Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I just heard with one ear that Pope Francis has published a new book entitled The Name of God is Mercy.

The book goes on sale in 86 countries tomorrow. I will order a copy. I am Catholic and I like this Pope.

But that book is bad news for Nigeria. I wish I could prevent it from ever getting to Nigeria.

I have written repeatedly that we are in era where what the Pope is selling - the merciful nature of the Christian deity - needs to be temporarily suspended from Nigeria until our own no-nonsense African deities of ruthless and unmerciful retribution have taken care of all the billionaires and millionaires whose fortune is built on Dasukigate, Halliburtongate, Siemensgate, Electricitygate, and all the other corruption gates that the Nigerian elite has used to enrich herself while killing hundreds of thousands of our people in consequence, many of the victims so hopelessly Stockholm Syndromed they dance to their graves defending the looters.

Dasuki was totally pan-Nigerian in his stealing and distribution of over 2 billion dollars of money meant to equip the Army against Boko Haram. Some are returning their loot, thinking that a simple acknowledgment of error and a return of the proceeds of crime will wash away everything. No sir, you still have to face the legal consequences applicable, whether you are the President's friend or not (and where is that statement from the President distancing himself from you by the way?). Some agbalagbas are doing langbalangba and boasting that they will return nothing. Shior on them.

The pan-Nigerian colour of these looters calls for a pan-Nigerian coalition of fiery and merciless deities of retribution.

Soponna, that Yoruba God of smallpox and assorted illnesses and diseases, already seems to have taken the lead for many are the plagues, sicknesses and afflictions of the looters: from cancer to heart ailment to knee problems. We are seeing them on foreign hospital beds and wheel chairs at home.

But Soponna should not think that He can handle these cases alone. He should form a coalition of retribution with clinical and merciless finishers like Ogun (the one who shuns the drums of water in his backyard to take a generous shower of blood), Sango, and Amadioha.

Holy Father Pope Francis, sowwy o, these are the deities we need urgently now in the corruption affairs of Nigeria.

We shall invite the Christian deity if and when our situation improves and allows for mercy.

The wheel of modernity and oyinbo justice and legal system should roll, the wheel of tradition and African deities of retribution should roll. Whichever says no to the other in their pursuit of the common purpose of justice, retribution and punishment, let its wings break!

Monday, January 11, 2016



In recent times, we have heard increasingly alarming reports of the continued spread of Lassa fever - the count of Nigerian states affected now standing at ten, viz the northern states of Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba, and the southern states of Edo, Oyo, and Rivers. The Nigerian government currently puts the number of deaths from this latest outbreak of Lassa fever at 36 out of a reported 76 suspected cases. Back in March 2014, a similar outbreak had killed 20 people out of about 319 reported cases.
Image source: https://web.facebook.com/photo.php?bid=10153517695372772&set=a.10150283841672772.349890.526472771&type=3&theater

Although Lassa fever outbreaks are not exactly new to us, we still bear the scars - and hopefully the lessons - of Ebola, and it is important that we treat this Lassa fever outbreak with the fever-pitch awareness that was so instrumental in making Ebola’s stay in Nigeria a relatively short one. This is why, in what follows, we attempt to throw some light on the condition and suggests steps to take to curtail its further spread.

How Do We Get Infected?

Lassa fever is a serious illness that occurs in West Africa and is caused by the Lassa fever virus. The virus is usually passed to us humans
  • when we breathe in viral droplets from the air
  • when we ingest the viruses in our contaminated food or drink
  • when we touch clothing or other objects contaminated with the virus
  • when we expose ourselves to the open cuts and sores of other people who are already infected by the Lassa fever virus
  • when we eat rats infected with the virus (there are rural communities where the multimammate rat Mastomys natalensis is considered a delicacy, including some parts of Benue state; yet it is the same rat that is the reservoir for the virus)

It is not clear to what extent the Lassa fever virus can be passed through sexual intercourse. However, infected bodily fluids such as saliva, blood, urine, and semen are considered infectious.

The virus that causes the illness is transmitted to sufferers by a particular type of rat which is called the multimammate rat. This rat may be recognized by the numerous breasts which it carries, and which are visible only when the rat is flipped over so that it lies with its back to the ground and its belly facing up.
A rat that has been infected with the lassa fever virus stays infected throughout its lifetime. The rat passes copies of the virus out in its urine and feces, the droppings themselves being deposited on floors, beds, tables, food, and other surfaces in and around the home. Some of the viral particles in the urine and feces then get into the air where they float until they infect someone who inhales the air. Where the rat’s urine or feces contaminates human food or drink, then the consumption of such food or drink becomes another means by which a person may become infected.

