The Exit Of Jona...and A Direct Message To Doctors...
My heart goes out this glorious day, to all Nigerians who through various ways, saw to the exit...or impending but sure exit...of the Jona Administration in Nigeria.
Quite unfortunately, my professional colleagues singularly...or collectively would not, and should not in my humble opinion, partake in this glory!
For in our determined effort to do away with the odium of that regime, I did not see many doctors speak out and stand to be counted...not the "big guns" who hobnob with government officials....not the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) or any of its various affiliates!
I have variously observed the tendency of the average doctor to act in such pseudo-wisdom as to presume he is smarter than others by leaving the job of getting something done to them....even discouraging them from such tasks....but bracing up to enjoy the glory of eventual success and achievement with the agitators!
I vividly recall my words of admonition to a former zonal chairman of the AGPMPN (Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria): "Dr X, I have just presented a task before you. You have given me a thousand and one reasons why it is not feasible... All I need you to do is to give me one reason...just one reason....why it may be achievable! I don't know why you habour such mindset!"
Like I often state, the tendency of the medical doctor to behave...or misbehave in this manner...dates back to his student days when the typical medical student would be the odd-man-out whenever the need arose to agitate for anything. He would claim that his parents had sent him to school to read only...as if other students were mandated by their parents to go and
In our struggles to get this far, young people, elderly persons, the infirmed, youth corpers...all have contributed their widows mites! They wrote against the regime when evil was being perpetrated! They spoke up! They joined in group discussions! They contributed to blogs! They served as Returning Officers for INEC...even when political thugs could swoop on polling booths unannounced and hack them to death! They defied the sun....the rain....to queue to vote....even as news made rounds that bombs were being tossed into polling booths in Enugu State!
Many of us...yours truly inclusive...have had to "go into the trenches"....ignoring calls....turning off GPS in our devices...being frugal in providing information about our exact whereabouts...or leading adversaries on wild goose chases!
Adversaries like a particular governor who kept calling my line directly....or by proxy...just to see me press the "Receive" button and discern my exact location. So the threats were real! And few weeks later when a whole sitting governor played host to a cult group right there in Government House...exchanging obscene greeting gestures with fellow cultists...in the full glare of TV cameras, I thought: "Could he be sending me a message?".
I fondly christened my little pranks "My Own Radio Kudirat"!
As I made attempts at molding public opinions, I founded ANALYTICAL MINDS, an online Closed Group of egg heads to brainstorm on societal issues and proffer solutions.
I refrained from all registrations and renewals of self and practice that may make me easily traceable...with attendant losses in professional clout and finances!
It has often been said that those who refuse to speak up when evil is being done are worse than the actual performers of those evil deeds!
But would my colleagues ever listen....or reason...to such levels...that the political sacrifices they make today can only ensure better lives for their future generations?
And of what use....of what relevance....is a man who has nothing....nothing whatsoever....to die for?
For what other motive would a man have for not doing his bit in pointing society in the direction of good conduct....other than trying to save his head, his limb or his business....or he just "does not give a damn"!
Dr Tosin Akindele is a medical practitioner and public affairs analyst.