I present to you Folakemi Akinbode, that female corps member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in the Obuah community in Yenagoa local government area in the state of the President of Nigeria – Bayelsa, and whose hand was ‘ingloriously’ chopped off (some people would say ‘almost chopped off’ and I laugh at their modesty).
Our grown-up princess, Folakemi Akinbode was, on Monday night, August 5th, 2013, attacked by suspected cultists who chopped off her right hand, which she used, out of providence, to prevent the machete from severing her neck from her book-head. She would have been dead by now.
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For tonight, the concerns of lAkUnLeScReWs are many but I beg us to focus at a few. We will avoid wuru wuru to the answer (If you’re gray, that means ‘trial and error’) and rather use elimination method, as smart objective questions examinees would do to get to the right answer (or the closest to the right answer. Sorry about that).
Our concern tonight is not the fact that Folakemi was posted out of her home state of Ondo. Which is an inconvenience anyway but, at the very least, a source of joy for anyone who’d be scared of been posted to the more volatile states of the North.
We are also not immediately overwhelmed by the fact that Folakemi was posted to a state of militancy, where anything human is kidnapped the way a dog is by hungry dog-eaters.
Let us not bother ourselves with the bureaucratic stupidity of handing over huge sums of money to a corps member to take home (corpers’ lodge) with her, of course, (necessarily?) without protection. Was it planned by higher powers?
Methinks it’s no longer a source of pitiable worry that her right hand (that one is serious o) was chopped like that, whether off or not. We are past that? You guess.
However, we should cry over this one. We should get naked and pour out onto the streets burning with the rays of the Sun and the heat of the fires of protesters. Don’t get naked if you have nothing of worth to prove with your nakedness. We should pick up our bulleted pistols and inked pens to query the abandonment of such a needy servant of us, when it came the time to serve the server.
Folakemi Akinbode is (not was) a child of the government, both state and federal (that’s what we call corps members – omo ijoba) and as such, she laid down her life for her country. In other words, she served her country with her heart. Now the concern of lAkUnLeScReWs, how was she paid in return for her service?
Her right hand (the more significant hand for majority of the people; the one with which she qualified in the first place to be able to serve her country; the one with which she needs to lift her country up through the doldrums); that hand was chopped off. It was chopped off, not in any way connected with furthering her pure and holy service (I’m sure smeone will accuse me immediately “How could you say that? Well, I do not think Folakemi cares about whatever it is anyone thinks or says right now. She only needs her life, not just her right hand, back) to her country.
That was one way she was paid back. Paid back by, do we say cultists? or robbers? hooligans? or just, assailants?
Well, quickly, news went round. Of course, bad news spread fast. No one notices that poor man struggling to keep his family sane without untoward inclinations. No one hails him as the true patriot in the news, building the nation by building the family. The ladies who will never give in to prostitution, no one broadcasts their names on social media. But bad news? Don’t ask me. It’s wild fire. And even everyone wants to consume it. I wonder how we got to become a country that enjoys the stories of misfortunes that happen to other people. You should wonder.
The bad news went round. Few people reported that the state Government of Bayelsa, speaking through the Secretary to the state Government, would sponsor Folakemi out of Nigeria to Italy for ‘proper’ medical attention. That is to suppose that in Nigeria, no proper medical attention or care can be offered. If that supposition were to be true, which I fear it is, then we don’t want to hear it. Who says this is a country? Someone or some also reported that an Italian group would have her packaged to Italy too.
What a relief that was. But wait a minute. Suspend all jubilation. We are still in our country, Nigeria. The poor beautiful girl was thereafter abandoned at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital for about two months; in pain and despair. Even the mind of able-bodied men, strong, proud and strategic but maybe a little hungry, plays certain funny tricks on them. How much more, in that pitiable condition. Some bow to life as their master – suicide being an easy way out. Others lose it – throwing away the last vestige of their sanity. How callous. Does anyone know what happens to one in that state?? Don’t think of it.
The fallout of such abandonment may be that the hand may get infected to the point of death. That may be after her family must have spent all the financial ‘life’ they have left (“Double wahala for dead body and the owner of dead body” – words of Fela Anikulapo Kuti). It may also forever tarnish the image of the programme, NYSC, and that’s if it’s not already. Such, if death occurs, may also bring about the furtherance of internecine scuffles. And blah blah blah.
However, there’s good news. At least, as far as lAkUnLeScReWs is concerned. Maybe this is where everyone loses interest as it concerns good news. We will still go ahead reporting it.
The News reaching us through the correspondents of lAkUnLeScReWs, stationed at a proximity to the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, where Folakemi was kept for months, Pharmacists Olaseni Akinrinade and Azibanigha Felix, is that the Bayelsan State government, after months of promising to fly poor Folakemi to Italy has finally fulfilled this promise, albeit belatedly. We gathered today, that Folakemi Akinbode was flown to Italy over the last weekend for treatment by the Bayelsan State Government. We can only say kudos, bravo, I hail thee, e se, you try well well. Thank you.
However, who knows? The protracted interval between the dates of promise and that of promise-fulfilment may be necessary to enable the veteran bureaucrats to put in place a most-appropriate, tested that is, strategy to ensure some of the funds to be released for Folakemi’s overseas treatment end up in never-dry pockets of the big boys. Just thinking. More as it unfolds.