseases as simple as malaria were quite dangerous, because our ancestors never had the wherewithal of its consequent mode of transmission. The AIDS virus which was spreading like a bush-fire in the dry season wrecked its own untold havoc in the late 20th century, but mankind was able to survive by discovering anti-retroviral drugs which helped in managing the AIDS virus. My point is, it takes knowledge to defeat whatever it is we are facing in life. Knowledge, as they say is power, and it won’t be different in Ebola’s case. That men previously labelled some diseases ‘supernatural’ was because they had no knowledge of how and what constitutes it, but once such knowledge is gotten, that disease immediately became a normal thing which could be conquered.
And my acquaintance with the word ‘knowledge’ certainly isn’t related to the overblown way such rumours are being circulated about the Ebola item. It wouldn’t cost us more to spread the real facts about the Ebola disease, than it would cost us in spreading the wrong information about same. Nigerians, as is the custom, tend to rumourise any given situation to unprecedented proportions, that were they to tell you that Jesus Christ is certainly coming this night, it will be hard for you to be convinced otherwise. They will give such fine excuse for you to indulge, that believing otherwise wouldn’t even near your reasoning faculty. It is always easy for many a Nigerian to create causative monsters of every little situation, than it will take him to find a possible solution to such problem. Just like our ancestors who contributed every case of child death to witchcraft, we are yet to untangle ourselves from the same misinformation and ignorance that guided them into a state of oblivion in today’s world. How on earth salt water is expected to ‘cure’ the Ebola outbreak remains a mysterious fact to be fathomed by me. So after bathing our meat in salt water,fish in salt water, and our vegetables in salt water, it is now the turn of our bodies, but unlike the aforementioned, our bodies will not be dressed with the follow-up condiments like maggi, onions and crayfish which the former are normally dressed with.
Except for the handful of those who steal public funds within their proximity, that can afford to buy fleet of cars and always be in close quarters, because of the fear of real and imaginary enemies, it will be funny to see how Nigerians can sufficiently prevent the collision of bodies when commuting to and fro work in public vehicles. And in a predominantly ordinary ‘buy and sell’ commercial society, it will be highly unimaginable to see Nigerians avoiding the obvious and inherent touching of bodies when probably, in Main Market or Balogun Market.
And so, when you are about to take your bath tomorrow morning, you might want to add ogiri, uziza and utazi to that bath water, for Ebola must die! whether it likes it or not.