What Are The Symptoms?

About one to three weeks after a person has come in contact with the virus, the person may begin to experience any number of the following symptoms:
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • feeling of unwellness (malaise)
  • fever (and sometimes shivering)
  • back pains
  • abdominal pains (the abdomen is that entire region from below your chest to above your groin; some people call this entire area the stomach, but that is actually the abdomen)
  • muscle pains
  • vomiting, which may be persistent
  • diarrhea (frequent passage of watery stools)
  • swellings of the face
  • swellings of the insides of the mouth, nose, throat, vagina, etc.
  • redness of the eyes
  • weakness
  • headache
  • difficulty breathing

When the illness begins to reach its advanced and fatal stages, other symptoms that begin to emerge include:
  • generalized bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina, and other body orifices
  • vomiting of blood
  • bloody diarrhea
  • rashes
  • disturbances in mental health
  • problems with the heart and the blood pressure
  • collapse of different organs in the body including the kidneys, the liver, and the spleen
  • convulsions

Typically, a person is infectious only when the person has symptoms. But the same person can continue to shed copies of the virus in their urine for three to nine weeks after the beginning of their symptoms. Also, the virus continues to appear in semen for up to three months after the onset of symptoms.

What Can We Do?

Although work is ongoing to find a suitable vaccine for Lassa fever virus, that work is as yet unfinished. Therefore, the prevention and control steps available to take at the moment are the following:


The rat that carries the virus, the multimammate rat, often lives in rural areas where it breeds very frequently. It also tends to prefer to stay in houses rather than in the surrounding bushes. But where it does stay in bushes, bush-burning activities usually result in the rats scurrying to and living in whatever houses are nearby. Therefore,
  • Rodents in the house should be killed wherever possible. You may want to get a cat.
  • Rat-holes should be plugged.
  • Food and water in the house should be stored (and covered) in rat-proof containers at all times.


  • Frequent and proper handwashings are important. Fortunately, the know-how exists from Ebola days. This Lassa fever outbreak may just be an opportunity for us to remind ourselves of what we learned about handwashing during those dark moments.
  • As much as possible, and especially in endemic (rural) areas, foods being dried outside should not be left uncovered, lest infected foraging rats deposit their urine and feces on the foods so exposed.
  • Organic trash should be disposed of far away from human dwellings or buried in the earth and the site of the burial immediately covered up to prevent the inadvertent establishment of a convocation arena for an assembly of the offending rats.
  • Health workers and other concerned people should avoid contact with the bodily fluids of an infected patient.
  • Patients who have recovered from Lassa fever should avoid sex for three months. They should also be aware that they continue to pass the virus in their urine for three to nine weeks after the onset of their symptoms.

In summary, to prevent Lassa fever, keep a clean house, a hygienic life, and clean surroundings.

Information sources - all retrieved January 11, 2016.

  1. Vanguard

Thursday, January 7, 2016


First Words
There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t have to answer, either on social media or in a consulting room, at least one question that somehow has the word moringa in it. 

Can I use moringa for my arthritis? Is moringa good for my high blood pressure? My mother is diabetic and I want to give her moringa, is that OK? We are four months pregnant and my wife wants to use moringa products, what do you think? Can I drink moringa tea while breastfeeding my baby? My girlfriend says moringa will boost my performance in bed, and I was wondering if that is true

About the only thing I have not been asked concerning moringa is whether it can be used to embalm the dead. I have not been asked that. Yet.

There appears at least as much interest in these leaves as there is in aloe vera, and quite arguably more, and this interest seems to cut across religious lines, political party walls, and racial divides. This evening therefore, when I received a phone call from my not-very-Indian choirmaster emeritus in which he wanted to discuss, not the wonders of music but the marvels of moringa, I decided maybe I should talk about it some.
Moringa, also known as moringa oleifera or horseradish tree, is a plant which, though native to parts of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, grows in several tropical areas including West Africa. Almost every part of this plant is thought to be useful because everything from it is used in the production of items that lay claim to possession of medicinal uses. By everything, I mean moringa’s bark, its leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds. Every moringa thing except moringa roots.

Moringa leaves may be squeezed to have their juice extracted from them, or they may be cooked, or they may be dried and powdered, especially when the user intends it as a spice for their food. Seeds removed from mature pods of the moringa tree may be cooked or roasted. Immature pods of the moringa tree are also useful. They are shaped like drumsticks, which may be the reason why some people call the plant the drumstick tree. Oil can be extracted from moringa seeds and used in cooking. The oil from moringa is also used in cosmetics and some people have even claimed that it is useful as a lubricant in machinery. When oil has been extracted from moringa seeds, the seed cake that is left is also said to be useful in purifying well water, in removing salt from seawater, in increasing milk production in cows, and as a fertilizer.

