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Ovy’s Pasteries

Ovy’s Pasteries
Ovy’s Pasteries Baked Chinchin



Monday, January 25, 2021


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By Balogun Omeiza David (BOD) BA Mass Communication, University of Jos.

Note: I have written this based on a personal opinion. I was not paid to write this. I have not met one on one with with His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello, the governor of Kogi State. I am the one that knows him. He does not know me. Kindly have all of these at the back of your mind before you set out to read this piece. The writer is however open to contributions biased of insults. Thanks.

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Let me quickly use this opportunity to celebrate my late father, Pa. D.F. Balogun, the man who made me to have a first hand experience of how protective the mother hen is to its chicks. Right inside St. Paul\"s Anglican Church Compound housing my father\"s humble home, we live close to a mountain known as Ataba Upahi. My father reared goats, hens, cocks, guinea fowl and ducks. He was a lover of domestic animals. His goats were so used to him that anytime he went out with his Suzuki 100 motorcycle and he is returning back to the house, the goats numbering more than twenty five upon hearing the sound of his motorcycle will run to the road to welcome their shepherd-in-chief. The hens my father reared is my major concern in this post.

The local hens of my father were motherly, virile and security conscious. They lay, incubate and hatch their eggs into chicks with some having same feathers with them while others took after the feathers of the different cocks that their mother "dated." Thereafter, they begin their motherly role of protecting their chicks from predating birds like the kite, hawk and crow. I will like to say here that the same kudos given to our mothers for looking after us from cradle till we grew up should also be given to the mother hen. It goes about with its chicks foraging for food and also feeding them. As it is doing this, it is at the same time keeping an eagle eye on the sky and the trees making sure the predating birds do not catch up with it all of a sudden and whisk away any of its chicks. Most often than not, there is bound to be an attack from the predators. The mother hen spreads its wings in rage with a shrill and loud sound with a ready beak and claw to attack. I remember one day during the dry season when the hawk came within a twinkling of an eye and whisked away one of the chicks of our mother hens. The mother hen to our greatest surprise flew up in the sky after the hawk and rescued back its chick. The chick was badly injured but it survived it at the end of the day. In the same vein that the mother hen looks properly after its chicks, the same way it is that Gov. Yahaya Adoza Bello is showing genuine motherly concern over Nigerians and Kogites as COVID-19 remains a true and false pandemic especially to Nigerians.

His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello the governor of Kogi State has finally become a household name in Nigeria and even beyond. His stance on the COVID-19 pandemic saga that started since late 2019 and ate up the whole of 2020 and still raising its ugly head in 2021 is what has really brought him to limelight. Some people actually understands the point he is trying to make while others are stripped of the ideas this young, gentle and focused governor is insisting on.

It was in 1996 Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company came to Nigeria for the drug trial on Meningitis. The vaccine named Trovan and Ceftriaxone failed which led to the death of 11 children. Others became blind, deaf and dumb as a result of the harmful effects the vaccine had on them. Pfizer is the world\"s biggest research pharmaceutical company based in the United States of America yet they faltered at the altar of helping humanity out of a sickness known as Meningitis. The sum of $175,000 was given as compensation to the families of the children who died after their parents submitted their DNA to Pfizer.

I wonder how old were some of the people accusing and calling Bello unprintable names in 1996 when this Pfizer issue came up. It will surprise you that the mother and father of some of these noisemakers were yet to even get married. Some older people did not even know about this ugly incident that took the lives of some children in Kano. Some that even knew did not see the need to condemn this hurried and unclarified vaccine Pfizer administered on our children that eventually led to their untimely death. Some heartlessly said, so long it is children from Kano that died in the clinical trial then there is no problem. They are of the opinion that Kano is thickly populated so if a vaccine is used to depopulate them then, it is good news to them. That is why the Bible says, "the heart of man is desperately wicked, who can know it?" Again, some saw the $175,000 dollars used in compensating the families of the bereaved as a huge sum that is bogus enough to replace the dead souls of their wards. As big as the money look to them, I wonder if they will release one of their children to die through the testing of a vaccine and get paid should the child die at the end of the day. This is what a defiant character like Bello seeking the progress of Nigerians is vehemently against. I wonder why we have allowed ourselves to be raped on a daily basis by the Western world. If not, Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company came with Meningitis vaccine, gave it to some children without the knowledge of their parents, killed some of the children, made many others to be handicapped and still had the effrontery to ask for DNA\"s because of the monetary compensation they wanted to give out. Bello is not caught out for a messy situation like this one that is bent on altering and killing of creatures God painstakingly took His time to create. Those who are eating fat and ready to milk Nigeria dry financially are the ones embracing this vaccine like no other. I hope we are well aware that Nigeria has released ten billion naira to buy the Pfizer vaccine. Let it also sink into our heads that a total sum of forty billion naira is what our country is budgeting to buy the COVID-19 vaccine that will be able to go around. Do you know how many hospitals such a huge amount can build across the country? A person like Bello will not accept this macabre dance and that is why he is presently building a Reference Hospital in Kogi Central even from the meagre allocation the state is getting from the coffers of the federal government compared to other states collecting chunky allocations. This wreck less spending on a vaccine that Pfizer is not even sure of whether it will serve as a cure is what Bello is against.

