Professor Okey Ndibe
Two recent conversations reminded me of the extent to which the lives of “ordinary” Nigerians—that is to say, most Nigerians—have been gravely debased.
Let’s start with the more recent. Last Saturday, I made a routine phone call to a relative who lives in Anambra State, Nigeria. As the conversation drew to a close, I asked after her mother.
“Well, her condition is getting slightly better,” came the response.
I was taken aback, for I wasn’t aware at all that her mother was sick. I immediately confessed my ignorance by asking, “Has she been sick?”
“Oh, I thought you knew she was hit by a car,” the relative said. Then she told the story.
On Monday, February 8, her mother had gone to the local government headquarters to pick up a bag of rice that the state governor had offered to all pensioners. Her mother met an old friend, also a pensioner. The two women stood by the roadside, discussing. Quite suddenly, a driver who was trying to pass another car lost his grip, and his car nearly plowed into the women. The two friends were extremely fortunate that the car merely brushed them as it careened into an open roadside gutter. Even so, my relative’s mother fell from the car’s glancing impact.
A day later, the elderly woman’s arms began to swell, indicating a fracture. She was taken to the state-run teaching hospital in Awka, the state capital. There, the woman—who was in fairly serious pain from her injury—was told that she must return in a week (today, in fact). The reason: the hospital’s orthopedic surgeon sees patients at the teaching hospital only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For me, the story was hard to fathom. In a country where orthopedic cases are rather rife—what with automobile and other kinds of accidents—it simply defies logic that …Read More
Source:: PM Newspaper