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Lamentations of an Egbere

Obituary: Nigeria, where preventable deaths are cast in stone

Obituary: Nigeria, where preventable deaths are cast in stone

For a benefactor and father – Pa Simon Aakaa; in loving memory.

The kicking-of-the-bucket has occurred of retired Police Inspector, Simon Aakaaa. Figures emanating from the Confidential Statistical Archives of the Nigerian Bureau de Statistics have it that his sad event makes him the thirteenth million, seven hundred and eighty-five thousand, four hundred & ninety-second Nigerian to die from an unpreventable circumstance in a year that is less than three months old as at the time of writing this.

For as you well know, unless the Lord prevent a death, no one can – even when God has given us the will and the means to do so and we neglect to do the needful. So, his death is one of those unpreventable ones even though we could have done something about it.

Big, Bigger, Biggest. That was the pattern of his movement from one hospital to another all in search of the cause of his ailment and possible cure. In a bid to shame the naysayers of our health sector, our medical practitioners recorded the same finding but to be double-sure they transferred him to another medical facility, from that another on to another, as if he were a piece of Naira note in circulation. The result of their diagnosis was simple, clear, unambiguous and definite: “We don’t know what is wrong with you; we will transfer you to a better facility.”

From Jalingo, he was transferred to a Specialist Hospital in Gombe where experts waited to remedy his health issue. But first, he had to travel on the infrastructural perfection that is the Jalingo-Numan-Gombe road. The comfort and joy that the bumps, potholes and debris on the elegant road offered him was a taste of what lies beyond this world. It is understandable that after leaving that road he went mute. Having tasted the good life that is obtainable beyond, no sane man would soil his chances to the afterlife with words of his mouth.

Though dead, he lives on in our hearts and those he has left behind. He is survived by wife, children, grand children and great children but predeceased the country’s corruption, ethnicity, epileptic electricity supply, banditry, Boko Haram insurgency, bad leadership, kidnapping and many other Nigerian acquaintances who are doing well in many fields of our national life.

As Naija no dey carry last, there’s therefore everything to miss. No doubt, he will miss this country. He will miss the zero delay in getting his pensions. He will miss the news of the good works being carried out by those we voted into power. He will miss listening to heart-wrenching news on the radio that have ceased having any effect on the masses. He will miss our efficient health sector, the peace and tranquility provided and guaranteed by the government, especially the perennial peaceful co-existence of Tiv and Jukun ethnic nationalities.

He is a jolly good old fellow who served in the Nigerian Police Force with dignity and integrity – a great feat! There’s no way a man of his goodness should live longer than he had lived, o wrong nau! It is our norm that we should allow the good die in suffering and unheralded, while the bad flourish like repentant militants, Boko-Haramists and bandits.

Pa Aakaa will be buried in a private family ceremony in his ancestral home in Benue State according to Roman Catholic rites. History has it that Nigeria has never been saddened at the death of any of its truly good citizens; I know this one will be the same. Or were you expecting me to speak in the future impossible tense that a small comet will be sighted at his burial? Come off it joor, let’s be real as we have always been in this country.

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is a Jalingo-based rookie lawyer. His preoccupation is meeting the needs of his clients. When that gets boring, he unwinds by writing. He is not a writer but on the few occasions that he is, he attempts giving sinews to the bones of his thoughts.

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