There is an urgent need for Nigerian government to engage religious leaders in the fight to contain ebola – Tola Adenle

August 14, 2014


This essay was also today published as:

Comments worth sharing:

A Liberian official approved Sawyer’s travel to Nigeria even as he was supposedly under watch for ebola

but is being re-issued under above title for a wider dissemination through the title & tags.



Falade,  A.G. Says:
August 14, 2014 at 4:35 am e

…”The paper also reported the footage as capturing Mr. Sawyer sitting alone and avoiding bodily contacts with other passengers who came close to him at the boarding gate of the airport as he awaited his flight to Lagos.”

Dear auntie,

I must commend you greatly for bringing all these pieces of useful news to us.You’re really a very high class journalist, albeit retired!
My comments will be brief so that readers can follow me and absorb quickly my impactful words.

a) Above excerpt confirms that Mr. Sawyer INITIALLY did not want to deliberately infect his fellow human beings.

b) Mr. Sawyer was seeking for ”a miracle healing” at the Synagogue of Pastor T.B. Joshua.

c) Being unable to get this healing, he became disillusioned after being seized by the furies, seeking to infect others (if accounts of his deliberate urination on health care workers is true).

d) Finally, it was Pastor T. B. Joshua that started the chain reaction: PROMISING TO HEAL EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE WITH HOLY WATER. So, what you sow, you reap. As Nigerians, we all share SOME homogeneity with Pastor T. B. Joshua.




emotan77 Says:
August 14, 2014 at 7:14 am e

Dear Prof.,

Thank you, too, for all the contributions you’ve made on this issue. The social aspect, despite your medical training and practice, is also v. useful because it is an area that the outside world overlooks but that is vital if this modern plague will be contained.
The Temitope Joshuas of Nigeria’s Pentecostal movement which I mention in one commentary really need to be won over to win the containment aspect of fighting ebola and I like Lagos governor, Fasola’s angle pursued as soon as Pastor Joshua announced his promise to heal ebola; he did not say there were no miracles but asked the pastor to cooperate with government in leading the people in the fight to eradicate ebola through containment and treatment. We already saw another pastor making what amounted to the same claim in the implied post on his Face Book, a claim Pastor Ituah Ighodalo quickly backtracked on when he saw the condemnations in the papers.

These pastors are merely picking on the wretchedness and desperation of the people, a situation brought about by Nigerian leaders at EVERY STAGE OF GOVERNANCE: out-and-out looting and corruption that has decimated the middle class and made foot-mats of the lower class where most now belong.

Just imagine how ebola would find fertile ground in the sweat-filled massive holding pens – pardon me – of most of their churches that hold thousands at a time during services where congregation members are shown seemingly screaming at the top of their voices during prayers and definitely spraying others with flying saliva – pardon me, again.

If these so-called men-of-God really care about their followers, they would suspend the usual form of worship for more solemn gatherings till Nigeria can get over this big hump; they would suspend all “Holy Ghost Night”-type gatherings because the Redeemed Church’s leader, Pastor Adeboye’s announcement that other West Africans should not come for now is definitely inadequate but I guess I’m suggesting the impossible: the money would also stop rolling in which is what, people must really pardon me, most of these churches are really all about. It is also a must for churches that use the sharing of Holy Communion cup to be shelved for now.

Worse, those that people like me believe they are trying to help would probably be furious at us as an important outlet that let them forget their problems is being removed.

Religion is too sensitive and that’s where somebody like Lagos’ Fasola should be given a large role in a real think thank of Nigeria’s War Against Ebola. Though a Moslem, he proved his being rational religious issues on the Hijab controversy, and his paper during the recent hosting by Nigeria of a recent international forum in which he light heartedly referred to – among our other usual preoccupations at local fora – the lack of prayers to open each session.

Sincere regards,

AUGUST 14, 2014. 2:09 p.m. [GMT]


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8 Comments on “There is an urgent need for Nigerian government to engage religious leaders in the fight to contain ebola – Tola Adenle”

  1. Afolabi ayoola Says:

    It is obvious that nigerians are very religious, but the clerics need to be empowered by the holy spirit before miracles could be manifested in the lives of the followers. The so called religious leaders have soaked their hands in ungodly acts. Hence, carrying them along in curing Ebola will amount to spreading the Ebola virus.
    The fight of the virus by the cleric depends on the individual faith, and who to believe among the religious leaders is a consideration on its own.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Mr. Ayoola,

      I hope Nigerians will not go to religious or faith healers to cure any disease, let alone ebola; they cannot do it. The Federal Ministry of Health has outlined steps to take for prevention as well as where to seek medical help if any illness resembling the symptoms of ebola is detected.




      • Fatai Bakare Says:

        This is my fear with Ebola and superstition with religion. It is across all religion including traditional. People should be enlightened to go to the healing centres as given out by the Min of Health rather than to churches; mosques or babalawos. These are routes to spread the disease. May we be saved from ignorance.


