By Phil Okose Onitsha
The refusal of the Federal Government to try locally produced drugs from indigenous orthodox and unorthodox medical experts in cushioning the effect of coronavirus pandemic, is now a source of worry to Nigerians especially those of Igbo extraction.
Frowning at the refusal, the former President of the defunct Onitsha Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, OMATA, High Chief Gilbert Obi hinted that “I have said it times without number that Professor Maurice Iwu, a professor of Pharmacology and one time Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, who claimed he has drugs that will cure covid-19, should be tried but the Federal Government seems to have turned its back against the claim may be because Iwu is of Igbo extraction”
“Iwu asked the government to send covid-19 positive patients to him if it is in doubt of the efficacy of his drugs and there is this other one from Irish hospital in Lagos, that said it also has the drugs and even challenged the Federal Government to also send covid-19 positive patients to him for treatment”
Okoye who is the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Bravo West Africa limited, recalled what former President Olusegun Obasanjo said about covid-19 that, “it is business,” adding that, “I don’t know how true it is but I know Covid-19 is not all that effective in Nigeria and Africa in general”.
“I can recall when my mother bathed me with water heated with lily leaves (odogwu yaro) when sick and the malaria disappeared immediately and that is the cure for covid-19 which I believe the government is yet to let us believe”
“Those that were cured of the disease what drug did the government use, let them tell us, is it not chloroquine?”.
“I am not satisfied with the way government is handling the issue because they are in control, they know what to do” he stated.
He predicted of the economic recession that will descend on the country during the post covid-19 if proactive measures are not put in place now.
“Majority of our income comes from oil, oil has from $50, $60, gone down to about $10 now, Nigeria is going to face very serious economic recession as soon as covid-19 is over.
If much is not done it will take 20 years to recover, we are in trouble of herdsmen attack, Boko Haram, armed banditary, among others and government is not doing anything to help out matter” he posited.
Contributing, the Onitsha zonal chairman of National Association of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, NATMP, Native Dr Ferdinand I. O. Okolo, advised the government to try Prof Iwu who he said, “as a professor in pharmacology knows what he is saying by having the drugs for curing covid-19”
“Federal Government feels adamant to use his drugs because he is an Igbo man, a prof of Pharmacology and former INEC chairman of this great country and nobody listens.
If Federal government does not listen to him, who are we, even if we have the drug too, that the Federal Government will listen to us.”
“It is funny for the Federal Government to say they welcome that of Madagasca when their own son, prof of pharmacology and former INEC chairman claimed he has the solution.”
“Iwu is my senior brother, we are all from the same place in Mbano, Imo state, and in our kindred it is natural gift to locally heal the sick, we are bestowed with the drugs” he boasted.
The Onitsha zonal chairman who was flanked by his members that included, Chief Amaechi Patrick Arima, Comrade Raphael Agu and Chief Jude Ilegbu, stressed the need for government to look beyond alien remedy.