CONTRIBUTIONS OF ALEX EKWUEME FEDERAL UNIVERSITY NDUFU-ALIKE (AE-FUNAI) TO NATIONAL RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Table 1: COVID-19 Innovations in Nigerian Universities – Ref: AE-FUNAI
|Sanitizer||Face mask||Thermo-meter||Ventilator||3D Printing Face of Mask|
|A.||B. SOUTH EAST|
|Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo||C||C||N||N||R|
|Legend for Table 1:
Product Stage of Development
S – Sanitizer N – Nil research C – Commercially available
F – Face mask R – Research in progress
T – Thermometer (infra-red) P – Prototype produced
V – Ventilator (mechanical) A – Tested and approved/patented
Table 2: Other Contributions of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike (AE-FUNAI)
|S/No||Title of innovation/ Contribution||Description||Remarks|
|1.||PRODUCTION OF CLOTH FACE MASK||Produced with Adire textile by the Fine Arts Department. Also marketed by the same department||See picture & production details in Appendix 1|
|2.||3D PRINTING OF FACE MASKS||The AE-FUNAI/IMAPS 3D Research Station designed reusable PLA masks and is in the process of finetuning the printout of samples||See screen print in Appendix 2|
|3.||PRODUCTION OF HAND SANITIZERS||The Chemistry department produced Hand Sanitizers that meet WHO standards||See picture & production details in Appendix 3|
|4.||GUIDELINES ON COVID-19 PREVENTION||On 13th March 2020, in the 2nd week of the virus in Nigeria, the University issued guidelines to staff on COVID-19 prevention and management||https://www.sunnewsonline.com/coronavirus-alex-ekwueme-federal-university-orders-returning-staff-to-embark-on-self-quarantine/; also see Appendix 4.|
|5.||MEASURES TO PREVENT SPREAD AMONGST UNIVERSITY HEALTH SERVICES STAFF||The Medical Centre divided its staff into 3 r batches, using each unit to provide intensive and full healthcare services to students/staff for one week and thereafter proceed on 2 weeks self-quarantine in the University provided accommodation or, in some cases, at home.||This is to avoid getting all University medical staff exposed at same period|
|6.||QUARANTINE FOR STAFF RETURNING FROM HIGH RISK COUNTRIES||The University issued an advisory requiring among others, each staff returning from abroad to go on a 7-day self-isolation. There is evidence that this was practiced by Dr Ngozi Uduma, HoD, Mass Communications.||https://voiceofreason.com.ng/coronavirus-ae-funai-returning-staff-to-face-7days-quarantine/|
|7.||CONSTITUTION OF COVID-19 TASKFORCE||University constituted a 13-man committee on COVID-19 enlightenment and prevention, under the chairmanship of Dr. Henry Aloh, Dir., Health Services.||See Appendix 5|
|8.||PROACTIVE PRESS BRIEFING
|On 13th March 2020, right after WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the Vice-Chancellor of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike called a Press Conference covered by NAN, The Voice, Vanguard, SUN, AEFUNAI Radio FM and others to enlighten the University community, the host community, state and nation on the deadly disease and proactively announce precautions, protective measures and directives in the event of anyone contracting the virus.||https://www.sunnewsonline.com/coronavirus-alex-ekwueme-federal-university-orders-returning-staff-to-embark-on-self-quarantine/|
|9.||LETTER TO STAFF||VC wrote a letter to staff of the University who were abroad, reiterating conditions for their return to the University, including personal isolation for a period of 7 days. This letter was properly published and posted on website.||
University Whatsapp platforms
COMMUNICATIONS & ADVISORIES
|10.||COMMUNICATIONS WITH STAFF THAT ARE OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY||VC has been sending communications to staff of the University that are still outside the country||University Whatsapp platforms|
