Our condolences, again, go to the families, colleagues and associates of so many people – our Deputy Vice Chancellor at Bayero University, Kano, Professor Haruna Wakili who died this week;
Alhaji Makama Gyadi-Gyadi, my own late father’s close friend who died a few weeks ago; Alhaji Isiaka Ajibola Ajimobi, immediate past Oyo State Governor (whom I knew only as in-law of our own governor)…and the list continues to be grow. May the souls of the departed rest in peace, amin.
We too are only counting our days, even though we would rather stay much longer here on terra firma. And the scary part – if you are 50 and over and have underlying ailments, the novel coronavirus ‘loves’ you, though we don’t ‘love’ it back at all. But when death comes, it will.
No one is too early or too late – much as the late Hausa singer and musician Alhaji Mamman Shata said in his dirge on the late Ciroman Gombe back in the 1970s: “Kowa yam mutu bai sauri ba! Mu da mu ke nan ba mu dade ba! Sai mun zo Ciroman Gombe!”
Now, in Nigerian politics, ‘immunity’ is a word that has elicited and has continued to elicit much debate. It is a privilege constitutionally conferred on top members of the executive class for some reasons, and which members of the legislative class are also craving and yearning for, at least for their top officers. ‘Immunity’ is used to protect the good, the bad and the ugly who accidentally and/or god-fatherly become our leaders – president, governors, and their vices and deputies.
And so it is that as soon as these executives are sworn in May 29 (or a court-determined date as the case may be in some states), you may as well repeat the Hausa phrase “Ruwa Ta Sha!”, meaning that any anti-corruption outfit (EFCC, ICPC, CCB and the likes) will have to wait at least four years, and more frequently eight years, before any misdemeanor by any member of such class can be charged and the culprit brought to book. That is ‘immunity’ in Nigerian democratic parlance.
But it seems COVID-19 (and may Allah protect us from it) doesn’t seem to understand, or respect, our leaders’ immunity statuses. Not at all. So far, the dreaded disease has ‘caught’ no less than six state governors and a number of deputy governors nationwide. Why is no one reminding COVID-19 that our leaders should be ‘immune’ from it as they are ‘immune’ from EFCC? Doesn’t COVID-10 know who they are? Allahu Akbar! It is because the novel coronavirus is real, unlike the Nigerian system which is much like a Shakespearean drama played on a stage, where the more you see the less you understand.
Only last week, the death occurred of a top judge of a state which has always claimed ‘immunity’ from COVID-19. Earlier, when a top Imam in the same state was stricken with symptoms similar to the coronavirus, ‘The Immune First Person’ denied, belied and disbelieved any and all evidence. For that Denial State, as well as its counterpart down by the Atlantic, the Hausa say “Rashin Jini Rashin Tsagawa!” (Or, in English, if there is no testing, there will never be a positive case).
But alhamdu lilLah, the ‘immunity’ and luck of many a sitting president seem to be holding – except for the sad case of a certain central African leader who is said to have succumbed to the disease. That president, he of the deadly third-term and imposer of a successor, died at ‘only’ 55 – and on his throne; two things usually unusual for such powerful people (dying young and dying in power). Alas! He died, and that was the end of it. The evil, and the good, that men do…live after them and are also interred with their bones…
The presidents whose lucks are still holding (even though they wear no facemasks in public and shun other anti-VOVID protective measures they have ordered us to imbibe, adopt and abide by willy nilly on the pain of sanctions and fines) include President Twitterer-in-Chief in the most powerful country in the world, to President Fair Tall Fellow in the most crowded country on this continent. I believe they believe they are immune from ‘it’ as they are immune from ‘us’. Believe this you will believe anything!
And now some good news from Kano – bye bye Corona in sha Allah. At least as far as lockdown is concerned, Kano is ‘free’. Our Governor has just announced that we are hereby permitted to enjoy the outside of our homes for seven days of every week (except for the curfew hours 10pm to 4am). Our ‘freedom’ (and may Allah sustain it, as well as our healing) is premised on the fact that our COVID-19 positive cases continue to plummet, while our ‘recovered’ figures continue to soar.
To wit, the Kano State Government yesterday underscored our new status in a press statement wherein it was mentioned that “Sample collection in the state has surpassed the benchmark given by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), where NCDC gives 100 as benchmark of sample collection per state while Kano’s sample collection goes up to hundreds.” This, the statement added, has “strengthened as well as stabilised the State’s position and has also led to a drastic drop of the pandemic.
For example, on 25th of June 154 samples were submitted and there was no infected person; on the 26th of June 492 samples were submitted and only 4 were positive; on the 27th of June 327 samples were submitted with only 5 positive cases; on the 29th of June 449 samples were submitted and only 11 were positive; on the 30th of June 350 samples were submitted out of which only 5 were positive; and on the 1st of July 1428 samples were collected with 41 positive cases.”
By the Grace of God (added by the Columnist), the statement continued to add “We are really winning the war against COVID-19 in Kano State due to the effort, unrelenting commitment and untroubled political will of the Kano State Governor Ganduje who is leading the response against COVID-19 pandemic.”
Lil Lahil amru min qablu wa min ba’ad! (“To Allah belongs the command before and after” – Surah Ar-Rum The Romans Qur’an 30:4)
By the Grace of God!