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In most third world countries, we love waiting for the Western world to do virtually everything for us. With Coronavirus, we are also waiting for them to come up with drugs and vaccines. What a shame. Our leaders that should lead the match towards change suffer from extreme neo-colonial mentality and are so happy to continue on that lane. Western countries have total lockdown in place, so we have to also impose a total lockdown. They are working on drugs and vaccines, so we have to wait for them as if we don’t have anything here. For me, COVID-19 manifests all the symptoms of what is called Ako Iba (high fever) in South-west Nigeria and can be effectively tackled with herbs.
Few days back, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu was threatening Nigerians with another total lockdown if they continue to violate some health guidelines. He fears new cases of Coronavirus will arise from non-compliance with health guidelines in some parts of the country where the total lockdown was lifted. The likes of Ihekweazu only think in terms of what the Western world is doing. The truth is that even if we lockdown from now till eternity, without the government taking pragmatic actions, cases of Coronavirus will continue to rise.
Tackling Coronavirus is not supposed to be a big deal. The deaths recorded are needless. With our approach at present in Nigeria, we won’t have enough bed if there is a surge of patients. The way to go is herbal, which we can all apply at home. My personal experience in the last six weeks is a pointer to this. I placed myself on herb tea that is both preventive and curative. It is tested and trusted by my kinsmen in the South-west. The ingredients are Lemon Grass, Osan Wewe leaves, Dogoyaro, Mango and Paw Paw leaves, two mediun size lemons (to be sliced into the pot) and small Ginger. Just put them in a pot; boil all for 45 minutes and you are good to go. Take a cup in the morning and night and you are protected against any virus, including Coronavirus. These are plants that are readily available across our country with documented evidence of their efficacy.
Few weeks back, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, unveiled another tested herbal combination that can kill 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; Bitter leaf and Sulfur.”
Some of the components of my herbal tea and that of the Ooni are in the anti-COVID-19 herbal medicine developed in Madagascar. This country’s “Covid-Organics”, is an herbal remedy made from local plants that are also used to cure malaria. Madagascar has been using it to treat COVID-19 patients successfully. This remedy is also used for prevention.
The languid World Health Organization (WHO), a neo-colonial tool, is only interested in COVID-19 drugs from laboratories of Western countries. That was why it said there was no proof that Madagascar’s “Covid-Organics” works. WHO says the only hope for the world is in a vaccine expected from Western workrooms. Is this not preposterous? This global health manager bluntly refused to carry out any scientific test on Covid-Organics and issued a warning against people using the remedies for Coronavirus, saying: “Africans deserve access to medicines that have gone through proper trials even if they are derived from traditional treatments.” WHO is headed by an African, who is evidently just a tool in the hands of the West. Madagascar has provided scientific data on the safety and efficacy of this herbal tonic but WHO pretends it’s unaware of this. Many outside the continent think nothing good can come out of Africa. They will be forced back to the reality that Africa has the solution to this global pandemic.
Some African countries, including Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia, have already ordered Covid-Organics, produced from the artemisia plant – the source of an ingredient used in malaria treatment – and other Malagasy plants. Last week, Niger Republic received a consignment of the herbal tea from Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina. He hopes to distribute the infusion across West Africa and beyond. We have our own potent Covid-Organics in Nigeria. Let’s cuddle it.
I challenge WHO to pick Covid-Organics and commence its lengthy process, in which potential drugs are tested in four phases, scaling up from a trial on a small number of patients to using it on a population countrywide. Three teams of Western researchers – Germans, Danish and Americans – are already combining efforts to carry out analysis on the preventive and curative scope of the use of Covid-Organics for the treatment of Coronavirus.
