By Edwin Uhara
“Nice occaisions don’t make heroes or cowards; they merely unveil them to our eyes” — Brooke Foss Westcott
On this piece, I might be writing a couple of man whose sense of patriotism and imagine within the unity and progress of Nigeria is second to none.
A person who believes in excellence and have demonstrated that the utopian society the place the whole lot is in excellent situation might be made actual if given the mandatory assist.
This was the mental concept that influenced his resolution to hitch the battle to actualize the lofty goals of our founders when in 1988 on the age 32, he turned member of the Constituent Meeting; a think-tank group assembled by the then Federal Authorities to draft Nigeria’s Structure for it’s transition programme to the Third Republic.
Fellow Nigerians, I’m speaking in regards to the Secretary to the Authorities of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19, Barrister Boss Gidahyelda Mustapha as he turns 65 on September 4, 2021.
Nonetheless, I wish to state that the essence of this text is to not search private gratification or obtain political goals, however to sincerely say ‘thanks’ to the person who put his life on the road to save lots of the lives of thousands and thousands from the deadliest plaque in human historical past after the ‘Bubonic Plaque’ higher often known as ‘The Black Demise’ of the 14th Century.
In response to report, the Bubonic Plaque which ravaged humanity between 1346 and 1353 induced the dying of over 50 million individuals within the 14th Century.
The plaque unfold majorly by the chew of a flea contaminated with plaque-causing bacterium referred to as ‘Yersinia Pest.’ Large variety of animals succumbed to it and died whereas hungary fleas flip to people and inside three to 5 days of the chew, one will begin experiencing fever, headache, chills and weak spot of the physique. The an infection unfold all through the blood stream and have an effect on respiration within the lungs.
Although the world has witnessed a number of plaques since then, however none has been as varulent because the Coronavirus.
In response to report, between 2010 and 2015, there have been 3,248 reported instances of plaques worldwide together with 584 deaths.
Recall that some consultants had predicted that Africa particularly Nigeria been essentially the most populous nation within the continent can be suffering from lifeless our bodies.
So, there have been fears, pandemonium and anxieties all around the land with out anybody realizing the place to run to or search help from.
Maybe, wanting on the pedigree of a number of the consultants who made the prediction, one could have each purpose to concern as a result of their predictions have by no means failed for many years simply as Chinese language thinker, Confucius acknowledged that for us to outline the long run, now we have to check the previous.
Moreover, I believe one doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the nation was actually standing between the satan and the deep blue sea. The satan been the Coronavirus imported by an Italian whereas the deep blue sea is the truth that the nation’s healthcare system was so dysfunctional that hospitals had been mere consulting clinics with out medication and assuring hope of survival.
In a nation with over 200 million individuals, the Presidential Steering Committee began the struggle in opposition to Covid-19 with simply two molecular laboratories with each day testing capability of simply 500.
Even though Nigeria as soon as fought and defeated the Ebola Virus, Avian Influenza and different viral ailments, there was no blue-print on floor to function information to containing outbreak of any viral illness sooner or later neither had been there ample infrastructure to assist the struggle in opposition to Cornavirus.
So, their prediction was justifiable as a result of nobody may give what he doesn’t have – nemo dat quod non habet.
Once more, within the warmth of the pandemic, there have been bans on worldwide travels or flight operations world wide; no medical tourism nor check-ups overseas not to mention assessing remedy for Coronavirus outdoors the nation.
Worst nonetheless, the novel nature of the virus made it troublesome for our well being professsionals to acquaint themselves with related details about the illness not to mention proffering options to it as a result of data of the virus was restricted. So irrespective of how one veiws it, it was actually a terrifying second for Nigerians, Africans and the world at massive.
Subsequently, it takes braveness, love of a rustic and unyielding religion in God to just accept the duty of main the struggle in opposition to Coronavirus at that materials time that Boss Mustapha was appointed Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 now often known as the Presidential Steering Committee which was like a dying sentence.
It will have been extra consoling if there have been established information or pedestal to construct upon, however on this case, solely a certificates of appointment was issued.
Primarily based on the foregoing, there are two questions I might like to ask the SGF and Chairman of PSC if I’ve the chance to fulfill him or have entry to him.
The primary query is to know what was the primary thought that got here to his thoughts upon listening to the information that he has been appointed to guide the struggle in opposition to a varulent and deadliest illness in about seven Centuries? On the time many had been confused and had been scampering for security.
