Stealing The Destiny Of  Nigerian Youths  Is Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s Moral Burden

2 years ago
3 mins read

The young man, who ratted Senator Ike Ekweremadu to British police, may be a bloody liar and opportunist, all dressed up to the nines to escape the shores of Nigeria. And I suspect that if he found himself in a position of power, he will act no differently than Ekweremadu. But that is neither here nor there.

Yes, we are a people without a moral compass.

That said, my issue today is that the considered opinion of Ekweremadu, who required a kidney for his kid, was to recruit an indigent youth, transport him out of Nigeria, and then arrange to have the poor boy’s kidney plucked. It did not go through for the reason mentioned earlier.

Senator Ekweremadu has been in government since 1999 but he has not contributed any meaningful structural development for his people in Enugu. Except to purse a personal ambition to become Igbo president. He’s reputed to have donated money toward the construction of many churches in Enugu; but none to build any standard hospital, or industry.

In Britain where he took his kid for kidney transplant, he would probably have been attended to, in their excellent medical facilities, by Nigerian nephrologists and such other specialists practicing in the diaspora. Isn’t it a shame that as a senator he never pulled enough influence to get a private or public facility set up in Nigeria? Perhaps, then, it would have been superfluous to travel to London in the first place. And I can bet that there are many Nigerian doctors abroad who did return home willingly and practise happily … if the power, facilities, and wherewithal were there.

Finally, I suspect the British health system may have something similar to what Americans enjoy here  – free terminal kidney care. This was started by Nixon and some powerhouse senators and representatives of the early 70s who considered that the cost of kidney disease care was too high to be borne by families alone. So they passed a bill and funded it – Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program which went into effect on July 1, 1973.

It is curious to me as an alien, that this specialist kidney care, is available to even the rich. No discrimination against the rich for this government program. Everywhere you go in the US you’d see standalone DaVita Dialysis Centers or Fresenius Kidney Care hospital networks which provide dialysis and such other care funded on that law.

UK Court Adjourns Ekweremadu’s Trial Over Organ Harvesting Allegation Till October 31

How long would Ekweremadu be in the senate before people-friendly progress such as those interests him? Any sympathy I may express here won’t be genuine. So I won’t bother. I have known too many young people who died in Nigeria for lack of the most basic medical care while Ekweremadu, Buhari, Tinubu, Atiku and their privileged class hop into planes to fly to London, Berlin, and Dubai for treatment for their old and tired bodies with gnarled hands grasping on to their privileges.

When Ekweremadu travelled out with that Nigerian youth to harvest his kidney to save his own daughter, it was one stick up too many – It was tantamount to transacting the “destiny” of the youth. This is aggravated by the fact that since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, 23 years ago, the executive and legislative arms of the various governments from General Obasanjo, Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua, Chief Goodluck Jonathan, up to the incumbent, Major General M. Buhari, none have increased the capacity of Nigeria’s youth for innovative and productive participation in a fast-paced technological world.

It is safe to wager that if the emigrated proposed kidney donor were a programmer in a Nigerian Silicon Valley, somewhere in our heads, he wouldn’t have given away his kidney for a pittance? Or for any price for that matter.

Our privileged class won’t learn. They are too far gone in iniquitous impunity. But the West can help us. If the British legal process prosecutes the Nigerian senator to the full extent of their laws –  as vigorously as they did with the corruption case of Governor James Ibori, who was convicted and served jail time there – and convict him for modern day slavery; then another red line of consequence is drawn for our masters when they travel offshore. Then, hopefully, something good can come out of this particular abuse of privilege.

Albert Ik Ngene, a retired community practice pharmacist and youth advocate, is PBA’s public interest analyst. He  writes from Atlanta.


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