Now, my grouse with Okupe and his principal is this: While we all understand that the law must be obeyed, we are all witnesses to the doctrine of necessity that brought President Jonathan to power in the first instance. I am a hundred percent certain that there is nothing in our laws or constitution supporting such “doctrine of necessity”. Yet the National Assembly went ahead to invoke the unknown law to ensure that the right thing is done and Jonathan was made the President. My questions to Doyin Okupe are as follows: why didn’t the President go through the National Assembly, if need be, or use his discretionary powers to honour this great woman who, by doing the right and proper thing, ensured that millions of Nigerian lives are now spared from what could have been a dangerous Ebola pandemic? If a strange and an unknown doctrine was President Jonathan’s path to
power, why can’t the same man find a way to ensure a worthy Nigerian is honoured? Okay, I see why she is not that important. She is not a looter, nor a politician and neither is she a miracle-selling charlatan! The Synagogue Church Of All Nations (henceforth to be referred to as SCOAN in this discourse), recently recorded a huge human calamity occasioned by a collapsed building. Initial reports indicated that the church had illegally reconstructed a building within its premises, changed the original approved plan and added more floors to the collapsed building beyond the approved number of floors. If that happens to be true, one would have expected that the premise be sealed immediately until proper and detailed investigations are concluded.
But what are we seeing? Not only has the State Governor paid a private visit to the man who heads the church, the church is also moving on unmolested and business is going on as usual. As if that was not bad enough, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria flew into Lagos on Saturday 20th September 2014 to commiserate with the overseer who oversaw such mass murder of Nigerians and other people from various countries; with South Africa looking to be the worst hit at the moment with about 87 dead and 26 injured as at the last count. But curiously enough, the President didn’t bother to even call on the family of Dr. Adadevoh, let alone pay them a visit. It therefore shows that her heroic act and subsequent death counts for nothing. No wonder President Jonathan gladly told Nigerians on a live TV show that “I don’t give a damn”.
We actually thought it was a slip but we now know better. Recall that WHO has only recently declared Nigeria Ebola free and actually commended us for a job well done in the containment of the Ebola outbreak. But the real heroine was not a factor, judging from our President’s disposition. Just imagine if Dr. Adadevoh was derelict in her duty like so many others are wont to do? Imagine if Patrick Sawyer had been allowed to leave the hospital (God forbid) when he wanted to force himself out? I shudder to imagine the impact of such action, if Dr. Adadevoh had behaved like our President and refused to give a damn. Not conferring Dr. Adadevoh with a national honour is not a big issue for me personally, but the fact that the President of the country believes that visiting SCOAN and acting like what happened there is a “normal” occurrence, irks me. No sir, it is not a normal occurrence. What happened at the SCOAN is a clear case of willful negligence that led to the murder of over 115 human beings! Already, South Africa has airlifted 25 of the 26 of its nationals who were injured, back to South Africa for proper treatment. Data, names and accurate figures from the incident are available to the public; putting faces to all South Africans who were at the Synagogue when the building caved in. And that is an African country.
As we speak, the Nigerian authorities are yet to come up with any concise statement let alone figures of the dead and injured. As usual, it will never be known since our leaders over the years have proven and shown over and over again that Nigerians, who are not close to those in power, are expendable and life in PDP led Nigeria has now regressed towards the Hobbesian state which is short, nasty and brutish. Coming back to Dr. Adadevoh, I won’t wish for her name to be found among the Nigeria Honours List. The current list, just like those from the recent past, appears to be a roll call of who is who in the crime world. The list is not only despicable, it is also a national disgrace. Instead of honoring hard work and landmark achievements, the PDP led government has turned the National Honours list into an avenue for patronage and reward for whomsoever catches their fancy. In the recent past, even ex convicts have successfully made the roll call.
Rather than desecrate her memory with some despicable National Honour (at least that was the position of the great Chinua Achebe and I agree with him), one would have expected that the President visits her family or even puts across a simple phone call. (I have confirmed that aside from the Minister of Health’s brief appearance during her memorial service, the FG has had no contact with the Adadevoh family). I am aware that President Obama had taken out time severally to visit the families of Americans who died as heroes. What else does a Nigerian have to do to also qualify for a Presidential visit under President Goodluck Jonathan aside being the pastor of a church that has been accused of bribing journalists to give him a soft landing after allegedly committing mass murder?
I will love to end this by saying to the President and the people he surrounds himself with–not every time should issues be about politics. Once in a while, be a statesman. Remember that our collective humanity is degraded when we cannot rise above petty sentiments and looking to garner votes. While visiting Lagos over the weekend to attend the illegal TAN rally, a short, crisp visit to the Adadevohs would have gone a long way towards painting the picture of a man with empathy. These are the types of situations that would have shown the President to be humane, caring and large-hearted. Sadly, in a typical Jonathanian fashion, he bungled the opportunity…