Nigeria in ICU with lead surgeon unavailable By Ikeddy ISIGUZO

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IF Nigeria were a patient, it would be in ICU, intensive care unit, of a hospital, with deft attention being paid to its delicate aliments. Doctors will be running into each other with many medicaments to treat its various predicaments.

The patient is in a most delirious state. People speak in lowered voices, lower than whispers, aware that anything can startle the patient to a last breath.
Where are the nurses? Are they quick in producing one item or the other as the final decisions are made about surgeries? Which surgery was most important? There was no agreement on that nor on the best approach that would not upset the shaky, shattered balance that holds the strained strings that curate Nigeria’s existence.


Tubes in their numbers make the patient barely visible. Ones feeding drugs to the patients bear antidotes to pangs of corruption that would not yield any space to treat other identified illnesses ravaging the patient.
Experts from the Centre for Disease Control have confirmed their confusion over forms of corruption that are unknown to the 17 classifications of the malaise. Corruption was mutating with a rapidity that tasked expertise in the field. The verdict is that the patient has a slim chance of pulling through.
The surgery could be successful. Would the patient make it? The complications are scary. A small example, the lead surgeon has been absent from duties for over a week. The patient waits impatiently. There are hushed voices about the indeterminate state of the lead surgeon without who all the patient could get are palliatives.
The lead surgeon has become an excellent excuse and resonates as the reason for where we are. His frailities are numerous, known but he leads with them. They mainly lead him. How long will the cosmetic attention on the patient last?
Kidnapping has pushed itself to a dangerous item on a long list of illnesses. No questions suffice in interrogating the surge in this sector of the patient’s worries.


Faces ached with concerns that ring furrows of anxiety surround the patient. The concerns would stretch to further searches for solutions for different reasons.
Those gathered are like relations of a supposedly dying rich man. They do not want to be accused of being absent while he ailed. Some, delayed from elaborate celebrations of their new places are burdened by the appropriateness of loud noises and bashes “in today’s Nigeria”.
Someone suddenly had the presence of mind to ask an important question, “Where is the lead surgeon?”. As if on prompt, he appears in a video message asking the Super Eagles to win Friday’s football match against Angola. His message was to the point.
Before anyone could tell him the patient was gasping or that Russian mercenaries are by our border or that gunmen killed two traditional rulers in Ekiti State, he was gone. Nigerians are the patient but the current leadership still tells us to be patient.
The lead surgeon will make more appearances for football. He knows what is important. The patient has to wait – in intensive care unit. There is nothing extraordinary about the patient’s long stay in ICU.
Help will come. Whenever it comes it will not be because of our fears. The lead surgeon and his team have rooted interests in 2027. They need the patient for that journey.

Finally…
AT Chatham House on 5 December 2022, APC presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu, when asked how he intended handling insecurity, replied, “Nasir el-Rufai would answer that question.” Where is el-Rufai today? “Let me demonstrate here one of those philosophies and doctrines that I believe firmly in, it is team-ship, unbreakable team,” Tinubu later explained. Dr. Betta Edu, then APC Women Leader, also answered a question. El-Rufai never made the team; Edu is out of the team, at least publicly.
IS the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation still useful? The media are suffused with stories of unauthorised expenditures by government departments and agencies, including the unauthorised millions that the Supreme Court spent. These audits barely have value. They surface years after the looting. Nobody has been jailed. Vincent Azie, former acting Auditor-General made these matters public in 2003. Among the loots are ordnance, vehicles, and thriving thefts of budgets for “desktops, laptops, tablets, palms, computer hardwares, softwares, printers, accessories, ink, UPS, stabilisers, printing papers, consumables” that drain billions of Naira annually from the national purse. Remarkably, Azie was fired after six months. Reasons? He exceeded his powers, he made the audit report public, he accused the Executive arm of government of financial recklessness. Olusegun Obasanjo was President.
FORMER Accountant-General of the Federation Ahmed Idris has refuted statements that formed the grounds for the corruption charges against him. He said the statements were obtained by deceit and under duress.
ECOWAS remains in suppressed turmoil after Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger withdrew from the regional economic and political bloc that was formed in 1975. The trio fell straight under the influence of Russia whose mercenaries have expanded their influence. ECOWAS’ response is at best incoherent.
IN rare moment of thoughtfulness, the Super Eagles had this message on their X handle, “Today’s victory over Angola is a poignant reminder of the adamant spirit of Nigerian football. ????????⚽️ As we celebrate this triumph, we also honor the memory of Late Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji, who tragically left us while playing against Angola 35 years ago. His passion for the game and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Samuel Okwaraji, your legacy lives on”.
PETER Obi – he needs no introduction – was in Abidjan to see Nigeria’s Super Eagles fly into the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations at the expense of Angola. Obi keeps appearing at places that strengthen his touch with the people. He was at the final 11 years ago when the Super Eagles last won the Cup.
NIGERIA has regressed to a point where the future is the next meal, any meal. A picture, in the social media of two street children sleeping by the wayside, with a lizard comfortably resting on the head of one of them, depicts where we are. The present is asleep while the future, domesticated in statistics like over 20 million out-of-school children, is forgotten, forfeited.

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues


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