Two facts, viz, 1) that moringa can be grown both cheaply and easily, and 2) that moringa leaves still retain large amounts of their vitamins and minerals even when dried; those two facts add several pluses to the already impressive catalog of moringa’s uses. Now, let us highlight some of those uses.


The first thing to say here is that as at the time of writing, there is not in circulation enough scientific information to fully guarantee the safety or even efficaciousness of moringa. What exists is at best informed gossip. It is important to note that moringa and other natural products are not necessarily completely safe and that dosages may be important.

The second thing to say here is that moringa, as far as we know, is taken only by mouth or applied to the skin (or topically). It is not injected, inhaled, smoked, or otherwise ingested.

If these caveats are firmly borne in mind, then we can proceed to discuss the uses that have been attributed to moringa.

When moringa leaves are eaten after childbirth, they are thought to increase breast milk production. While this is a good thing, we have not been explicitly told whether moringa taken by the mother can be passed to the child in breast milk and, importantly, whether moringa is safe for infants.

Moringa is thought to reduce the pains and inflammation of arthritis.

Moringa juice is thought to be helpful in glucose control. While it is thought to be effective in reducing blood glucose levels in diabetics, to what extent this happens is quite unknown.

The juice from moringa leaves is thought to be helpful in stabilizing blood pressure as well as in aiding sleep. Good sleep is an important factor in blood pressure control.

Moringa leaves may be used as a purgative in cases of constipation. Where the problem is diarrhea, the leaves are mixed with honey and then ingested, followed by a drink of coconut milk. This same preparation is said to be helpful in dysentery as well. Moringa is also said to be useful in the treatment of stomach ulcers and intestinal ulcers.

Used in adults, moringa is said to reduce asthma symptoms and the severity of asthmatic attacks when taken over three weeks.

It appears that when one has a headache, and applies the leaves to their temple, the headache resolves about ten minutes later. This is the one that confuses me the most, but which I have tried, and which I think works. It worked for me.

Moringa is thought to have a role in reducing the episodes of seizures (or convulsions) in those with epilepsy.

Moringa is thought to be helpful in resolving kidney stones, but I am yet to come across credible literature that convincingly tells how.

It is thought a poultice made from a base of fresh moringa leaves is helpful in reducing body swellings, including swellings of glands in the body. Moringa leaves are also used to treat infections of the eyes and ears, as well as fevers and inflammations of the airways through which we breathe. In general, moringa is thought to be effective against a wide range of infections, whether they are caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites. However, please note that, to my knowledge, there has been no mention of moringa being effective against malaria.

Moringa is said to increase sexual drive and is in other words an aphrodisiac. Interestingly, it is also said to be effective as a contraceptive, thereby reducing fertility.

Moringa is said to be effective in the treatment of sundry skin infections, dandruff, athlete’s foot, warts, skin abscesses, skin wounds, and even in treatment of snake bites.

Perhaps because of its antioxidant properties and because of the several useful compounds it is said to contain, it is seen as being of great value in boosting the immune system.

Moringa is used by some people whose skins produce a lot of sebum (oil) or other fluid as a skin-drying agent. Oil gotten from moringa is used in foods, hair creams, and even perfumes.

Side Effects And Warnings

By now, it is probably well known that the side effects of moringa, if any, are not well known. Please note that this statement is not the same as the presumption in certain quarters that moringa has no side effects. 

It is possible that moringa is safe when its leaves, fruit, and seeds are eaten as food. But the root of the moringa plant is thought to contain a substance that cause paralysis and death in a human who ingests it.

Pregnant women should not eat the root, bark, or flowers of moringa. This is because chemicals in the root, bark, and flowers of moringa can make the womb squeeze out the still-growing baby before i the appropriate time, leading therefore to a miscarriage. We are not sure if the leaves or other parts of the plant are safe in pregnancy. So moringa is best avoided when the human is pregnant.

Final Words

Moringamycin may well be the next big thing. Or moringacillin may not. It is claimed that moringa has several vitamins and minerals, in many cases, in more quantities than are available in readily available fruits. It is said to be a very helpful natural remedy for several conditions that currently afflict humans. All that may be correct.

