29.04.2020 Feature Article

This Country Will Surely Define Her Times

This Country Will Surely Define Her Times
LISTEN APR 29, 2020

When I was growing up in my holy village many years ago, there was a whooping cough outbreak in the country. The disease spread like wild fire in the harmattan, killing many children. Scientists searched for a cure but to no avail until local herbalists settled on the eating of a grilled lizard by the victim as a cure.

Our parents hunted lizards like the way they hunted grasscutters, grilled them and gave them for us to eat. It worked like magic! After eating one or two lizards, the disease went away (don't laugh because it is true). Around the same time, another pandemic reared its ugly head and started killing people 'by heart'. It was called measles. Again before a vaccine could be found by scientists of the utmost fame, our herbalists found a cure in a tree called 'Nyame dua'. They will grind the bark of the tree and smear the victim with the solution and give some for the victim to drink. Before one could say Jack Robinson, the disease vanished. The Whiteman's invented vaccine came only to supplement what our herbalists had.

Those were genuine herbalists who did not receive a pesewa after curing a victim. I am not talking of today's quack herbalists who are out there cheating, deceiving and killing unsuspected victims in the name of curing diseases. While scientists are running for the cure for the coronavirus pandemic, genuine herbalists should research and try their finding on those who have tested positive. This should be done with the approval of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research to prove the efficacy of the herbal medicine.

We have come face to face with a dangerous pandemic and as such all hands should be on deck to defeat the invisible enemy. For now, we have no choice but to follow strictly the guidelines given by our medical doctors and scientists. We have to wash our hands regularly with soap under running water, use hand sanitizers, wear face masks and practise social distancing suggestion while we wait patiently for a vaccine and any cure for the deadly virus.

The president and his team, doctors, nurses and paramedics and the media in particular should be commended for the prompt reaction and the quick intervention. In fact, but for the rapid reaction to this deadly disease ‒ hundreds, if not thousands ‒ would have died. Apart from a few Ghanaians who have refused to follow the instructions, majority of the citizens of this country are seriously abiding by the instructions. Ghanaians have proved that we care for one another in time of want. You see, you go to war with what you have but not what you need. We cannot afford to fold out arms waiting for a cure or a vaccine which could take years. That will be suicidal.

We must come together to confront this enemy knowing very well that the Lord of Abraham is leading the battle. We must come together to endure the pain and inconveniences which is normally associated with the type of battle we are fighting. Ghana is a success story because of the hard work, resilience and innovation of her people. The other day when I was listening to Candidate Opana speaking on the coronavirus pandemic and acting as if he is the one in charge, I laughed. The man has forgotten that a few years ago in the run-up to the 2016 elections, he insinuated that if you have not been a president before, you could not advise him. Today, Opana is not the president of Ghana and during his time as a president such disease never came to Ghana and now that the president and his team of medical doctors are doing everything possible to keep the virus at bay, he is sitting at the touchline and making ugly noises. That is why they say if you throw a ball against a wall, it comes back to you. The man should put up or shut up. There is a competent president in full control.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, ex-Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor have trodden softly because it is a matter for the scientists but not for people like Candidate Opana who is seeking for attention anytime anything happens in this country. The man doesn't know that anytime he pokes his nose on national issues, he steps on the toes of people. Ghanaians will never forget how he steered the ship of state into troubled waters. In his desperation to become the president again, he acts like the footballer who was replaced by the coach in a match. Such persons sit at the touchline and give instructions as if they did better than the one who replaced him.

In all that lies before us as we struggle to contain the virus, may God, the All-knowing, grant our president and his team of medical experts the wisdom and patience. And may He watch over Mother Ghana. To those who want to make a political capital out of this in this trying moment, the Lord of Host is watching them and on the day of reckoning, they have a place to dwell in hell. You know what? Because of the fear of contracting the coronavirus, I have left the city to quarantine myself in my late father's cottage. There are only three labourers there and so social distancing is no problem. Even though we don't have running water, we use 'buta' or kettle to wash our hands with soap. Who say man no dey? Coronavirus has driven me back to my holy village.

From Eric Bawah

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