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Sir: This article interrogates the narration of Frank Okiye, the Edo State speaker, who is quoted as relating how he overcame his coronavirus infection. He is said to have contracted the disease during his visit to the United Kingdom and was afterwards subjected to treatment after showing symptoms, and was tested positive. The interest is in how the speaker linked his fast recovery to local herbs and other medication prescribed by health officials. Okiye is however silent on the “local herbs.” While one cannot force him to reveal the names of the herbs or the ingredients that may not be known to someone outside Edoland, this is a time that African herbalists should be approached to contribute to curing coronavirus.
Okiye spoke like a politician that he is. Although he said, “I started overcoming the virus with local herbs and medication” and that “few days later, I started feeling better,” he would not want to contradict the slogan in town that COVID-19 has no cure. He even emphasizes that “the virus is not a death sentence”. But also quick to add that “it is a common knowledge that the virus has no cure or vaccine,” even though he explains that “early treatment is what saved me from coronavirus infection.” And then the usual conclusion, “People should take the directives of the government and health experts on social distancing and other instructions seriously.”
What lessons are we to derive from all of that? One. It is necessary for everybody to know the symptoms of coronavirus, so that it will not eat too deep before treatment is sought. Two. Okiye is one of those who have used African remedies and found them effective, and so government at all levels should explore how the remedies can become àjẹsára (vaccines), because if whatever can cure someone with coronavirus symptoms is in a person’s veins, it (coronavirus) should not be able to survive in the body of the person. Is it vaccine, or something to be taken from time to time? Three. Politicians are unwilling to say that coronavirus has cure, even someone who admitted that he was cured after testing positive with symptoms. Of course Okiye emphasized, “Mine was with mild symptoms.” Yes, mild coronavirus symptoms. Which “herbs” were put together? Is the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) listening? Is the World Health Organisation (WHO) paying attention? Do Nigeria rulers care? Or, they all prefer face masks, social distancing and lockdown of impoverished and unfed people?
Prof. Ọlọjẹẹde Oyeniran Abiọjẹ wrote from University of Ilorin.