War against COVID-19: Let’s Dwell on the Positives

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Ring True with Yemi Adebowale, Email: yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com; Tel: 07013940521 (text only)

Phone number 08054699539
Email: yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com

Many are dying internally because of the fear of Coronavirus. There is so much tension, with only few able to manage the tautness. During this sit at home, some families are so scared to even step outside their apartments and stretch their legs.

We must all learn to resist fear and tension, because they destroy body immunity.

Strong body immunity helps to resist Coronavirus. The virus slips into bodies with weak immunity. So, let’s repel fear and tension. Let’s embrace hope and act responsibly. Coronavirus is not death sentence. Yes, many are dying in Europe, at the same time, many are being cured and discharged globally. They have been healed and are back to normal life. In Lagos, it’s almost 100 per cent victory against Coronavirus, until the death last Friday. This is a positive. Just one death recorded in this state. Lagos has cured and released 23 sufferers. Oyo State has also cured and discharged its index case. So, those going about chanting that there is no cure for Coronavirus should stop it. To be cured means being treated and healed. Lagos is doing this. Nigeria is doing this. The world is doing this. Europe and the United States are already covering their missteps.

Wuhan, China, hitherto the epicenter of the pandemic is now open for business. After 10 weeks confinement to their apartments, unable to exercise, shop for groceries or walk their dogs, Wuhan residents are back in the sunshine. The subway and intercity trains are running again. Shopping malls and even the Tesla store are reopening. State-owned companies and manufacturing businesses are turning on their lights, with others to follow. This is a big positive. Coronavirus can be contained.

Again, let’s stop restricting this country to only the Western approach to managing Coronavirus pandemic. The effect on the black man is evidently different. We have to add local things to our methodology. COVID-19 manifests all the symptoms of what is called Ako Iba (high fever) in South-west Nigeria. We have been tackling it for years in this part of the country with herbs. I concur with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, who strongly suggested that we look inward and focus on our traditional herbs for the war against COVID 19.

In a post shared on his official Instagram page, the Ooni said: “A divine proclamation came out to the world last year June 6th, 2019, during the World Ifa Festival – Otura Meji. We foretold about the impending rage of this invisible pandemic war, but few heard us.”

Oba Ogunwusi was very specific about the tested herbs that are capable of strangulating Coronavirus. According to him, the following herbs are potent enough to heal anyone down with COVID-19: Boundary tree leaves (Botanical name is Newbouldia laevis, Yoruba is Ewe Akoko); Neem leaves and fruits or Indian lilac (Botanical name is Azadirachta Indica, Yoruba is Ewe Dogoyaro); Onion; Forest Anchomanes (Botanical name is Anchomanes difformis, Yoruba is Ogirisako); Aridan (Botanical name is Tetrapleura tetraptera); African pepper/Ngero pepper/Guinea pepper (Botanical name is Xylopia Aethiopica, Yoruba is Eeru or Erinje); Bitter leaf and Sulfur.”

In the video Ooni shared on both Twitter and Instagram, he prescribed how the herbs would be used to “ward off negative energy” including COVID-19. Ooni insisted: “I have used it and also used it for some of the chronic Corona patients with testimonials.”
For me, this is the way forward. We can speed up treatment with our herbs and export them to the rest of the world. There is nothing to be tested again. It has worked for us from time immemorial. Europeans can’t withstand high fever. This is why they are dying in thousands. Remember malaria killed them in thousands in Black Africa in the early days of colonialism, until they found and brought Chloroquine into the region.

Another positive is that Chloroquine has been getting formal endorsement from health authorities across the world. Originally developed as an antimalarial, Chloroquine has a variety of effects, including the ability to reduce immune activity of COVID-19. Just last week, the federal government, through NAFDAC and the Ministry of Health, granted Lagos State permission to commence clinical trials of a combination of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Azithromycin for the treatment of Coronavirus.

Also, French researchers announced few days back that a combination of both drugs was effective, 100 per cent, in treating Covid-19 patients.

I am sure that the success Lagos State has recorded so far in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, having treated and discharged 23 people, is because doses of Chloroquine are added to the treatment. The truth that must be told is that hundreds of other Nigerians with COVID-19 symptoms, got Chloroquine treatments, (antibiotics and immune boosters added) in private hospitals, and got results. The Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, who tested positive, came out negative after few days of isolation and treatment. Doses of Chloroquine must have also helped him. Well, that is not to say that people should go about self-administering Chloroquine.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has also issued an Emergency Use Authorization that will allow patients suffering from COVID-19 to be treated with the combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin without clear evidence of the drugs’ efficacy. The move comes after President Donald Trump has touted the drugs’ potential several times. The drugs are relatives of Chloroquine, specifically Chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate.

The Nigerian government should also help reduce tension and fear by expanding centres for testing and treatment of COVID 19 patients. Having just eight testing laboratories nationwide is not good enough. Tertiary health centres should all be involved in testing and treatment. Private medical laboratories should also be allowed to get involved. With these, test results will come out faster and victims quickly attended to. For example, Lagos has 26 general hospitals and a teaching hospital. Just imagine testing and treatment going on in these 27 facilities. There will be quick dispensation of justice to COVID 19. This is the only way to enhance testing and treatment capacity in this country. So, COVID-19 wards should be set up in tertiary hospitals.