|11.||REGULAR VIRTUAL CONTACT WITH STUDENTS||The Dean of Students Affairs has maintained periodic contact with students to guide and encourage them||University Whatsapp platforms|
|12.||REGULAR VIRTUAL CONTACT WITH ALUMNI
|The Alumni Desk Officer is in regular contact with university alumni through online interactions, enquiring after their welfare and advising them on safety measures||University Whatsapp platforms|
|13.||ADVISORY ON MAKING THE BEST OF THE FORCED HOLIDAYS||VC has regularly encourages and counsels colleagues on best practices to cope with the lockdown and safety measures while on the ‘forced’ holidays. His personal examples are articulated and sent out to colleagues||Some of the Advisories delivered through University Whatsapp platforms are in Appendix 6|
|14.||COVID-19 NOTES||VC has been writing dedicated notes and articles on COVID19 conditions, experiences and way forward, which are regularly circulated via social media, to the world audience||The COVID-19 notes delivered through University Whatsapp platforms are in Appendix 7|
RESEARCH & MEDIA ENGAGEMENTS
|15.||Channels TV Interview||Channel Television interview with Professor Chukwumerije Okereke – the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development, AE-FUNAI||See https://youtu.be/tzDpkpCX-Do
|16.||Newspaper publications by staff||Financial Investments in a Crisis by Dr Denis Yuni, Econs Department, AE-FUNAI||See https://cameroonnewsagency.com/financial-investments-in-a-crisis/|
|17.||Online discussion sessions via zoom with expert panelists – supported by the Feed the Future Nigerian Agricultural Policy Project funded by USAID Nigeria||To enhance understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s Agriculture and its Food Systems, Dr. Oyinkan Tasie, Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resources Economics (AFRE) and a member of the department’s Food Security Group (FSG) is organizing weekly online discussion sessions via zoom with expert panelists.
The April 8th panel discussion featured Dr. Robert Onyeneke (Acting Head, Department of Agric, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike) and 1 other person. The event was supported by the Feed the Future Nigerian Agricultural Policy Project funded by USAID Nigeria and had over 50 participants that included representatives of the government from Ogun and Kaduna States, academia, NAPP Scholars, private sector and other stakeholders.
|18.||Research||Measuring Household Food Insecurity in South East Nigeria Amidst COVID-19 Lockdown||See Appendix 8|
|19.||Poems by staff on THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC||Staff produced and circulated poems on the COVID-19 PANDEMIC:
§ ỤWA EZURULA IKE by Dr Ann Nwankwo
§ CORONA by Obinna Ibezim
|See Appendix 9|
SURVEYS AND PUBLICATIONS
|20.||Ongoing online surveys||Staff in Mass Communications developed an online survey of 14 relevant questions to interrogate how Nigerians perceive the communication of government on COVID-19. The survey is currently on going while the researchers are working on the literature review.
|the survey https://qfreeaccountssjc1.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Vh0ddTzbvjf4QB . It is coordinated by Dr. Ngozi Uduma alongside Chinedu Nwasum, Ezinne Abaneme and Enuma Icha-Ituma|
APPENDIX 1: PRODUCTION OF CLOTH FACE MASK
- Production Team:
Prof Chinedum Nwajiuba (VC);
Prof Nnenna Nwosu (Dean, Faculty of Humanities);
Dr Ephraim Ugochukwu (HOD Fine and Applied Arts);
Ms Chiaka Adaure Nnodi; and
Mr Otuu Ogobuchi.
- Raw material(s): Adire textile produced by Fine Arts Department, AE-FUNAI;
- Value-add: design, sewing, screen printing of brand name, packaging, sales, etc
APPENDIX 2: 3D PRINTING OF FACE MASKS
Remark: The AE-FUNAI/IMAPS 3D Research Station designed reusable PLA masks and is in the process of finetuning the printout of samples
- Production Team:
Prof Chinedum Nwajiuba (VC);
Ms Chiaka Adaure Nnodi; and
Mr Otuu Ogobuchi.