Not enough is known about its possible side effects, especially the long-term ones if any. Not much is known about what doses are appropriate for which conditions. There is a lot that relies on the flimsy wisps of the smoke that is conjecture rather than on hard, scientific fact. But they say that there is no smoke without fire. We hope that there will come that day in the near future when the fire is discovered that is responsible for all the smoke of the good moringa stories we have heard.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


By Pius Adesanmi

First, let’s enter some basic details about the situation of our interesting friend in Ekiti.
To the extent that there was Ekitigate, I expect the wheel of justice and due process to grind slowly, methodically, and fairly in the direction of the dramatis personae involved in that sordid spectacle.
If found guilty, I expect Musiliu Obanikoro to pay for his crimes in Ekiti. Some day.
If found guilty, I expect Peter Ayodele Fayose to pay for his crimes in Ekiti. Some day.
Before that day of reckoning, and, hopefully, before Ayo Fayose and all riggers in every political party begin to pay for the crime of rigging elections in Nigeria, there are two pending issues that must detain us with regard to the Ekiti Governor and his modes of self-inscription into national consciousness:
1) the nature and manner of his service in Ekiti;
2) the modalities of his relationship with the government at the centre.
This will be a long read for I intend to deal extensively with both issues. Bear with me.
On the first point, Ayo Fayose is probably the most mocked, most ridiculed Governor in Nigeria today. Precisely because he has reduced governance to a daily production of ribaldry and awada kerikeri (comedy), with ponmo, abodi, shaki, atarodo, and ajinomoto as the operating metaphors of his pact with the people of Ekiti; precisely because his idea of demystifying power and staying close to the people is dressing like an American gangsta rap artist (disappointingly, he is yet show Nigerians his butt crack by sagging his pants!), people have turned him to Nigeria’s number one joke.
National reaction to the people of Ekiti ranges from pity to contempt on account of their Governor. Nigerians treat Ekiti people much like many Americans and the rest of the world treat the supporters of Donald Trump. Nobody seems to be able to understand the appeal of these two politicians to their followers respectively in America and Nigeria. In the case of Ekiti, Fayose is burlesque and grotesque rolled into one but his people in Ekiti like him just like that, their logic being monkey e no fine but im mommy like am.
I think we need a paradigm shift in our apprehension of Fayose’s hold on the people of Ekiti. Mockery and laughter should yield to deeper questions and sober reflection. How did Fayose happen? Why did Fayose happen? In answering these questions, we must be mindful of one thing: Fayose was stupid. He was stupid enough not to realize that he really didn’t need Ekitigate. He would still have won handsomely without rigging and colluding with Musiliu Obanikoro to misuse the military and flood Ekiti with President Jonathan’s and Dasuki’s Boko Haram dollars.
He would have won because of the failure of the elite paradigm in Ekiti. He was deft enough to identify this failure and replace it with something so crude and primitive that it caught the elite completely pants down. The failure of the elite paradigm is much more complex than Fayemi. It spans the history of Ekiti as a state. There were questions the elite paradigm failed to answer, explanations it couldn’t make to the people. The highpoint of the elite paradigm is an identity which Ekiti acquired in national consciousness as a national factory of professors.
In a state as rural and as underdeveloped as Ekiti, what Fayose was able to do was to problematize that identity for the people around the following questions:
  • Since this state was created on October 1, 1996, people have been calling you the elite state of professors, abi? Okay o
    • How precisely has this national identification as a state of elite professors helped with your hunger, rural poverty, and underdevelopment?
      • Has that identity helped you in any way?
      • Has it ever paid the school fees of your children?
    • Before you acquired that identity as a state of Professors, you were at least able to eat pounded yam three times a day, accompanied by grasscutter meat and palmwine, why is it that on the watch of those who gave you that elite identity, you can now afford to eat pounded yam only once a week?
To all these questions, Fayose provided an answer: here are pounded yam, egusi soup, ponmo, atarodo, and crayfish. Come back tomorrow for La Casera and Zobo to wash it down.
We know from experience that, unlike the permanently-deferred promises of the elite paradigm, Fayose never fails to deliver on the primitive immediacy of stomach infrastructure. To the Yoruba philosophical poser – who offered you pounded yam and assured you that soup was easy to come by? – Fayose’s answer was: “I did. I am the Governor who offers pounded yam with the assurance of easy soup”.
So long as poverty, hunger, and rural backwardness are prevailing factors in Ekiti, the hand that offers the immediate gratification of pounded yam, grass cutter and palm wine will always win the argument over sophisticated and visionary leadership. What the elite paradigm has been unable to do in Ekiti and, indeed, in Nigeria is to multitask by finding ways to alleviate the immediate hardships of the people while working on the establishment of 21st-century institutions, infrastructure, and governance.