In case you are unaware, the President of Zambia, Dr. Nevers Mumba has warned that none of his citizen will be given the vaccine until it is clinically confirmed by their own scientists that the vaccine is medically fit to be used. This is the type of leader we want and Bello has successfully taken the lead. The Zambian President quoted Martin Luther King Jnr. saying, "If we are ignorant and we do not want to verify what we eat, inject and ingest into our bodies then, we do not have a sovereignty. We should better be called a banana republic." This quotation sums up what Mumba and Bello are trying to proof as a point to the Western world and our leaders who are hell bent on buying a commodity that its potency is shaky . It is not the Russians, Americans, Italians or Europe that should tell us that a vaccine is clinically okay for use without our medics and pharmacists having a final say in what is presented before us. The proverb that says, "he who the fire burns fears the ash", should come into play here. As a country, we were burnt by fire in 1996 by the Pfizer Meningitis vaccine, if we refuse to have sense in this 21st Century to "test all spirits", we might end up dying in drones or becoming like robots in next to no time.

Again, Bello the protective mother hen against COVID-19 in Nigeria is accused of saying that there is no COVID in Kogi State and that if any patient of the disease enters Kogi State, such a person will be healed upon entering. I have seen many people gathering under the tree to discuss this particular statement that I do not know whether it is true or false but I will fall in love with Bello the more if truly he said this. By now, we should all know there is power in the tongue. He is the chief umpire of Kogi State and he has from the abundance of faith in his heart voiced it that there is no COVID-19 in his state. Is this not what we hear from our Imams and Pastors anytime they preach about faith that leads to healing in Mosques and Churches? What has Bello said that is wrong? Initially when COVID-19 was raging in 2020, this man refused to lock down his state. Many had thought Kogites will die in drones. He was resolute, firm, unyielding and determined. The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had to forcefully give his state a figure on their tabulation that was growing by the seconds. It became a case of "trying to give a dog a bad name in order for it to be hung." Bello became slippery in their hands. They tried several antics to make him bow to the earthly gods of COVID-19 but like Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego, Bello refused to make obeisance to a sickness that he believes can be controlled within our shores both with local herbs and orthodox medicines at our disposals if truly it exists.

Bello has handed over Kogi State to God and he is trying to do same with the entire country. In the Bible, we heard of a place named Gilead which is a place of healing. It is from this place the phrase "Balm of Gilead" referring to God as the perfect healer emanated from. If Bello now sees all the geographical location known as Kogi State as a zone COVID-19 should respect as having the presence of the Balm of Gilead, will you then say he is wrong? Have we not had epidemics in the olden days and local and traditional methodss were used to address each of them? That modernization is now in vogue is not enough a reason for us to always dance to the whims and caprices of the Western world. We have had people with severe catarrh and cough to the point that when the mucus became soft and dropping, it came out with traces of blood. It was traditional herbs "agbo" that was used in curing it. For a very long time, we have had severe conditions of different sicknesses that herbs cured and still curing. Why must we then lock down our dear  country struggling to up its economic value because of COVID-19?

To those of you who misunderstood His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello, it will be good you retrace your steps and thinking. I do not want to believe the governor is saying there is no COVID anywhere in the world. I do not want to believe the governor wants his people and people elsewhere to die. His approach is what people are misunderstanding. How can Pfizer present to us a vaccine to a pandemic within a year? Why the haste? Vaccines meant to cure serious ailments like COVID-19 ought to take a longer time for proper laboratory and clinical researches and tests before they are administered on human beings. This vaccine may affect the system of those who will take it as the human system are not the same. Bello is rather calling for caution and timing so that we do not end up dying out of panic taking a vaccine that its potency is yet to be properly ascertained. Hope we are also aware that NCDC before schools resumed agreed through its Director General, Chikwe Ihekweazu that, "the benefits of having children in school outweigh the risks of transmission of COVID-19." What is Bello saying differently from what NCDC is saying? I think it is high time we opened our hearts unto learning and reasoning else we will not be able to make a headway how best we are to handle this COVID-19 saga.

Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti who is the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) is blowing hot accusing Bello to be careful on how he talks about the COVID-19 vaccine. We all know it is a political warning coming from the end of the Ekiti man. I was expecting Fayemi to call on Bello to tutor him on how he is making a headway with the matter of security in Kogi State despite the state sharing boundaries with more than five states in the country. His quest for power will not allow him to ask such a question that will better the lot of his people. We all know 2023 is by the corner and he is among those jostling for the top seat like Bello. Our dear governor Bello has not stopped any governor from taking the vaccine. After all, as protective as the mother hen had always tried to be to its chicks, the stubborn and errant ones still exist and easily carted away by predators. Anybody who is refusing to be under the protective wings of the idea Bello is selling to Nigerians can as well be ready to bear its dire consequences when thy arise.

May we all be shielded from COVID-19 pandemic. May we all learn how to be clean at all times. May we all know that it is good to avoid a crowded place. Shaking of hands with every Tom, Dick and Harry is not compulsory. I hope we all know that Bello is not against all these precautions whether there is COVID pandemic or not. May Bello succeed. May Kogi State excel in leaps and bounds. May Nigeria be handed over to that young man with a gap in the teeth who is from the North Central of Nigeria. The AMEN to this prayer belongs to you and I.
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