- Raw material(s): 3D wire consumable, surgical mask;
- Value-add: 3D printing, filament, screen printing of brand name, packaging, sales, etc
APPENDIX 3: PRODUCTION OF HAND SANITIZERS
Remark: The The Chemistry department produced Hand Sanitizers that meet WHO standards
- Production Team:
Prof Chinedum Nwajiuba (VC);
Prof O.N. Omaka;
Dr C J Chukwu;
Mrs Rachael Chukwu;
Mr Amadi Emmanuel
Mrs R N Chukwu
- Raw material(s): Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol, Glycerol or glycerin, Hydrogen peroxide, Sterile distilled or boiled cold water, Spray bottle.
- Value add: formulation, packaging, sales, etc
APPENDIX 4: MEASURES FOR PREVENTION OF COVID-19 INSTITUTED BY AE-FUNAI
APPENDIX 5: SETTING UP OF AE-FUNAI COVID-19 AND LASSA FEVER PREVENTION COMMITTEE (CLFPC)
The 13-member AE-FUNAI COVID-19 and Lassa Fever Prevention Committee (CLFPC) has the following membership:
- Dr. Henry Aloh, (Ag. Director of Dept of Health Services) – Chairman
- Dr. Onuoha Maduakolam (Medical Officer)
- Dr. Mirian Nwankwo (Medical Officer)
- Nwabugwu Cletus (Medical Lab. Scientist)
- Dr. Robert Onyeneke (Agricultural Economist)
- Dr. Arua (Ag.Director Community Services)
- Engr. Adebayo (Dept of Physical Planning and Works)
- Dr. Chiaka (Dep. Dean Student Affair)
- Dr. Otu Akani Otu (Dean Student Affair)
- Engr. Chidi Ogah (Chairman, AE-FUNAI Parents’ forum)
- Maj. Onwe (Chief Security Officer)
- Representative University PRO
- William-Nwaoba Janefrancis (Public Health) – Secretary
APPENDIX 6: SAMPLE OF ADVISORIES ON MAKING THE BEST OF THE FORCED HOLIDAYS
APPENDIX 7: COVID NOTES
7.1. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 1: Exposing our faulty development paradigm.
We have adopted a key pillar for the containment of this disease via social distancing and shutdowns.
But majority of our people live by the day. The wheelbarrow pusher must go to the market to eat every day. This applies to majority of our urban and even rural residents and in fact the majority of our citizens.
Neither the government, the church and other CSOs are in a position to deal with this.
Will we be surprised that in the coming days there will be stealing of food items? Will we be surprised if the people dare, and overwhelm government directives on shutdown?
Will we be surprised if the people pour out into the streets.
7.2. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 2: Prepare for serious economic/financial difficulties
No Think Tank, expert, technocrat, managers of the economy, financial institution, or any other foresaw this, has experienced this, or has modeled this. Therefore none knows for sure what should be done. It will all be by trial and error. Uncertainties and shocks are avoided in the management of economies but that is what has befallen the world.
Assuming the big economies are able to come out of this disease by the end of this month of March, and resume human social and economic activities, including wealth creation and the creation/flow of goods, services, incomes and wealth, the after effects will last a long time.
Assuming Nigeria is able to stop the acceleration of this disease in the month of March, the after effects will still be challenging.
Crude oil prices are very low, sales are down, Public finance are obviously in dire conditions. From the salary earner and other heads of public sector expenditure, prepare for difficult days.
7.3. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 3: Farm now!
While sitting at home to allow this disease die off and not spread, consider farming. Such activities will help your health rather than sitting at home idle. Farm in your compound or around your community without being in groups.
In a Place like IMO State where everyone including rural families rely on markets for basic vegetables, funded by remittances sent home from within and outside Nigeria, hunger may kill more persons than the disease.
I call on the government, to encourage the people to farm now. Luckily some rains are coming. Without the government can the churches and community associations be sensitized to encourage the people to start farming now.
