As a Nigerian, I have NEVER seen Nigerians so united than since the Ebola virus outbreak permeated our borders with the arrival and later death of the Liberian Patrick Sawyer and as of yesterday, a Nigerian nurse that helped care for him. For the first time in my life, NIGERIA IS ONE. Very sad to say that it took a virus to unite us.
As a Nigerian, we have been troubled with the epidemic called Boko Haram. Instead of this menace uniting us in a fight against terrorism, it has further divided us with one party accusing the other. If its not Christians accusing Muslims of being terrorists, its Southerners accusing Northerners of being terrorists. If its not PDP accusing APC of sponsoring Boko Haram, its Asari Dokubo accusing Buhari of sponsoring Boko Haram. If its not #BringBackOurGirls campaign accusing the Federal Government of not doing enough to bring back the abducted Chibok girls, its the Federal Government accusing the #BringBackOurGirls campaign of having an agenda against the Federal Government.
On another note, religion which has been seen as a force of peace seems to have brought about division and distrust among the people. Nigeria is made up of mainly Christians and Muslims and a host of other traditional worshipers. The fact that even Christians don’t even agree on many aspects of Christianity like covering hair to church, ladies wearing trousers to church, tithes, offerings, communion, the anointing oil, holy water etc is a worrying sign. If Christians don’t agree amongst themselves then how do you expect them to agree with other religions?
So how has the Ebola virus united Nigerians:
1. Now we know that we have a common enemy with the name Ebola and the surname Virus, Nigerians have united to fight this epidemic. Everyone knows not to shake hands with people unnecessarily, use hand sanitizers frequently, avoid physical contacts etc. Everyone is looking out for eachother by advising one another.
2. We now watch the news and read papers. The other day I was at a company’s reception when a report of Ebola virus was showing on CNN, if you see the rapt attention at which everyone at the reception was watching with eeeeeh. Unbelievable…lol
3. The Ebola virus is not ethnic sensitive, it doesn’t affect only Yorubas or only Hausas. Its not gender sensitive because it kills both male and female. Its not money or power sensitive because it kills the rich and the poor. The Ebola virus is making both the rich and poor concerned thereby dispelling the socio economic differences that once divided us.
4. It has made us hygiene conscious. On a normal day we could shake hands with market women, shake hands with aboki, share hands with someone that just came out of the toilet without cleaning his hands. Now, we are very conscious of who we shake hands with which has inturn stopped the spread of germs.
5. We appreciate the Government’s efforts in curbing a menace for the first time. While at the aforementioned reception, the Ebola topic came up and everyone seemed happy with the measure the Government was putting in place to stop the spread of the virus. Unlike when APC will accuse PDP for not doing enough, everyone is together fighting this virus.
Its ironic that it took a virus to unite Nigerians. I just hope the virus disappears but the unity remains. God bless Nigeria.