Businessman, Aliko Dangote, was on point when he recently added his voice to the call for the involvement of private laboratories in running tests for COVID-19, alongside government centres. He said giving approval to qualified private laboratories would reduce the waiting period for suspected COVID-19 cases.

Dangote said: “There are currently five government laboratories (now eight) equipped to handle all the testing in Nigeria. However, we have many more quality ones that can do it, but are not yet approved by the government to do so.”

The long and the short of my epistle is that while the war against COVID-19 is on, Nigerians should stay cool, avoid unnecessary tension/panic and behave responsibly. Coronavirus is not death sentence. Government should also help diffuse tension, by massively expanding testing and treatment facilities. Also, let’s start administering our herbs to COVID-19 patients, with the aid of quality herbalists.

General Adeniyi is Hero of Boko Haram War

The erstwhile commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, General Olusegun Adeniyi, who was removed in controversial circumstances, after speaking against the poor condition of our gallant soldiers on the war front, remains a hero of this war. History will always remember this brave commander who spoke the truth about the faltering war against Boko Haram. That was his crime. He was bold enough to say the truth; that Nigerian soldiers are poorly equipped and poorly motivated. The military high Command in Abuja does not want the truth. The General was immediately removed. Many are evidently benefiting from this war and want it to continue.

In the rare video, General Adeniyi was seen admitting that Nigerian soldiers were being outgunned by the terrorists. He was leading a large troop of soldiers on a special operation when they came under heavy attacks by Boko Haram. The commander was seen in two of four video clips giving a recorded situation report to Army Chief, Tukur Buratai. He blamed the deadly attack they suffered on “very wrong intelligence assessment” earlier conducted before they deployed.

He said: “Since yesterday, we have met with very strong resistance – from more than pockets of Boko Haram. This morning, from every flank, not less than 15 gun trucks were facing us.”

In the video, General Adeniyi was seen among a battery of depressed troops lamenting that they had suffered a massive loss of men and equipment because they were outgunned by Boko Haram. The General, who appeared in full combat kit, was seen in one of the videos tapping a trooper who was weeping, telling him it was not ‘soldierlike’ for him to cry because his colleagues were killed.

In another video, the theater commander was seen and heard telling the soldiers that “it appears the people we are fighting have more firepower than us…” He later directed the troops to gather all the bodies of the soldiers that paid the supreme price into available vehicles in order to quickly move them out of the danger zone.

The General, in the audiovisual, revealed how he lost huge equipment and was almost rendered immobile due to a massive attack on troops’ vehicles. Facing the camera and addressing the Chief of Army staff, he said, “Good morning sir, I’m standing here with Sector 2 Commander; the armed helicopter has just come to hover our air, the instruction I gave them was that anything they see moving they should engage because most of my gun trucks are not moving. Like I said earlier, the three battalions are fighting as deployed, nobody is running.

“But what we have here, I will give you some estimates, sir. Boko Haram has fired more than a hundred mortar bombs at us; they have fired 80 to a hundred RPGs at us; in addition to eight to 10 gun trucks firing at us from all sides. We have not run, and the soldiers are not misbehaving or disobeying orders. We have casualties. I will come and see you in person on what we need to do. But we are not running.”

He later pointed at some of the MRAP trucks that had been demobilised after Boko Haram gunmen shot their tires: “As you can see, that’s one of ours that bullets tore, we lost about 20 MRAP tires here. We have changed close to 250 Hilux tires due to the terrain. This is what we are facing in the Timbuktu triangle, sir. We are not running; we are fighting as a system to curtail the situation and achieve your mission, sir.”

The General’s shocking revelation that troops were not adequately equipped and armed to fight, is coming amid persistent ridiculous claims by the military authority that Boko Haram had been defeated.

Our gallant soldiers are going through hell on the war front. Aside from being poorly equipped, their allowances are often delayed. Many have overstayed and are tired; some have been on the war front for over two years. This is contrary to the rules of war engagement. Evacuating soldiers wounded on the war front is a big deal. The big men at the army headquarters in Abuja care less. As long as the war is on, they are in business. Instead of building military hospitals, they are squandering billions of Naira on a military university in Biu, Borno State, while wounded soldiers have limited standard hospitals to attend to them. What a country!

Patriots should help push my contemporary and pragmatic submission on how to end this war: We must hire the best brains from anywhere in the world to assist our military to end this war. The ultimate aim is to decapitate Boko Haram. The strategy for getting result against Boko Haram is largely through aerial power. Technology, intelligence, quality equipment and quality manpower will also be needed. It requires quality fighter jets and quality armoured attack helicopters. Our gallant military lacks the competence and equipment for these. So, our President must hire Israeli, South African or Russian mercenaries to finish this war. This is the only way forward. We should all put pressure on Buhari to do the needful.