Sometime mid last year, while the whole world was battling with the breakout of the pandemic of the century, the news broke that the medication for the prevention and cure of COVID-19 has been discovered by the Pax Herbal Treatment Centre coordinated by the Very Rev. Fr. Anselm Adodo, OSB. Initially, the National Foods Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC was said to have given approval for the use of this drug, only for the public to be taken aback by the retraction by the Herbal Treatment Centre that such approval had not been given. Unfortunately, the Nigerian government resolved to ignore this effort. It did not give reasonable thought and attention to this breakthrough.
In contrast, the American government through the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced on Monday 27th September, 2021 that it was on the verge of approving a medication that could cure and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was aired by CNN. According to the CNN report, “Clinical trials are underway for daily pills that can fight Covid-19 after diagnosis and prevent symptoms from developing after exposure. At least three antivirals for Covid-19 are being tested with results expected as soon as late fall or winter, said Carl Dieffenbach, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who is overseeing antiviral development!”
This goes a long way to show how powerful nations support their own cause for the benefit of their populace. The consistent rejection by the Nigerian government of local efforts at curtailing the pandemic is despicable, to say the least. Unless we begin to put aside modern “Colo mentality” according to Fela Anikulapo Kuti of blessed memory, we will surely not grow. On 27th September, 2021, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, the former Foreign Affairs Minister was on Arise news, recounting how Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Yaba in the late 80s and early 90s used to be a hub for scientific research and production of potent and effective vaccines for West Africa. Where are those now? As we celebrate the 61st independence of the Nation, it is only right for the Nigerian government to look inward for the solutions to the problems of Nigeria. We should no longer be perceived as a beggarly nation.
• Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu is the Director of Directorate of Social Communications, Archdiocese of Lagos.