The second query is to understand how he felt when his relations examined optimistic to Covid-19? As a result of I’m simply imagining the ache, agony, trauma in addition to the pyscological confusion normally related to such improvement.
Although the battle is just not but over, however how far now we have come and the supply of vaccines in addition to the continuing administration of the jabs on Nigerians, one can say that the goal of attaining herd immunity which can result in eventual defeat of Covid-19 or flatening the curve is achievable within the nearest future.
Nevertheless, if there’s something the outbreak of Coronavirus and the profitable prosecution of the struggle in opposition to it by the Boss Mustapha-led PSC has taught us, it’s the truth that there is no such thing as a adversity or problem that Nigeria can not overcome if now we have the best management and group in place.
From simply two molecular laboratories and 500 each day testing capability with insufficient manpower and services, the PSC efficiently waged the struggle on Covid-19 with minimal casualties, averted nationwide calamity, upgraded and repositioned our healthcare system and infrastructures to optimum degree. Oliver Wendell Houses should be proper when he stated that ‘A thoughts that’s stretched by a brand new expertise can by no means return to its outdated dimensions.’
Although we’re not but there, however due to what the PSC has accomplished and continues to be doing, Nigeria’s healthcare system is now higher outfitted to comprise the outbreak of any illness sooner or later as Nigeria now have over 150 molecular laboratories with over 50,000 each day testing capability in addition to isolation and remedy centres within the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory whereas the development of Oxygen Manufacturing Vegetation in all of the states and the FCT is ongoing.
By way of the PSC, rehabilitation and remodelling works are ongoing on the Nigeria’s Vaccine Manufacturing Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos State.
Nigeria has additionally joined the checklist of nations thought to be vaccine candidates as a result of two vaccines produced by Nigerian scientists are awaiting scientific trials and the certification of World Well being Organisation earlier than it will be put in to make use of.
In opposition to the preliminary concern on vaccine storage, the PSC rehabilitated current chilly chain services in addition to the procurement and set up of Extremely-Chilly Chain equipments throughout the federation.
Right this moment, the PSC is administering Moderna Vaccines on Nigerians with out encountering facility downside even though it requires refrigeration of about 2 to eight Diploma Celsius. That is even because the WHO has ranked the nation’s response to Covid-19 because the fourth most profitable within the World.
Equally, in July 2021, a normalcy index revealed by The Economist Journal based mostly in the UK ranked Nigeria fourth on the checklist of nations whose responses to Covid-19 pandemic have resulted to normalcy.
In all these, I commend President Muhammadu Buhari for displaying management and dedication to the struggle in opposition to Covid-19 on the time the nation wanted him most.
Within the midst of the battle, many cynical voices and conspiracy theories rented the airwaves and dominated our information and cyber areas however Mr. President remained undaunted and refused to be distracted; as an alternative, he remained centered and regularly reaffirmed his unwavering dedication to the duty of flattening the Covid-19 curve in Nigeria. He allowed science and statistics to prevail over unsubstantiable beliefs.
Right this moment, it appears to be like as if nothing calamitous ever befell Nigeria however make no mistake, many waters handed below the bridge at the same time as there are nonetheless many rivers to cross.
And to the Chief celebrant and one of many unsung heroes Covid-19 has unveiled to our eyes, Barrister Boss Mustapha, I say an enormous thanks for accepting to place your life on the road in order that many can be saved.
You accepted the duty at a time there was no aircraft within the sky and restricted automobiles on the highway. That is the brand new Nigerian spirit everybody who actually loves the nation ought to imbibe.
The anointing and beauty you might be carrying shielded the nation from calamity as a result of it isn’t of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, however of God that sheweth mercy.
Subsequently, I’m utilizing this chance to want you a really warmed, outstanding and memorable birthday anniversary and plenty of pleased returns at the same time as I additionally congratulate you for successful this yr’s Management Newspaper ‘Annual Convention and Awards” because it’s ‘Public Service Individual of the 12 months,’ whereas the Presidential Steering Committee which you lead emerged because the ‘Public Company of the 12 months.’
Really, nice occaisions do no make heroes or cowards; they merely unveil them to our eyes.
Congratulations and Pleased Birthday to Boss of bosses!
Comrade Edwin Uhara is a UN-trained Negotiator and member, APC Presidential Marketing campaign Council in 2019 Presidential Election.
He writes from Abuja.
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