R-l: Olusegun Obasajo, Ibrahim Babangida, and Sanni Abacha, Nigeria's ex Military rulers.

We are all victims! Without doubt and without exception, we are all victims. From the president to the peasant, we are all victims. He is in London, we are here. Both of us are victims of our lack of collective shame.

When in 1984, our hospitals were called mere consulting clinics, one would have thought, there would be urgent steps to reverse this misfortune. But in the rapid advance to completely eradicate our healthcare system, our doctors fled, along with our academia, alongside butter, sardines and even toilet soaps. We were to hear later that one of our ex Presidents took off to France for radioculopathy (I hope I spelt it well). He wasn't in the business of consultation. Later on, his wife was returned from "the abroad" as a corpse. He sits holed up in Minna, a victim of his failures. Even his successor, the dark goggled Sanni Abacha…at least, that one had the sense of purpose of dying on his bed, or in his bed. Great fellow he was, who still sends us “alert “even from beyond.

The General from Owu, the "Ebora Owu", that tortoise, on whose shell many vipers had expended their venom, as Balogun, how can he die on a hospital bed? That is reserved for those who share his bed. In the very abroad “his Stella" expired. They learnt nothing still. It's today a status symbol, to say “I am going to the abroad”, to cure deafness.

We had a gentleman of a ruler who spent too much time in German and Saudi hospitals, whilst his minions worked at destroying his name and his legacy.

We are all victims -victims of a system whose leaders learn nothing and do nothing. In their do-nothing-nature, idleness is their singular attribute.  They have brains that ferment. Actually their brains should be donated to charity, alongside their officials of state, who do not see the danger we expose ourselves to, when our government relocates to hospital wards.

When foreign doctors, male or female, poke and strip us and our leaders of dignity, we are all victims!

I was once a guest of a former army chief. When he suffered a stroke, he was rushed to the military hospital. But afterwards, irreparable damage was done, whilst waiting to transfer him abroad. Of course, he died not very soon after, a victim of his own inaction.

I can go on and on to talk of how many of our leaders have died “in the abroad”, and many more still will.

They are all victims. We may be the wretched of the earth, we may never go beyond doctors who will prescribe ventolynfor lung cancer, but be rest assured, in emergencies, they will recommend the same for our President.

Because we don't invest in healthcare, we fly presidents on the floor of planes/or in the hold, as their final indignity.

We are all victims. They won't learn, they never will. In their bid to rob us, they make themselves victims of a system they both helped create and helped perpetuate.

Because we all are victims.
  • Moses Ideho, a Barrister-at-Law, is a social crusader and good governance advocate

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