At the twilight days of last year, the auto convoy of Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, was involved in a very ghastly road accident, which cost the life of his aide-de-camp and inflicted very serious injuries on him, including a fracture of his hip bone.
The accident took place between Ajaokuta and Lokoja
was reportedly returning from an official assignment.
Contrary to the 'natural' expectation of Nigerians from what had become the fashion, Governor Wada did not order for an air ambulance to instantly fly him to a hospital in Germany, which has recently become the medicare haven of Nigerian leaders - big and small - since the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua spent his last days in a Wiesbaden Hospital.
is said to be convalescing well and that his
fracture is healing properly, even for the person of his
age, thanks to the expertise of the doctors, who had handled his
case and his
But last week, Governor Idris Wada showed that not every Nigerian leader has an inferiority complex, is foolish or unpatriotic.
There is nothing special about the Cedar Crest Hospital
at Garki II Abuja where Wada
asked to be taken beyond the fact that it is run by very dedicated and well trained Nigerian doctors.
And like those corporate citizens, Governor Wada, must have known and become convinced that Nigerians are the best in anything they put their minds in and that is why, in his belief in Nigeria, he also believed in the products of our system.
I am certain that the information available to the Kogi State governor about the capacity of Nigerian medical practitioners is not exclusive to him but is also available to most of us, but it is his faith and patriotism that have made the difference.
Most Nigerians, who are in a position to know, are aware that the Garki II facility exists but would rather go abroad, for the status symbol it confers on them and for the resources it rakes in for them.
But for Wada
, knowledge is power and he
exhibited it adequately.
must have learnt that the young men at Cedar Crest Hospital
can match any doctor in the world in the management of complex orthopaedic cases and can also hold their own in trauma management, neuro- and corrective surgery, he
went there and got results at a little fraction of what it would have cost if he
had gone abroad.
I have a personal public testimony to make about what Governor Wada must have experienced.
I was opportuned to be at the facility last week when that my seven-year-old nephew was taken almost dead to the same hospital around the time that Wada
returned for his
post surgery assessment.
My nephew had sustained multiple fractures on his
two thighs and on his
right arm, in addition to deep cuts on the head and face; he
came out of the theatre on January 2 after multiple surgeries and within 36 hours, the young battered boy was speaking, eating and communicating.
By the time you would be reading this piece, the only problem we would have would be how to explain to him the whereabouts of his
mother, who, we had told him, was on a journey.
I am sure that not many of those hospitals where our big and mighty flock to abroad can perform such a feat.
My extended family might not have access to public till nor have we stolen public funds but we can still pool resources to afford the best medicare for Stephan abroad, but like Wada, we also have faith in Nigeria and its institutions.
Governor Wada is obviously aware and knows about one Dr. Wada, who is a well- known and very successful medical practitioner in Abuja, a reputed consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, who has made his mark in fertility techniques and management.
But before we find answers that do not seem to exist, I wish to call on Nigerians to applaud and extol the example of Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State in this rare dramatisation of patriotism and belief in Nigeria - feats that are becoming extinct in the people we call our leaders today in the country.
Some people might wish to play down this gesture and might even wish to impute motives to it.
But let us not forget that people are a result of their environment and upbringing.
If, therefore, Wada
, knowing that his
other colleagues, like Governor Danaba Suntai of Taraba, would have headed abroad, but had opted, instead, to stay here and if need be, die amongst his
own people, then, he
deserves our salute, our applause and our prayers for a quick recovery.
Thanks, Governor Idris Wada, for making us realise that even from the Sodom and Gomorrah that has become the Nigerian leadership at different levels, we can still find, at least, one Lot and his household.
On behalf of long suffering Nigerians, I wish you a quick recovery... and a happy New Year.