Much sadly, the people of Kwara on daily basis always have something to cry for, the workers cry for salaries, the pensioners cry for unpaid entitlements, drivers cry for good roads, households cry for basic amenities as water, electricity among others. Our children are left learning under shattered roofs, the list is just endless, yet, no array of hope of getting out of these messes the ineptitude of our government and its functionaries have flagrantly and inconsequentially left us in. What a calamity!

Recently, the outbreak of a deadly disease in Oro Ago community of Kwara state was reported by Punch news and acclaimed to have killed not fewer than seventy people (Kwarans), more sadly, the Kwara state commissioner for Health, Atolagbe Alege was called for reaction on this issue and as usual, just like others, he never disappointed Kwarans by uttering a careless statement that the King of the community whom the reporters quoted was only lying simply because they wanted an health centre in their community. This careless statement against the people he was appointed to serve is enough a reason to relief him of duty in an ideal system where the people count. This careless statement, the commissioner for health made without even making confirmation of the claim even when the lives of Kwarans is concerned.

Even if his erroneous assumption was to be accurate, are the people of a community as Oro Ago not entitled to a health facility in their domain? The commissioner have not only made mockery of the people of Oro Ago and indeed, the people of Kwara but equally, he has shown his lack of regard for the life of Kwarans and alas, substantiate the fact that the Abdulfatah Ahmed-led government he is serving is a colossal failure if it can’t provide a community of that class with a common health centre after six (6) years of ruling, even considering the fact that the town falls under the Kwara South Constituency that produced the governor.

I was particularly triggered seeing the report of concerned Kwarans who embarked on a fact finding mission to the community, even without holding any political office. Specifically, reporting their findings, Elder Oyin Zubair made the following revelations;
“Having introduced our mission he confirmed loss of lives as a result of the alleged mysterious diseases. But denied originating the Punch story. He (The King) however confirmed that the Punch reporter called to clarify the deaths but denied giving a figure. We asked his opinion of the likely death roll. About 35 lives must have been lost, he stated. We then decided to move to the clinics and Fulani camps to ascertain more facts. At Banise Clinic, Mrs Yusuf, the officer in charge told us that some cases of blood vomiting with black substances were treated before the patients were transferred to OmuAran Hospitals within the last two weeks. We then proceeded to other clinics before returning to the Palace. We also visited few Fulani camps on Oroago -Oreke road. It was in one of the camps that we were told of the presence of the state health officers and WHO Representatives.”

Considering the statements from these well meaning Kwarans, it was revealed that the disease had been reported about three (3) weeks ago. Majorly, the salient fact emanating from their report are as follows:
1. “Truly there is an outbreak of a mysterious disease or diseases killing the Fulani
2. The Fulani communuty reported through their Wakali & Jowuro to officials of Basic Health Centre in Oroago.
3. It appeared the LG didn’t take the matter, which was reported about three weeks ago with levity.
4. The Health Ministry only had about this matter two days when HRM Oloro of Oroago sent an emissary to one of his subjects working at the state headquarters of the ministry.
5. The community has NO functional health institutions.
6. The Basic Health Centre is under renovation while the State Hospital has no staff.”
Meanwhile, an issue of such magnitude, said to have been reported 3 weeks ago to our moribund local government and 2 days ago to our Honorable Commissioner for Health, who pretended to be ignorant or probably ignorant (maybe as a result of malfunctioning health ministry bureaucracy) and brazenly insulted the good people of the community by alleging them of lying about what has consumed over 30 lives. This is a serious negligence on our state government’s part which is highly condemnable.

If our lives doesn’t count any longer, what then is the essence of having a government? Shame!

Article courtesy of IBRAHIM Sheriff .

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