Images: Freepik


by Afolayan Adebiyi

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Lady Melinda Gate is Bill Gates’ wife. The renowned computer wizard. The family needs little or no introduction here. They are rich, jaw-droppingly wealthy and accustomed to all comfort that comes with wealth. The hubby, Gates has created the mega monopolistic software octopus, Microsoft Empire. With an estimated wealth of a cool 104.1 billion USD, they are now retired into a life of opulence, but from the coziness of their mansion, they still think and bothers about the large army of the poor and inopportune people of the World, especially in Africa.

The family is known to be sponsors of Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation with Office in Abuja, FCT and with a special focus on health, food, and nutrition, agriculture and financial access for the poor and vulnerable. The family deserves our collective appreciation. Even the recent donation of a handsome 150 million USD towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is highly impressive and commendable.

But the ravenous COVID-19 pandemic would not be allowed the free-flowing effusive words of admonition and acclaim for the family that is striving to break its sweats for the emancipation of our Continent from the pangs of poverty, hunger, and disease. Melinda, perhaps thoroughly frustrated by the reports she was getting about the poor response of an average African to the outbreak of the Virus. Talking from the benefits of hindsight, from her knowledge of public health in the continent, she allowed emotions to get the better of her, and she belched out a sordid prediction or is it her fears about the impending doom, harvests of deaths in the streets of Africa.

It is rather sad, insensitive, and even inhuman for Melinda to make such a statement. “We shall soon start picking dead bodies from the streets of Africa”!  She was quoted to have said. This same Africa is a victim of the conspiracies going round of the two combatants being fingered in the development and evolution of the deadly Virus? Both China and the United States stand accused of criminal complicity before man until proven otherwise. Africa knew nothing about the pandemic. It was an imported curse.

Besides, whatever happens, after today, when the pandemic is successfully defeated, there is no way Africans will suffer the types of casualty figures being churned out by both East and West of Asia, Europe, and the USA.

The structure, the organization, even the manpower, here may be nothing to write home about. The greed and corrupt tendencies of our leaders may be of podium level Olympic medals’, the propensities of our leaders to play politics with everything imaginable may be unparalleled, yet our God here in Africa never sleeps. African have survived several odds stacked along her path, several attempts to stifle her growth and development, by the conniving East and West Super Powers. The Continent shall also survive this. Both Melinda and Bill shall later see that we can survive odds.

Incidentally, the Melinda Gates’ prophecy of doom was relayed via the news but certainly not from the latest generation of telecommunication technology, 5G. But before the prophecy could land in Africa, a rhapsody of doomsday’s prophets had seized the airwaves, telling gullible, naïve or perhaps, hypnotized members how the new upgrade on the 4G technology was the spirit behind the COVID-19 pandemic. And that the lockdown ordered by the government only a smokescreen to install 5G that will kill the people. The near imbecilic congregation believed him. Not only had the members, but some clerics, not one, not two, fame-seeking Clerics quickly amplified this most idiotic illogical line ever mouthed. The master trumpeter, confronted with better arguments, cold scientific facts, quickly recanted, and now relied on #IStandWithPastor hashtag, to weather the unnecessary storm greed and stupidity pushed him into. The choristers just melted away and disappeared like a pack of ice in the tropical sun!

Such is the rhapsody of pandemonium the pandemic had wrought on our Mother Africa. We live in an innocent land, but most unfortunately rapists, scavengers, violators, always encircle the land, posing as a caregiver. Pity the people and Continent!

The 5G controversy was majorly an elitist issue. It drawn-out the hitherto docile scientist out of their lethargy. Quickly, all manner of grammar were deployed to help debunked the claim of the ‘Yo-Yo’ pastor. But down the ladder, among the down-trodden masses, they have their own peculiar headache. Again, while we were yet locked down, the social pests’ gangs called the ‘Awawa Boys’ and the rival gang ‘One Million Boys’ reared their ugly faces again. They dared raised up their heads, amidst the tragic COVID-19 pandemonium. Claiming hunger and lack of freebies from the government, they started robbing and dispossessing already the traumatized people of the little they had left and maiming those who do not have to give. They created so much noise and panic around Lagos and Ogun State’s suburb until the Police leadership in States wielded the big stick.

These social miscreants are mainly cowards. They shouted themselves hoarse of hunger and deprivation by the government, yet are afraid to go near their perceived oppressors in their fortress or estates. They dare not go near any of the Government Reservation Areas but chose to torment the downtrodden, the ordinary Joe. They mainly operate around the slum areas that is, Agege, Ifo, Sango, Ibafo, Mowe and other thickly populated areas by the socially weak and the vulnerable.

Those in government and other positions of authority too really do not help matters by playing politics with the pandemic all over the place. For God’s sake, while would a sensitive leader ever consider giving two loaves of bread to a whole building of almost twenty occupants as palliatives? How can a leader send a 50kg bag of rice to a community of over fifty households? It is not compulsory to give. Some so-called palliatives become an insult to the people.

The Holy Bible enjoined the rich and the haves to give to the needy and poor. But the injunction is very clear: ‘Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing’.  But not our leaders here, everything is a political razzmatazz. Suddenly taking selfies while distributing palliatives, video recording of such became the other of the day. One wonders whatever happens to the Biblical injunction.

A blood sample from a positive Covid-19 patient

The pandemic will soon disappear just as it came or a cure will be found like the ones before it. No doubting that. Jerking the nation back to life will certainly pose a greater challenge to both the government and the already traumatized people. The people would largely be coming from a 28day compulsory fasting with or without prayers. That will the time the people will better appreciate these political charlatans drooling all over now to give palliatives. The strategies is visibilities ahead of scheduled elections in 2023. They may never see them again until when campaigns begin.

Unlike our politicians, Melinda and Bill will still be around. I am very sure. They will still continue with their help. But they would have seen the emptiness in the lady Gates’ alarm.

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