Many readers, including medical doctors and professors of medicine and pharmacology, have reacted to my columns of the last two weeks on the fraudulent claims of Professors Adebukola Ositelu and Maurice Iwu who said they have found herbal cures for Ebola. What follows is a sample of the reactions. Enjoy.
Gosh, this is alarming. She actually looks and sounds like an imbecile. It would be hilarious if it weren't about something so serious. This is exactly one of Africa's biggest problems -- the presence of a glut of opinionated ignoramuses who are only too willing to give their asinine advice to a superstitious public.
We have these highly-schooled idiots, who never enjoyed the benefit of real solid education, spreading their rash of misinformation on a whim. For all we know, this god-influenced professor could either be revealing the details of a dream she had, products of her warped imagination or something from a hallucinatory episode. Instead of confining such glaring idiocy to herself -- knowing that it is too foolish to be shared--she rushes to the press to talk some careless mumbo jumbo.
This ignorance and the unflinching belief in the supernatural is a growing concern in Africa, even in the 21st century, when information is readily available at the click of a button everywhere. But still, we have the likes of these capricious professional mischief-makers like Professor Maurice Iwu, and now this one, joining the ranks of stark illiterates like that tribal faith healing charlatan in Sierra Leone who carried her affliction from the bushes in Sokoma in Guinea, with astonishing claims that she could cure the disease. And people believed her, dying in droves and paying for their stupidity!! Even as I write today, Africans with long academic titles appended to their names are abusing the privilege of their connections to the internet with jaw-dropping claims about cures and conspiracy theories. This is incredibly rank from the lot of literate illiterate nincompoops. Thanks for another great write up.
Samira Edi, London
Vintage Professor Farooq Kperogi! I can't but agree with every line of his argument in his latest trending essay. It is unfortunate that a medical doctor at the rank of a professor can make such a weighty claim that Ewudu can cure Ebola without a single shred of evidence.
NMA and MDCN must urgently do something to stop further peddling of this kind of malignant ignorance designed to deceive the gullible mind.
When did we start having this Babalawo belief creeping in to 21st century medicine in Nigeria? I thought we've learned something from Abalaka's debacle on false claim for cure of HIV/AIDS!
Anyway, it is tragic that the motive of this spiritual cure may be dictated by the way the Nigerian Minister of Health (professor of orthopedic surgery) nearly committed millions of dollars of tax payers to procure a herbal preparation called Nanosilva from some American scammers as a cure for Ebola. It took the disclaimer by FDA to alert Nigerians of what the FG was trying to do. Why won't someone come up with Ewedu angle too? Fraud is half Nigerian.
Dr. Ibrahim Musa
Nigerians love cheap publicity and are titlemaniacs. And the most dangerous ones are those who bring religious sentiments into issues when what we need are hard facts. A colleague of mine who is a psychiatrist told me that many religious leaders in Nigeria have psychiatric illnesses and that is why they claim revelations, prophecies, visions, etc. And with orthodox treatments by competent psychiatrists such hallucinations disappear.
You would expect that learned people would be more circumspect about their utterances since people look up to them; especially where religion is concerned. After all, we all have our individual religious convictions, but we don't have to force it down other people’s throats just because we can command an audience.
Dr Amina A. AbdulRahman
It’s a huge relief reading that NAFDAC was alerted about this witchdoctor. I think I will dig out to find how she became a Professor in the first place. It may shed more light on her present shameless show of ineptitude.
I read your piece and found it very interesting and revealing, as usual. However, I wish to point out that "Ewedu" is known in Hausa as "Ayayau", and not "Rama", as you described in your write-up. And potash is called, "Kanwa", in Hausa, and not, "Kaun", at least the Hausa spoken in Katsina, Sokoto and Kano. I'm not sure of other places.
Dr Kperogi, you are truly a professor of journalism. These professors of medical and pharmaceutical sciences know the ethics of scientific publishing, but prefer the ephemeral fame and lime light than sticking to norms of scientific empericism and documentation. Unfortunately our professional associations and regulatory agencies do not sanction such unscientific conducts. I hope they will be shamed by this piece. Thank you.
Prof. Jacob Kwaga
Reminds me of Dr Abalaka of Gwagwalada who not only claimed a cure for AIDS in those days, he administered the 'cure' in his clinic for a considerable length of time. And there is also Gambia's buffoon-in-chief Yahya Jammeh who can cure AIDS, asthma, hypertension and infertility. But at least, these two are not professors like the ones you wrote about.
Dr. Raji Bello
Sir, e be like say u wan make 'Nigerian Academia " blacklist you o. Na you raise issue about number of journals being published internationally by our 'know-it-all' professors, and questioning their productivity. You raised the lid on the “father of internet,” Phillip Emeagwali, Ndi Okereke Onyiuke, and other jegudujera professors. You were the one who opined on the consistent agitation for increased pay by our lecturers despite being the 13th highest paid in the world, and 'undermining' ASUU struggle. You're now calling our esteemed Pharmacognosy Professors,' Ebola Profs.' Diaris God ooo. All these facts you're sharing, do you want us to collapse the educational sector ni?