COVID-19 AND CROSS RIVER STATE

It is really hard right now to point out what is more petrifying; the denial of the government or the self-composed indifference of its citizens.

The irrational acceptance of ‘anything wey wan happen, make e happen’ still does not by any chance seem compatible with the reactions of the said people when finally affected by the virus on their sick beds; wildly cry out to God for a miracle.

I still cannot fathom what the fascination is, with this cultural paradigm within Nigerians which has proven to be very destructive many different times than not. Only to buttress the obvious circle of absurdity, the government have decided to fan to flame, news of the absence of the disease in the state; one can only imagine how far the pandemic has explored and is hunting and is yet to be discovered. If the Government says there is no COVID-19 in the state, and we have a completely different view, then it means we have to choose who and what to believe. It means do not throw caution to the wind. It means one has to take responsibility for his or her life.

If the disease is still deemed not to be in our state, what measures has been taken to affirm this assumption? What visible action has been taken to show that something is or has been done to keep it out?

Every day, people are crossing our borders in numbers. Who is ensuring they are properly checked and confirmed to be free of the disease?

The observation of poor compliance to the safety guidelines/advisory in the metropolis is nothing short of alarming. It leaves many of us severely worried for our own safety as a result of the unconscious disregard for our lives those who govern us have shown.

The unproductive and insignificant efforts of the government so far amidst the increasing COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, has only but depleted the strength of attention required to galvanize and or drive the initiative to follow certain precautionary measures that has been devised by best public health practitioners world over.

While the outrageously positive and of course yet to be proven news is being spread by the government official, we can necessarily draw two conclusions from the said inference

• There is COVID-19 in Cross River State

• There is no COVID-19 in Cross River State.

In the midst of many rumors and conspiracy theories, relevant authorities will need to present us with credible and consistent information to strongly fight misinformation and whatever be the case, let us do all in our power to stay safe and not forget other people’s lives are inextricably linked to ours and having common sense and using it will not only save one, but many.

We can still win so that those whose lives we have lost to the Coronavirus will not be in vain. They were are brothers in arms and we owe them victory.

Social distancing, regular wash and sanitizing of the hands, passing gestures or pleasantries without physical body contacts, staying at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out, using of face mask, amongst others have been listed as possible means to cut the spread of the virus. Viruses are simplistic. They need help to move. The problem, of course, is that the coronavirus is adept at this singular task, and as we trivialize the reality of its spread we can only be jarred by the pandemic’s latest swells.

We don’t have to see before we believe. John 20:29; “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

It does not have to come down or come upon you or someone you know before you can act accordingly.

Just how hard can complying be?

 

 

The enemy within

Humanity is fading and who wouldn’t agree? By its own hands, it both created and is destroying every string that could possibly hold it together.

For many generations, people have pointed fingers at racism and colourism, being the object of intense division in the world. They are, as a matter of fact right to confront this enemy with so much attention as it has more or less claimed and demeaned the lives of people of color especially in the west.

Through the time of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Mohammed Ali, Rosa Parks, and other prominent men and woman who fought so valiantly to find a balance between the blacks and whites, till the present day, racism and Colourism still happens to be congenial to many who believe they’re supreme because of the color of their skin which makes it very hard to believe they’ll ever be a silver lining in this incredibly dark cloud.

This irrational ideology has been strongly aided by the great division within and among the black community. Who doesn’t remember the battle of music supremacy in the 80’s by the famous “EAST COAST and WEST COAST”, so fierce that it claimed the lives of some of the strongest black prodigies at the time – Tupac, Notorious BIG, Eazy E, etc

Only to buttress the circle of madness came further dangerous divisions like the BLOODS and CRIPS, who caused several deaths through gun battles, drive-bys, and foisting off every ounce of respect their white oppressors would ever have for them.

Looking further away from the western community, racism and colourism; man by the vigor of an unseen hold upon it, most likely is his own enemy. How you may ask?

As Christians, it is expected that we model our lives after Christ, but is that really the case? Do we not see Christians who even lead this colour feud? With all the Christians in the would, one would ordinarily think the world will be a better place, but far from it because today, white Christians kill black christians, and black Christians kill black Christians. Do we Christians by any chance read and follow the teachings of the gospel? If we do, then what time would we have, to pull down the other simply because of the colour of his skin? or talk down another man’s systems of worship? Or could it be the God we serve is no longer the same? Or do we now have white God for the whites and black God for the blacks?

