The Menacing Cholera Outburst In Iledu By Tijani Sheriffdeen Opeyemi
In the days when donkeys were the major source of transportation, when the weather was used in determining time, when wisdom was the judge in all cases and loyalty was the emblem of the state. Their lived a town known as Iledu. It was a small one with a large population. Its people respected the interest of one another. They weren’t selfish. And tolerating one another to them was a thing of joy. This helped them in carving a joyous and successful life.
The respect for their cultural heritage waxed stronger as the day unfolded, their monarch, a young-looking old man, was in his late eighties when the incident to be unravelled happened. He was loved by his people.
And interestingly, he fought his way to the throne.
This made many people think he bewitched his people. But then, the serenity and progress the town witnessed in his reign convinced people otherwise. They believed the gods wouldn’t be solidly behind a despot. Time passed quickly and the good king aged.
But this didn’t change his resourcefulness towards his administrative duty to the deities and his people.
It wasn’t long after the celebration of their Egungun (masquerade) festival that things began taking another dimension.
They would say birds weren’t squeaking like birds again, and that rats weren’t acting like rats again, things weren’t happening the way they used too.
The chiefs were dilly dallied and the king himself couldn’t comprehend what was transcending.
They offered sacrifices to the gods to appease them but then the situation persisted and deteriorated.
This made the people terrified.
People could no longer move freely in town. Thus, their farming was halted.
Even fishermen deserted the rivers. “What has gone wrong?”
The king asked his chiefs in a confused tone.
They all kept quiet as they looked on melancholically.
“Won’t you answer me elders of our land?” he pestered, and again they gave no reply. They all sat gazing at one another until the king angrily left for the inner palace.
At last Otun (right-hand-man to the king) spoke up and invited his fellow chiefs to his house to discuss the menace and possible solutions.
Hmm! Guess what the menace was?
It was cholera.
Back in the house of the Otun of the town, they all connived to ask the king to step out of town for a while until they find a lasting solution to the menace. It’s a traditional setting, why didn’t they consult the oracle? Of course they did, but the oracle itself seemed confused because it told them nothing was wrong. So what other better option have they than to send the mischievous king away?
He was now mischievous!
The first problem was solved but it left behind a jaw-breaking one, who was going to tell the king their agreement? And they all started staring again. Alas! They all went home without a reasonable conclusion.
Hearing of the incident that’s currently ravaging the people of Iledu, Dr. bade called for assistance on behalf of his people. Bade was a son of the soil and the only living scholar of Iledu township, because of his quest for western education he was banished alongside his parents from the town, because they saw education as a pollutant of their cultural heritage. His call was acknowledged, and together with his team they all set out to enlighten the people of Iledu. Before their urgent journey to the affected town, they had sampled to get necessary information about the cause of the outburst of cholera in the area, and fortunately for them they got a reasonable feedback from there research.
At first they weren’t received by the people of Iledu, as they attempted pursuing them with stones and disgusting songs. In spite their tribulations; they still didn’t want western intervention, poor people of Iledu!
Weeks passed and still nothing changed except for the fact that they had more death counts. “And is this how we open our eyes and let people continue to die?” the youth leader asked, the unplanned meeting was called to see if they can find solution to the frustrating situation they were buried in. Thoughtful youths, they resolved that the medical team be given a chance. The leader accompanied by two other industrious young men paid the king a courtesy visit and told him about the outcome of their meeting. After much deliberation with the chiefs, they all agreed to give the medical team a chance.
How do they get in touch with people they have no clue about? Another problem erupted. They now accepted the ordeal as their fate; they all expected their deaths patiently. Fortunately, the medical team also didn’t give up on them; they planned to revisit them, but this time with armed men to protect them in case any uproar sprouts again. They were surprised at the way they welcomed them. They exploited the chance. They educated them on what the problem was and they did discuss at length with them, the care for the water they drink, cleaning their environment and proper disposal of their excretory products.
They reached each home to sensitize them more on the dangers they tend to face if they fail to change there ways. They further helped them in constructing boreholes and modernized pit latrines. They were going to make a mess of water closet, poor people of Iledu!
When they were about leaving Iledu, Bade introduced himself joyfully without thinking of the past; they all felt sorry and welcomed him back to his father land, they weren’t only saved from the cholera outburst but were also saved from the ignorance they wallowed in, they saw what western education was in the actual sense.
An information society is one where the creation, distribution, uses, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic, political and cultural activity (Wikipedia). An informed society is a living society because information is has essential as the air we breathe. Be informed!!!
TIJANI SHERIFFDEEN OPEYEMI
PHONE NUMBER: 07033254385