Until the elite paradigm finds a way to dualize its purpose and mission, the primitive and crude paradigms of the Fayoses of Nigeria will always win the argument. This is why we should do more than mock the people of Ekiti for responding to a man who has found a way to cash in on their stomachs for political gain. Our task is to convince the rural Ekiti farmer that his chances in life are better with the man who has a vision to develop the agricultural base of Ekiti and empower rural farmers through a combination of science, innovation, and 21st-century governance than a man who steals from the state’s allocation to give him a plate of amala and gbegiri just for today.
Ayo Fayose’s relationship with the Federal government has been understandably problematic. There is no love lost between him and President Buhari. There is no love lost between him and Aso Rock Villa. Basically, a day in the life of Peter Ayodele Fayose boils down to going to the market to buy iru (locust beans) with the full accompaniment of television cameras, dressing up like a gangster to “inspect projects” before returning to government house to throw juvenile tantrums in the direction of President Buhari.
It must be admitted that Fayose’s tantrums against Buhari are a tad saner than Femi Fani-Kayode’s drug-induced incoherent jeremiads against the President. Much of Fayose’s animus is also fed by disappointment and fear. He is disappointed that Buhari has so far not died in office in accordance with his prediction. He is afraid that he will one day have to pay for his role in Ekitigate. He is screaming to foreclose the possibility of claims of fairness when the law eventually rolls to his doorstep. He wants to be able to say: “you see? I told you they’d come for me! I am being persecuted!”
There is, however, grave danger in reducing his opposition to the Buhari presidency to these issues as is the wont of a fanatical core of President Buhari’s supporters. As juvenile and uncouth as Fayose’s tantrums are; as ill-bred as his language make him out to be, there is something in his defiance of President Buhari that I fully embrace and endorse because it is great for Nigerian democracy. We should rise above petty sentiments and recognize that matter. Whenever a state Governor somehow finds it within himself to defy the Nigerian Presidency, such a governor gains my attention in the context of the urgent task of growing Nigeria’s democracy by reducing the omnipotence of Nigeria’s behemoth Presidency.
I have been writing about the aberration that is the Nigerian Presidency for a very long time. I have been writing about the irrationality that is Aso Rock for a very long time. I screamed about the irrational powers of the Nigerian presidency through the tenures of Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, and Jonathan. Such irrational powers increase with each occupant of the Villa instead of diminishing.
The Nigerian Presidency is the most powerful presidency in the world and that makes her the most irrational Presidency in the world. One snap of a First Lady’s finger can have all state Governors and their wives, all Ministers and their wives, all Senators and their wives, rushing gragra to the Villa to answer “mummy”. If a Presidential spouse unrecognized by the Constitution has so much illegal powers over the actors and institutions of the Nigerian state, how much more her elected husband?
We say we are operating the American Presidential system. President Obama has no power to order any American governor to the White House. In his nearly eight years in office, there are Republican Governors who have never been to the White House. They have no business with Obama. Institutions are there to regulate the modalities of their contact with the American presidency and each faces his own business in his own domain. In Nigeria, every time somebody sneezes in the Villa, all state governors run girigiri to the Villa. It doesn’t make sense. This is not democracy.
Such are the immense powers of Aso Rock Villa that mere presidential aides even come to acquire illegal powers over institutions, actors, and resources of state. You see Presidential aides issuing yeye directives all over the place – ordering Governors and Ministers and Senators around because they have the power to determine access to an omnipotent President.
That is why the Nigerian state literally moved to the late Oronto Douglas’ hometown when he buried his father. We lost a Governor and a former National Security Adviser to that brazen personalization of the state by a presidential aide. That is why the Nigerian state literally moved to Abeokuta when Reuben Abati buried his mother. Let Femi Adesina wake up tomorrow and decide to “turn the side” of his late great grandfather, you will see state Governors, Ministers, and Senators suspend the work of the Nigerian people and troop to the home town of the presidential aide.
In the context of such irrational powers accorded a Presidency in a so-called democracy, it was a good thing for Bola Tinubu to have defied the Obasanjo presidency; it was a good thing for Rotimi Amaechi to have defied the joint Presidencies of Goodluck and Patience Jonathan.
I salute Ayo Fayose for his defiance of the Buhari Presidency.
We need more state Governors to acquire Fayose’s balls. It is good for our democracy. We cannot continue to have a Presidency that can just wake up and kick other branches of our democracy around.
Happy new year to the people of Ekiti. I hope they kept my own rice and shawa fish in the freezer.

This article was sourced from Pius Adesanmi’s page on Facebook on January 06, 2016.