The Oasis Reporters
April 2, 2020
Over 3.3m jobs in America have been destroyed, just in a few weeks according to a CNN report on the 31st of March this year.
Europe, particularly Spain, Italy and the UK have lost thirty thousand human beings, thanks to a virus that started it’s marking time in Wuhan, China and has marched through almost all of the earth. In India, over a thousand have died. This time of last year 2019, who would have imagined that America would in ten years time find herself in a frenzy of fear and anxiety of the current magnitude, running up and down in a confused fashion over ensuring protection gadgets as little as face masks for her front lines, sustaining supply of ventilators and fearing the stark but well-predicted possibility of losing maybe a hundred thousand of her compatriots?
What will befall man will befall man, no matter what he thinks he is or whatever he does. The third decade of the century opens with a lesson of the millennium. Let everyone teach their children never to imagine themselves as big, accomplished, arrived.
Let them make self-effacing, a topic in their syllabuses. Let them teach their generations lessons on complete humility. Let them tell one another: We have a lot of control of the universe. We know, quite well also, our areas of ignorance—what researchers and academics call grey areas waiting to be explored; but there is yet a massive universe outside both our knowledge and known ignorance.
And let us teach one another that why it is so, we cannot tell. Let us embrace one another in the hope that the factor that has opened droplets for our eyes in the course of history and flashes of lights across time and space will continue to be magnanimous. Let self-appointed messengers of God acknowledge God, let the philosophers temper good reason with good listening, and let the least arrogant man in science lab confess to himself that his art has yet a much novel future.
2. But the world is mysterious. What does not have to happen to man often masquerades as what will happen to man. For some Americans for instance, what is happening to America now could have been minimized or prevented altogether. The president has been political from the onset, they allege.
3. in Africa, the situation is peculiar. By 8 p.m., 31, March, about four or five weeks after the arrival of the virus in Lagos Nigeria, Nigeria had 137 confirmed cases from selected testing. Eight discharged, two deaths.
In this landscape, it is almost irrelevant or stupid talking about a gloomy future. You don’t even talk about the future, gloomy or bright when today is not assured.
If not, the massive move by EU to evacuate Europeans from Nigeria, when Europe is the most dastardly hit planet on Earth, the same move by UK to spend £75m evacuating her citizens from around the world Nigeria inclusive: indicates that the world smells something about our existential chances in the next few months that we nationals don’t. But whatever. What God has not smelled, who can smell?
We are Nigerians, and in support of our various state governments and the Federal Government of Nigeria, we are fighting this scourge. But it is no more jollof rice. Government will lose billions, at minimum. The economy is suffering. The budget has been hit by the continuing fall in the price of oil (now $22.5 p/b). In the language of our fathers in the Lord, all is well. These are worries for intellectuals and public affairs analysts, not for Mukaila eleran at Òjé, Ibadan.
But… Nigeria is in the second day of lockdown in many parts of her states. It is no more what it was thought to be. The people have always been poor. They had had no food. Now, they are locked indoors, what’s the good? The point is, if salaries earners of government establishments have food to eat, what of those who work for private organizations that depend on daily sales? What will the taxi driver eat? What will the okada rider eat? What will the hair stylist eat? What will the edákun ebámiràá at the motor park eat? What, what? It’s just fourteen days!
Don’t let us whine. Please let’s do this, this time again. Let us support us. Let us support the government in fighting what we brought in. It’s our business. But let us learn that what is not meant for us can harm us if we are dull. Let this not repeat itself in the future. Every nation of the world must have sense in the age of this two-edged sword vaunted as a global village.
Then let us mind our art of producing leaders. Of all art forms that shape the life of man, production of leadership is the greatest and the most rigorous and delicate. The greatest because it is primary and fundamental to the success of all other arts: the arts of science, painting, literature, music, engineering, food, economy etc require leadership for their precision, harmony and maximum relevance.
It is the most rigorous because this art requires all of science, economics, soundness of mind, philosophy, wisdom, the art of discipline, sense, empathy, commitment, the arts of public interest, personal sacrifice etc. to find it’s foot. But it is the most delicate and fragile because a little mistake has time value. It has meant years in slavery and hardship for some and a finished tomorrow for others.
Written by Deji Adesoye