Stories from Quick Reads and Nigeria
The Ebola Truth is a Facebook page that aims to document the situation with the Ebola virus on the African continent.
Nigeria's Health Minster, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, recently announced that Ebola though not “totally eliminated”, has been successfully curtailed. Nigeria has only one case of Ebola currently. According to Onyebuchi, as quoted by TheCable:
“As of today [August 26, 2014], Nigeria has 13 cases of Ebola virus disease. That is including the index case – the late Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer. Five did not survive, however two more Nigerian patients have been discharged. Both of them health workers, were discharged yesterday. This brings the number of those discharged now to seven. As I speak to you Nigeria has only one case of Ebola virus. This is thus far an indication that Nigeria has contained the virus.”
Gershom Ndhlovu looks at the reasons why ailing African leaders wont step down:
There have been rumours, innuendoes and even insinuations regarding the health, or the lack of it, of Zambia’s President Michael Chilufya Sata, in office since September 2011. These have been spread by the largely unregulated online media that the Patriotic Front (PF) government is intent on controlling or even shutting down altogether.
The government has not particularly responded to these rumours apart from issuing one-liner statements refuting the stories about the health status of the 76 year-old head of state and veteran politician.
However, when Sata appeared at a May 1 Labour Day parade to receive a traditional salute from workers in the land, the appearance was very brief and only accompanied by a one minute address before getting into his motorcade for a three kilometre drive back to the presidential palace, a lot of people were convinced the President was not well.
If our own children were to go missing we would want the world to come to a standstill and help us find them. We…ask that…you consider why so often women’s bodies become the battlefields upon which wars are fought. This is not a problem that involves a small town in Nigeria, this involves all girls everywhere.
Tillah Willah sends a letter to Goodluck Jonathan, asking that he treat “the disappearance of the 234 school girls in Chibok, Borno…with a bit more urgency.”
In mid-april, over 200 school girls were abducted from a secondary school, in Chibok, Nigeria by Boko Haram, a terrorist group based in the northern region. Although some 57 of the girls have managed to escape, there are still many others at the hands of the kidnappers. On April 30, Nigerian women have organized demonstrations in cities across the country to demand that the government intensifies its efforts to rescue the girls. The Sahara Reporters news site published a photo coverage from Kaduna, Nigeria. Nigerian bloggers have also created a Facebook page with the hashtag #bringourgirlsback, asking to spread the outrage on Internet against this criminal action by extremist rebels.
On August 19, 2014, the Republic of Cameroon closed its borders with Nigeria in a bid to halt the spread of the Ebola virus. However, the government made this decision without giving enough thought to the thousands of travelers – mostly Cameroonian citizens and Nigerians resident in Cameroon – caught on the wrong side of the border. Consequently, many of these travelers ended being trapped on the Cameroon/Nigeria border for days, in appalling conditions, while waiting to be screened for the Ebola virus before being allowed back into Cameroon.
Batuo's Blog published the first-person narrative of Patricia Temeching, one of the travelers who was trapped on the Cameroon/Nigeria border for over 40 hours:
I go through Nigerian security checks and my passport is grudgingly returned to me. I walk across the bridge. The Cameroonian side of the bridge is crowded, as is the police/customs post that is perched three meters away from the end of the bridge… When I inquire why there are so many people on the bridge a miserable-looking woman replies, “We are waiting for the medical team to screen us for Ebola before we can go into Cameroon…”
‘How long have you been waiting?’ I ask.
“Fifteen hours. I came yesterday just after the medical team had left.”
I join the throng of people on the bridge and we wait and wait. Hunger and anger consume me. All I have in my travelling bag are a few clothes and my academic papers. By evening more and more people have joined us and we are all crowded on the bridge and in the small police post building, where we spend the night on our feet. The stench of urine and faeces emanating from the back of the building combines with the unhealthy sweat from two hundred unwashed bodies and leaves a nauseating sickening feeling in the air.
