“The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city.” –Ecclesiastes 10v15
Back in my senior secondary school days there was an examination we must write in SS2 which served as a promotional exam and preparation for the O Levels of WAEC and NECO. It was called the Joint Promotional Exam, JPE, but we called it “the Almighty JPE”. We feared it more than the O Levels itself. It was joint because it involved all the Air Force Secondary Schools in the country. It was a high level competition for the school that will produce the best result, so, all the teachers in a school were sent to another state to invigilate thoroughly checking any form of malpractice. Anyone caught cheating got a common sentence, rustication.
I knew the three possible outcomes of the examination. I could pass and be promoted; fail and repeat the class and the exam; and badly fail and be asked to withdraw from the school. But my goal was to make the best result. How can I achieve this? I must go to her because she got the best result in the last JPE. You mean you made eleven distinctions by studying just WAEC and NECO past questions and answers? I asked her. I went to a rich neighbor to let me do his laundry and fetch water for him every weekend for a stipend. And this was how I made money to get the study materials. When the results were out, I made nine (9) distinctions out of eleven.
You see, I desired the best result, (the city) and because I didn’t want to be a fool by preparing the wrong way, I had to meet someone who has achieved my goal. With her guidance, I didn’t hit the sun but I landed on Mercury, the next hottest spot.
Recently in Nigeria, the polity has been unnecessarily heated with Sino-phobic assumptions. The major ones are:
- Italy’s Covid-19 deaths spiked with the advent of the Chinese doctors.
- The nose masks China is sending around the world are tainted with the coronavirus.
- The Chinese are coming to use us guinea pigs in search of the vaccine.
- The Chinese are racists.
- Our doctors did well containing Ebola and they are doing well with Covid-19, we don’t need the Chinese.
- The Chinese doctors lack the requisite experience of our health environment.
- The Chinese doctors are coming to treat the political elites in the guise of coming to share knowledge.
- The government wants to use them to embezzle money.
- When they come they will not return to their country. 10. Bla bla bla.
One of such assumptions that amuse common sense is credited to an APC Chieftain, Captain. Jerry Ogbonna (rtd) who said, “…Please stop these doctors from China until our doctors have failed.” This is a dangerous statement. The objectives of the federal government in battling the pandemic are to prevent more infections, to manage the infected, and to minimize the death rates. In other words, to flatten the curve. The consequences of failing in these objectives are to see a rise in infections and deaths in the thousands. This is the kind of failure Capt. Ogbonna wants to see to justify the invite of the Chinese doctors.
Another assumption I would want to subject to critical analysis is the one the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA is using to express their disapproval of the invite of the medical team from China. They cited the spike of Covid-19 death rates in Italy purported to have been caused by the Chinese doctors. Using the table below, let us verify their claim.
We can see that the United States has taken the lead in confirmed cases and by the time this article gets published they should also take the lead in death rates. The US didn’t invite the Chinese doctors. Also, Germany, France, the UK, and Iran are in the top ten most affected countries who never invited the Chinese doctors.
On this note, I am firmly in support of the federal government’s action in bringing over the medical team from China to come and share their experiences as part of the efforts in combating the pandemic. This is wisdom because the Chinese were able to keep their death rates below 4,000 compared to the escalating death rates of the other countries in the table. This is also an opportunity for those misinforming the public to monitor the incidences before and after the arrival of the Chinese in the country just as they did that of Italy. At this point we have to forget the fact that the Chinese may never be counted among the nicest people in the world. If warring parties in the Middle-East and elsewhere are having truce and uniting against a common enemy, how much more China with it stakes in Nigeria, Africa, and its quest for global dominance.
Let’s stop spreading fake/hate news/speech!