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Weep Not,Africans For Your Salvation is not in Washington DC, Europe or Asia. Rise And Hold Your Leaders Responsible.

Posted by The Reunion Black Family on August 10, 2014 at 7:15 AM

Opinion: Dear Africa, your Ebola salvation is not in America

Weep not, Africa. Weep not, Africans for your salvation is not in Washington DC, Europe or Asia. Rise and hold your leaders responsible.

Lately I have been bereft of sleep. No thanks to Ebola. I believe I’m not alone, it’s a panic that grips almost all of West Africa. The fear of contracting the deadly Ebola virus which has ravaged many countries in West Africa and has risen to an epidemic scale is devastating especially because of how it has reduced patients to chicken in the face of mortality. The level of helplessness that dying Africans have had to face is the main cause of my nightmares.

I keep recalling the disturbing stories of how Ebola victims in Sierra leone had fallen by the way side and are left to die even by road users who could have acted good Samaritans. In fact it gets so worst that some families had to dump infected loved ones on the street to die.

It breaks my heart that the spread of the virus has not been curtailed and confined to minor incidences and so depressing that it has overwhelmed the capacity of our “myopic” health care systems.

Few days back, over 40 African leaders converged in Washington DC for the US-Africa Summit while their countries and continent was on fire and their citizens dying daily like animals. You could have thought saving lives could have been their priority? May be not! They were more concerned about Obama’s $33 billion planned investment. Nevertheless, to say that their attitude resembled and painted a “Berlin conference mood” which was more like partitioning Africa but this time with permissions from our leaders.

They trooped to Washington like Pilgrims in search of salvation, alas! Their salvation wasn’t in Washington as the virus kept spreading rapidly.

I’m not in power so I may not really say what is and what is not at the helms of affairs but my anger is born out of the dire dearth of infrastructure in Africa and the level of non-challant attitude of her leaders. Walter Rodney’s indictment of our Leaders sometimes paints a real picture of what’s in an average African leader’s political DNA.

West African nations have suffered heavily since the rise of the scourge still we are yet to hear of any meaningful research going on in Africa to help fight the virus. Americans are the only ones who have come up with a possible drug experiment even before any case of Ebola was reported in the country. The Japanese have also intensified their research to find a cure while they’re yet to witness any Ebola case and Africa where the problem has moved from minor to a major scale cannot even provide a good medical system to curb the spread.

I ask myself, who are we and what is our role in the scheme of things? Is it that our leaders are clueless or simply not interested in the welfare of their people? We have leaders who live in grand splendour with their families while the vast majority of the population suffer hunger, poverty, epidemics among others

Many have coined conspiracy theories, others have blamed different people and accused them of neglecting Africans. What they have failed to realize is that they have been neglected by their leaders.

African countries and Nigeria in particular do not think of the future and do not make plans with the future in mind. People showed concern on how Nigeria should prepare to prevent the Ebola virus from getting here months before a certain Dr. Sawyer brought the virus to Lagos and nothing was done.

African leaders had to beg President Barack Obama for the only vaccine that has shown promises of curing the sickness and he responded by saying,

“I think we have to let the scientist guide us. And I don’t think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful.

“I think it’s premature for me to say that because I don’t have enough information. I don’t have enough data right now to offer an opinion on that.

“the countries affected are the first to admit that what’s happened here is the public health systems have been overwhelmed. They weren’t able to identify and then isolate cases quickly enough. As a consequence, it spread more rapidly than has been typical with the periodic Ebola outbreaks that occurred previously.”

Sad as the statement may seem considering the number of people dying daily in West Africa from the disease and the positive effect the drugs had on the Americans that are being treated, Obama made a point.

A nation that cannot take care of its own shouldn’t bother other nations with their problem.

It reminds me of the troubling image of a naked black man on his knees in a seemingly dishonorable position and the inscription, “Am I not a man and a brother” on Josiah Wedgwood’s 1787 anti slavery medallion. Why can’t we help ourselves? Must we beg for everything? Why can’t we be self sufficient?

When attacked by terrorists we beg for foreign assistance. When a deadly virus like the Ebola case breaks out, we also beg for foreign aid. Our salvation is within and not in far away places like Washington DC or depends on Barack Obama’s approval, and until we realise this, we will continue to wallow in this state of helplessness.

Africa today is ravaged by civil wars and terrorism. You have the Talibans of the Mahgreb, Al Qaeda, Al shabbab and most recently Boko Haram destroying lives and properties daily. With all these happening to some of the poorest people in the world, I keep asking myself what is the way forward? How did we get here? What is the future of our children?

In my heart I came to the conclusion that we hate ourselves even more than outsiders do. We must rise above this present state and lift our nations and continent high above these setbacks. We must build a soceity where the human life is valued.

Weep not, Africa. Weep not, Africans for your salvation is not in Washington DC, Europe or Asia. Rise and hold your leaders responsible.


Onyeka ‘Kerous’ Ibeanusi is a Nigerian musician, motivational/entertainment writer and speaker and a social commentator

Categories: Africa, EU, United State

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