In the morning we receive information that the medical team will arrive soon. We are all looking forward to it. By noon nothing has happened…
This afternoon, after I have spent 24 hours at the border post, we are allowed to trek to Ekok town. It is a trek an Ebola patient will certainly not survive. We pay boys to carry our bags. When we reach Ekok town we are bundled into an empty building with no lights, no toilet facilities and no beds. This it to be our accommodation until the medical team arrives. Finally the “medical team” arrives. It is the doctor from Eyumojock. We go through the “screening”. This is how it happens: Eau de Javel [bleach] is poured into water. We file in and wash our hands. We also wash our mouths. Then you are cleared.
Once I am cleared (at 10 p.m.), I leave the ‘quarantine’ building and go to look for a hotel. I find a run-down inn and finally crawl into a sorry-looking bed with tired sheets. After spending forty hours on my feet this bed feels like a king’s bed. I sleep the sleep of the dead.
This is my greatest worry: What if one person among us (two hundred travellers) actually came with Ebola from Nigeria? The chances are we might all have become contaminated in the past fifty hours from being held promiscuously together, and we would now be taking the virus to two hundred different Cameroonian families.
Chris Akor's investors’ guide to Nigeria intends to demonstrate how the negatives reports about Nigeria have no basis in reality and that investors who have ignored the reports have been making huge returns on their investments:
Undue clatter has trailed the release of Nigeria’s rebased GDP figures – a purely technical matter devoid of politics – from some groups in Nigeria. These groups are mainly opposition politicians, whose electoral appeal hinges on their ability to paint a grim and gloomy picture of abject poverty, underdevelopment, helplessness and the current government’s culpability in bringing about such a situation. Some civil society groups, who have been making a living from the ‘poverty status’ of Nigeria and who’s survival and funding are now threatened by Nigeria exiting the lower-income category. Ignorant social media activists, whose popularity come from insulting the government and the establishment and putting their country down, and some so-called experts on Nigeria, who make a living out of the ills of the Nigerian society and have been cleverly feeding and sustaining the ‘corrupt, fraudster, never-do-wells’ image of the country in the international community and discouraging well-meaning investors from coming to do business in Nigeria.
Omg Ghana reports about Joshua Beckford's outstanding academic achievement:
At age 8, you were probably practicing a sport or was preparing for the third grade. Well, meet an 8 year old with a twist, Joshua Beckford. This particular young boy is by far not your average 8 year old. He studied at Oxford University at the age of 6, and he is the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority (BME) campaign. It’s put in to place to highlight the obstacles that people with black minority background often encounter when trying to obtain the access to support and services they need. Beckford is one of a kind, he is too advanced for his required school grade so that lead him into being homeschooled. He excels in Math, Foreign Languages, History, Philosophy, IT and Science.
We, the under signed Nigerian bloggers, view with grave concern the continued detention of the innocent school girls who were abducted from Chibok on April 15, 2014. We are of the strong view that no amount of social grievance either against the government and or the people of Nigeria can justify such an act of violence against school children. We therefore condemn the abduction in very strong terms.
The also called on their government to expedient action in getting back the abducted high school students from the Boko haram terrorists:
We also call on the government of Nigeria to do everything in its power, even if it includes involving an international security agency, to bring the girls back from the hands of those who currently hold them, and restore a sense of security to the country as soon as possible. Elections are coming up next year. Citizens want to be able to feel safe wherever they are. Democracy thrives best when citizens feel empowered to pursue their daily chores without fear or threat to their lives and property.
The Social Media Week Lagos 2014 (February 17-21) is currently going on in Lagos, Nigeria:
SMW Lagos is only in it’s 2nd year and has already claimed its place as the largest, tech, new media and business conference on the continent of Africa. It attracts some of the continents most forward thinkers, brands, learners and creators. With a population of over 20M Lagos is the largest black city in the world and is arguably the epicenter of the continent and home to the powerhouses of Africa’s creative, business and tech communities. Recognizing the importance of a connected continent, while aiming to encourage collaboration, our 2014 conference them is: A CONNECTED AFRICA IS THE FUTURE.
The only event of it’s kind, Social Media Week Lagos is a world class conference with Africa’s brightest minds that is free and open to the public. SMW Lagos is also unique in that 70% of the weeks amazing panels, parties and workshops are organized by the public