Patrick Sawyer! Patrick Sawyer!!, Patrick Sawyer!!! How many times did I call you? Why did you decide that you must bring Ebola to Nigeria? Now see what you have caused. The Doctor that cared for you unknowingly has died, the nurse is ill, the person you borrowed his phone to call is sick, the driver that drove you around to help you is ill. The plane you flew in quarantined, all the unsuspecting people who responded to you when you collapsed at the airport are all quarantined. You no try, Sawyer, you no try at all! Even though you don die, you need to be brought out of the judgment line anywhere you are right now and flogged 24 strokes, seriously.
Ebola has threatened the very fabric of our national health system and even the world. Men and women have sacrificed their lives to cater for other citizens who are ill. People have bathed salt water, some added sand to it, some even drank salt solution and unconfirmed news had it that 2 people died of excessive consumption of salt. Bitter kola, that one has become lunch. I was at Yenagoa, in Bayelsa State and dared to ask about the Ebola issues and a colleague told me how that within 5am and 6am on the 7th of August, he got over 30 calls from his parents and neighbors asking him to bath with salt water and even drink some to prevent Ebola. Initially, he said, he was not going to heed the warning, but when the call continued, he decided to do as the military says "Obey before complain".
Yours truly was not left out. I got a call in Lagos on the same morning at about 6am from my mother saying that she had been called from our hometown in Anambra State that they received news from Onitsha that everyone should bath salt water to prevent Ebola. I thought, ok, I am in Lagos, Ebola issues are currently only reported in Lagos, how can someone who is almost 800kms away from Lagos, be the one telling me to do this ridiculous thing, little did I know at that time that the message I was getting had gone viral over-night. I got to the office and the information seemed the same, my colleagues had received the news from their relations, especially from those living upcountry. News began to flow in on social media that people were already drinking and bathing salt water as far as Jos, someone got a call from Kogi that they said he should do same. As far as Bayelsa, Calabar and the other extremities of the nation, people had brought out their cooking pots full of water and gone in search of salt, those that didn't have enough salt swallowed their pride and went to beg their neighbours, the people had decided, Ebola must die, by fire, by force. I have categorized that response as the impact of social media, feasting on panic and fear and the ease with which we African would defer to traditional treatment if “oyibo" treatment refuses to work. I can almost guess that the person who first sent out that hoax did not think it would go that viral. Everyone, high and low, got calls. Someone even used the Ebola salt -water bath as his barometer to measure how much his family cared for him. His judgment, those that called him were the family members that cared about him.
But the whole Ebola thing has not been without its gains though. Soap and sanitizers are selling like mad. People are washing their hands like no man's business now. Shake someone, wash, touch something, wash, even sit still, wash, and from time to time, apply sanitizer. The first time I saw a sanitizer in Nigeria was when someone came in from America and brought one along because of the Bird Flu virus. Then it became an elitist product that people, mostly women and fashion savvy man carried in their bags to re-scent their palms after eating vegetable soup at the happening joints during office hours, after all no one wants to be smelling of dawadawa and locust bean at a business meeting. When GlaxoSmithKline began manufacturing sanitizers in Nigeria, no one paid attention, until Ebola showed up. Today, most shops can’t even have enough stock of sanitizers on their shelves. Everyone is buying. I happened on a close relative who manages purchases for a business chain, and heard her literarily screaming at her one of her suppliers to deliver sanitizers to all their stores. Gist even has it that my Igbo brothers have started placing their orders from China- container loads of hand and body sanitizers. The fear of Ebola is making everyone borrow themselves brain.
By the way, the world has suffered, no be small - Ebola, H1N1 bird flu Virus, Mad Cow disease, SARS, all sorts. If it is not disease it will be Islamist jihadist in the Maghreb, Al-Qaeda, ISIS in Iraq, Boko Haram in Nigeria, name them. I recall that when ISIS came to the fore-front, even Al-Qaeda bowed and declared them as extreme. Boko Haram has killed more people in this one year. Up till last month, Boko Haram was the bane of Jonathan's administration. The missing Chibok girls issue was the diadem on the crown. Everyone was flaying the administration for not bringing back the girls after almost 4months since they were kidnapped. Despite the various talks by the Government and their solicitation of international support against terrorism, Boko Haram had their fill of terrorizing the people on daily basis. They even sacked a whole community so they could celebrate Sallah in that community. But since Ebola came, Boko Haram and Boko Haram stories have "cooled" down - What! Truth is to pursue BH instead of Ebola in the current state of things will be like chasing ringworm when there is Leprosy. Where Ebola is, Boko Haram is learning. Even BH men are now stealing soap and sanitizers. They no wan die sef.
The trouble Ebola has caused is major. I believe we need to take a stand and wage war against the disease from all fronts - With good and bold medical service, strong personal hygiene and with the word of God. We must throw everything we have at the Ebola virus, and we have a lot of things, for one we have doctors working at normalizing the health of the affected and quarantining suspected individuals. We have governments issuing travel alerts, banning the transportation of deceased people across states or countries. We have sport officials cancelling qualifier matches for fear of Ebola. We have America, Canada and the WHO bringing in Zmapp (containing Ebola Antibodies that increases resistance to the virus), TKM Ebola (a Ribonucleic acid interference compound that stops the virus DNA from replicating) and recently, the Ebola Vaccine (Sterile Ebola virus, injected in tiny amount to stimulate the production of antibodies in healthy individuals). But most importantly, we have the blood of Jesus, the authority of the believer to rebuke sicknesses and diseases, and the Word of God.
I dare say, Ebola Virus, the blood of Jesus is against you. We rebuke you and bind you and declare that you will not perform the works of your enterprise in our nation. We command you virus to begin to regress in our nation and in the bodies of the affected in the name of Jesus. We pray for the sick and command their bodies to be healed. And we pray for all of you, our health professionals and first responders, you have put yourselves in harm’s way to protect the rest of us, we plead the blood of Jesus over you, and we ask the Lord to guide you, keep you from harm and give you wisdom to do all that is required to curb this virus. And finally, we stand against the spirit of fear and confusion that is rising upon our nation, we bind it in Jesus name and we release the spirit of power, love and a sound and well balanced mind. We declare - Ebola virus, your end has come!