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One of Africa’s greatest obstacle to development is what the great Afro-beat Legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti has long stated in one of his songs, entitled “Kolo (or Colo) mentality,” “kolo (or colo)” being derived from the word “colonial.” This song was composed so many years ago, more than two decades ago, and yet it is as real today as at that time. Colo mentality makes most of our African leaders as well as the political class, and even ordinary citizens not to believe in Africans and their great God-given abilities and talents. With the Colo mentality heavily misleading us, most of leaders, unfortunately, must seek approval from the West ( from our colonial masters) for everything. We look down on what we have and what comes from Africa. With this mentality, “if something does not come from the West, or from abroad, it is inferior.” This mentality is, unfortunately, one of Africa’s leading cause of underdevelopment in almost everything. Is it not with the same mentality that the leaders of our country, without consulting with the Nigeria Medical Association, had to invite the Chinese to come into our country, after our own Nigerian Doctors have competently been battling the COVID-19 for over one month, even to the admiration of the World Health Organization?

As the world battles with the covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed thousands of lives, I am one of those who believe that Africa is capable of developing a cure to the pandemic, and I have really been praying for that. I have even spoken with some enlightened herbal medical practitioners about the possibility of developing a herbal, or natural solution to the covid-19, of which they are very positive. The problem they expressed was how to confirm/prove the efficacy of this developed drugs. This is a serious problem because they do not have the facilities to test for the covid-19, and even if they have, I doubt if they would be allowed to do so. Furthermore, I doubt if those who test positive to the covid-19 would be allowed to go find their own treatment, even if they would like to.

I am so happy to have read that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State said that Oyo would explore local solutions in combating COVID 19. I say kudos to Engineer Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State. I BELIEVE THAT HE IS AMPLY QUALIFIED TO TALK THAT WAY. Recall that he was the third governor in Nigeria to test positive to COVID-19 (after Governor Nadir El-Rufai of Kaduna State), and he has come out of his isolation and resumed work, having tested negative twice to the virus. The interesting thing is that the Federal Government, through its body that is in-charge of the COVID-19 in the country had declared that it was not aware of the facility in which Governor Seyi Makinde had received his COVID-19 isolation and the type of treatment he received. This makes it more interesting; and, for me, I think is a good news. It is a wake-up call for African countries to look within. It is a call for partnership between Orthodox and herbal medicine as well as between their practitioners. It calls for a swallowing of “useless pride” and for a humility that would enable Orthodox medical practitioners to see their herbal medical practitioners as “partners in progress,” and not “ rivals.”

In the face of the tremendous health challenge paused to the country and to the world by the COVID-19 pandemic, no stone should be left unturned; no knowledge should be left unutilized; no resources should be left untapped; nobody should be looked-down upon. After all, for the Christians, it is a well-known fact that God is capable of using what is foolish by human reckoning in order to shame those who are wise, and of using what is weak by human reckoning in order to shame the strong. I would see nothing wrong if the COVID-19 Task Force and the NCDC should partner/consult with Governor Seyi Makinde in order to learn from his experience, how he treated his COVID-19 and was able to come out safe within such a short period. If there are doubts, tests could be repeated to clear such. In a similar vain, relevant agencies should partner with, and coordinate the findings of all who have claimed to have found “a cure” to the COVID-19, whether Orthodox or herbal. I have learnt that South Africa had already been doing something in that regard, even before the outbreak of the COVID-19. I call on Nigeria and other African countries to follow suit, if they have not yet started; and if already started, efforts should be intensified by funding researches in herbal medicine. We must not wait for, or seek for approval from the West for everything. This is how China has come to develop itself to rivaling the West.

In the light of the foregoing, I call on governments in Africa to shun the prevailing “colo mentality” and coordinate local solutions towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic, and, who knows, we may become the “saviour” of the world from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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