Until we can identify who and what the real enemy within is, humanity will still without doubt wallow in the fight it has successfully created for itself.

So tell me. Who is the enemy within?

Take off your knee

In a society where conflagration, injustice, inequality, oppression, racism, tribalism and ethnic sentiments, as well as deception, rears its ugly head, sometimes it feels like the walls are fast closing in, and people are choked out of their comfort zone.

It is either the government is comprehensively falling short in its obligation to taxpayers and is not listening to the cries of the masses;

”I can’t breath”, or the political class is failing in her responsibility to the citizen making them feel the weight of their knee on their neck, even as they too scream for help with the words “I can’t breathe”. Is the judiciary left out? No way. Justice is on the shelf and can be bought like a commodity. Enough of them. Let us look at you reading. Are you any better? Don’t you make decisions based on tribal and ethnic sentiments? Because he is not from your tribe, he can’t marry your daughter. You shut your ears to his plea “I can’t breathe”. Because she does not speak your dialect, she can’t get the job. You shut your ears to her plea “I can’t breathe”. It doesn’t get any better. If she doesn’t meet you in the hotel room, she can as well forget about the job. So don’t think you are better. I don’t in the least think I am better either. For some on the other divide, if they are not wealthy and influential they can’t get our attention.

We cheat the poor and the less privileged forgetting they too are wailing “I can’t breathe”. Our schools and institutions of higher learnings are in deplorable situations and we forget our children are the ones crying “I can’t breathe”. Let’s talk about those who teach and lecture our children. Haven’t you heard them say “I can’t breathe”?The condition of our health care system is so bad that one would hardly be well yet we fail to hear the Doctors, nurses, and patients say “I can’t breathe”.

Even our vehicles sometimes are not left out because our roads really are out to take life out of our vehicles.

With the never-ending cadence of difficulties relentlessly pressing against our physical and psychological well-being, we are left to either figure a way out of it or find a companion in it.

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, many had cried “I can’t breathe”. But with the coming of the Coronavirus, we now hear more, the cry of many desperate and infected people whose lungs have been taken over by a virus that prevents people from breathing causing what they call an acute respiratory syndrome.

To those of us who can breathe, it is our duty to help those crying “I can’t breathe. To so many others who are also choking and suffocating due to the virus of racism, tribalism, nepotism, bribery and corruption, let us help them.

Let us listen to those crying “I can’t breath” and take our knee off their neck.

The math we need to solve

Racism is a sin; colourism is a sin; xenophobia is a sin; a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father. Racism is the sin that says some human beings are inherently superior and others essentially inferior because of races. It is the sin that makes racial characteristics the determining factor for the exercise of human rights. It is a sin that say certain race should be made to fit in a box, a sign that says because he is middle east, he might just be a terrorists, while the India man should seek employment perhaps only at the baker’s shop, while an African – American can only reside in specific neighborhoods because they are dangerous and burglars.

On the other hand, colorism is discrimination against people because they have a darker complexion. The idea of racism and colorism is similar. But this time you pick a person based on the fact that they are two shade lighter or two shade darker you make the costly mistake of destroying someone chances of been happy or getting what they have worked all there life’s for. We see many forms of colorism even in our churches when we feel a dark skinned person can not play a role in the Church drama scene because she is not light skinned enough or he should play the role of the Devil simply because he is dark in skin tone forgetting he deserves the role because he is an excellent actor. Whoever told you the Devil is a dark-skinned creature with horns?

When we engage in racism or shadeism, we mock the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:12: “Treat others the way you would have them treat you.” Indeed, racism and shadeism is more than a disregard for the words of Jesus; it is a denial of the truth of the dignity of each human being revealed by the mystery of the Incarnation.

Racism, colourism, and xenophobia are problems prevalent in all societies. It is our collective responsibility to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes.

No human person willed or created himself. We are all willed by God and have in us an imprint of God’s image. The dignity of the human person, therefore, does not come from the work they do, the race they come from, or the colour of their skin but from the persons they are; the persons’ God created them to be. When we truly understand what Christ stands for, we then would understand love is a universal language spoken by every skin color, race and tribe. Love is the language both old and young can speak. It is the language even the blind, deaf, and dumb understands when spoken to. Love is the language that Christ spoke on the Cross. Love is the language we all should speak.

The late George Floyd our hero even in death has reminded the world love is a universal language and every life does matter.

Rest In Peace George Floyd