Total lockdown has done more damage than good to this country. We should also learn from the COVID-19 experience of Sweden. In this Scandinavian country, there is no lockdown, no shuttered businesses or schools, no stay-at-home and no disaster. With a death rate significantly lower than all other European Union countries, Swedes can enjoy their lives without panic or fear of reigniting a new epidemic as they go about their day in a largely normal fashion. This model is built on calibrated precautions and isolating only the most vulnerable than imposing a full lockdown. Sweden bucked the conventional wisdom of every other nation and carefully examined the insubstantial evidence that social-isolation controls would help reduce COVID-19 deaths over the full course of the virus. There is no scientific consensus on most of the Western measures taken so far against Coronavirus by WHO. So, Nigeria as a country should be careful about how we go about adopting them.
Just this week, a former WHO doctor, Professor Karol Sikora, said the excruciating social distancing rule was needless. He rubbished the two-metre social distancing rule put in place by most governments of the world, saying it should be scrapped as it has no scientific backing. Different countries have different guidelines on social distancing, which is based on the idea that the closer you are to someone who is infected with Coronavirus, the greater the risk of contracting the disease. According to the WHO, a distance of one metre is safe, while countries have advised a distance of as much as five meters.
But Sikora, an Oncologist, said changing government guidelines on how far apart people should stand will be key in getting more people back to work as major governments of the world ease lockdowns caused by the Coronavirus crisis. He said: “The way we use our drugs and the way we do investigations have bases in science, but this two-metre rule has nothing. The politicians are lost because they get conflicting advice. There is no science about the separation. There are some studies on droplet spread from people that have been done in the past but they are not conclusive.”
On the flip side, it is heartwarming that the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the Federal Ministry of Health has taken a pragmatic step in support of Nigerian herbs for the treatment of Coronavirus. It has come up with an herbal cough mixture made of Nigerian medicinal plants for the treatment of COVID-19 patients’ respiratory challenges and wants approval from NAFDAC. The herbs blended for the cough mixture are Garlic, Onions, Ginger, West African Black Pepper and Baobab fruit. These plants have documented scientific evidence for the management of cough and other respiratory infections. I urge NAFDAC to quickly carry out necessary procedures for the listing of this herbal medicine.
The Trauma of Maryam Danna
For those who have not been following her story, a quick recap. Mrs. Maryam Danna, an accountant, was General Manager (Audit and Compliance with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC). She was the whistle-blower who exposed corrupt practices and other irregularities in the federal agency some time in 2016. Some NDPHC officials were thereafter suspended. Surprisingly, few months after, the indicted officials were reabsorbed and promoted. Rather than being rewarded, Danna was arbitrarily sacked without justification in July 2016. When people close to President Buhari hinted him about the case, he directed that Danna be reinstated in the agency. In a memo dated October 25, 2016, the Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami (SAN), wrote the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, intimating him of the decision of the President in which he had ordered a recall of the widow to her job at NDPHC. That has not happened after almost four years.
Danna took her case to the 8th Senate under the leadership of Bukola Saraki. A resolution was passed on May 3, 2018, ordering Danna’s immediate recall to her position at NDPHC. This did not also happen. Her case came up again in the 9th Senate under the leadership of Ahmad Lawan and the upper legislative chamber dispatched a letter in March this year to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, urging him to direct the Managing Director of the NDPHC to comply with and implement its resolution on the case of Mrs. Danna. This traumatised woman is still waiting for this to happen. Today, I urge SGF Mustapha to, in the interest of justice and fair play, ensure the recall of Mrs. Danna.
Akeredolu and Ondo Workers’ Deductions
The organised labour in Ondo State is angry with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and justifiably too. When salaries are paid to civil servants, deductions for cooperatives, loans and union dues are hardly remitted. This has been on for months. The Chairman, Ondo State branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Oluwole Adeleye bluntly told Akeredolu during the last May Day celebration to amend his ways on unremitted deductions, else the workers will show him their ugly side. Civil servants in this state have up to four months unremitted cooperative deductions, which form the bulk of savings for them. According to Adeleye, this has disrupted operations of many cooperative societies with many workers experiencing untold hardship. This inhuman act has to end. I am shocked that it is happening under Akeredolu, who was a human rights activist before he became governor. He should swiftly respond to the yearnings of the workers by remitting all deductions from their salaries.