      • emotan77 Says:

        Fatai, This has been my fear from the start but when I read what Governor Fasola said, coupled with the central government’s effort, I thought our people would listen to the voices of reason but it seems the holds of churches – especially the Pentecostal Churches – are so firm that their followers would have none of most of the jingles they listen to on the airwaves. It is, therefore, the heads of these churches that can get through to their members.

        Thanks, as always,


      • Fatai Bakare Says:

        Hey Anti, the head of the churches will not be bold enough to let go the tithes their churches. The more coming for miracle healing, the more the purse swells.

        Back to the American Doctor flown from Liberia for Ebola treatment. I heard from the BBC six o’clock news this evening that he has been given a clean slate to join his family and community. Blood is thicker than water and a show of patriotism. The import of your calling our corrupt politicians and heads of government to sponsor purchases of the trial drugs to treat Ebola in Africa had sunk well into my head if just not to rely again too much on Bill Gates and co. After all these money cannot be taken to heaven after their demise.

        What about the so-called rich men and women of Africa extraction. Can’t they jointly donate generously to give lives to fellow human beings and stop the spread of this disease. I am afraid of the effects of spread in Nigeria looking at how close our society is. I am really alarmed. Somebody should help do something before it is too late.

        They should realize that this disease does not recognize wealth and this is one that they cannot decide to run overseas for treatment. Prevention is better than cure and a word is enough for the wise.


      • emotan77 Says:

        Thanks, Fatai, for your continued contribution on this important matter.

        While I continue to disbelieve how the virus supposedly came to being, the most important reason is for African heads of states to wake up to their responsibility and fight this and other ailments that plague the continent instead of running, caps in hands every time to the West for aid. Often, hefty as those aids may sound, a huge proportion often goes back to the countries of origin in through conditionalities: their citizens must be employed as consultants, their products must be purchased, et cetera.

        Now one can or should blame them for these attached strings because the mostly-thieves who have ruled and ruined Africa since the so-called independence from the 50s have not shown the way to the bright tomorrows we looked forward to back then as each country shook off colonialism. The masses in Africa merely shook off foreign masters for ruthless thieving overlords.

        Now, the work of missionaries in most of Africa cannot be pooh-poohed as has continued to contribute to health even in an age when missionaries have mostly disappeared from the educational arena.

        Personally, I do not believe the U.S. could have run out of ZMapp but despite that doubt, I do not believe it owes sending the drug to the affected countries. Allow me to mention right away that my Significant Other and I are right here in Nigeria, and I am so scared out of my wits about WHAT IF that I’ve become almost a prisoner and the rare visitors have two containers to face before entering: a soapy disinfectant and a rinsing second one before I hand over paper towel; so this is not being written from a far-away place.

        While these heads of states and top politicians and government officials may have their kids abroad, they are not as far removed if ebola becomes an epidemic in Nigeria.
        I do not know about copyright law, but I just wonder if the African Union (AU) cannot, for once, get their act together and fund a huge purchase of the so-called “experimental untested ZMapp” that has proved the lie of profit-driven – I do not blame them – Western countries pending when the drug’s patent would eventually run out and generics would become available OR an AU-funded researches would yield replacements. Such research/researches would be necessary for drugs for cures/vaccines for other deadly diseases like lassa fever, et cetera. They should be ready to pay astronomical charges right now; I reported here about the manufacturer’s stocks went up and up recently.

        Thanks, again, Fatai for yours and the one you got out of me. Will share them further.


  2. Fatai Bakare Says:

    Inasmuch as I do not want to dabble into religion and despite the fact that I believe in the efficacy of prayers, however, is it possible to visit a pastor or Imam for prayers to cure diseases like Ebola or HIV? If such powers exist, Boko Haram should have been long forgotten.

    Did the Liberian actually visit Pastor Joshua? If he did, the whole of that church should be quarantined together with the members. Ebola may be very difficult to control just like HIV in Nigeria.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Fatai,

      Thank you for weighing in on this.

      I AM a believer, too, though of different faith but I do not believe that any pastor or Imam can cure Ebola, HIV or any disease for that matter unless the “men of God” stand by as medications are administered by men of medicine.THAT is the big problem in Nigeria because the huge gatherings where these pastors preach their version of The Message should be gently discouraged now or else the virus would be difficult to fight in the country.

      I really do not think Patrick Sawyer got to see Temitope Joshua because he was taken straight from the airport to the hospital. It could be while he was mad as hell and reportedly pulled out the IV and started to urinate on care givers. Who knows? I read of Governor Fasola’s appeal to these pastors not to encourage people to come to their churches for healing. The Temitope Joshua guy is so widely known – and respected by his followers – that a southern African head of state visited him in Nigeria some years back to pray for his electoral victory; I saw a photo in the press; incredible!

      Your suggestion that a church and the congregation be “quarantined together” is radical but this is a big problem that does require innovative solutions. I think government has to get together as a matter of urgency with these pastors and a solution be pursued on how churches would not become fertile grounds for further spread of Ebola virus.




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