If we had an extension service, advisories would be provided in the nature of crops to embark on now, as well as provide seeds and seedlings.
Example: Ugu planted today can yield in three weeks.
7.4. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 4: The state of health services in IMO state
Outside the FMC, where do people go to in IMO state when challenged?
Not even a private hospital of the quality of Memphys hospital in Enugu, exists in Imo state.
Yet, IMO perhaps has more Medical personell than most states scattered all over the world.
Nearly all communities in Imo state have sons and daughters in the United States who come home every year on medical missions.
We have a Teaching Hospital in ORLU, but our medical students cannot be trained there, because we took a parochial decision at inception
Every local government has a Government General Hospital either dead or not completed.
Our situation exposes the consistently unpatriotic and disastrous governments since1999.
7.5. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 5: The Nigeria university system
Where are our professors and egg heads in this period?
I forgot that we are on strike. Patriotism! How many know that those paid by public funds have a community service obligation?
Has anyone thought about the emerging funding situation post-CORONA-19, vis-a-viz striking workers, public perception/image, and any chance at all of operating at current levels? What about professional NANS members, those perpetually students, and insistence on no fees in the universities? Indeed, will people be able to pay anything in the period following this?
Can there be a patriotic sacrifice of all strikes as part of our contribution to reviving the system after this?
From the biological scientists, physical scientists, social scientists, engineers and even those in the humanities? Humanities? Yes! Who should think out how best to communicate and which language issues to reach our people on what this is about and how best to survive this? Have you noticed that many low income people and many rural people have concluded this disease is for the big men and those who travel overseas? Who remembers that years ago our people said that HIV was a disease for white people?
7.6. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 6: Nigeria’s Oga culture and Disease spread
A Canadian, 10 years ago in Ibadan, made me realize that Nigeria has an Oga culture – the Big Man attitude and the rewards/ requirements for servicing it.
The Oga has to have his bag carried for him, no matter how light. You see that at the MMIA Lagos and NAIA Abuja. Sometimes people in uniform leave duty posts to carry Oga’s bag, and this Oga could just be a private business man. The incentive includes Oga giving ‘something’. I have seen even teenagers treated as Oga at the NAIA Abuja, encouraged not to join the queue, and these are young people who nicely queued up only 6 hours earlier at an Airport in Europe. And the Oga culture is passed to the next generation.
It is ‘natural’ for an Oga to arrive from, say, London to Lagos and not subject himself to government directives on temperature checks, rudely wave away any officer who dares approach him for that, go straight to meetings, proceed to night clubs, to the office, go home to play with his family, interact with house boys/girls/Drivers/Gatemen, receive and embrace all those who have come to see if Oga brought something from London. Yes, the culture has lasted so long & become so pervasive that it has become ‘natural’ in Nigeria. But in a period of a deadly pandemic such as has come upon mankind, is it anything but foolish?
COVID-19 avails us an opportunity to kill the Oga culture. Who else will join the few that have bailed the cat?
7.7. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 7: Closedown, Shutdown or Lockdown?
In this period, these three terms closedown, Shutdown and Lockdown are being freely used. We will like to know from the cognoscenti if they are the same. Are they synonyms? Are there technical differences in the use of these words? Are there practical implications of the use of each?
The nature of restrictions to movement and activities across Nigeria in response to COVID-19 have variations. Even globally, the approaches of different countries have peculiarities and nuances. The case of Lagos, Ogun and FCT is in a distinct category, following presidential pronouncement. Banks, for instance, are closed completely.
In Ebonyi there is strict enforcement of no entry/exit, use of face masks, Veronica buckets, and hand sanitizers in public places, etc. In Abia, tricycles ply freely, carrying maximum number of passengers, and the police and others allow interstate movement under the right conditions. In Imo, security men harass shop owners in the cities while rural markets operate fully and freely. In Delta state one person is reported to have been shot by a security man who was enforcing the restriction order.
Definitions form the basis of organized knowledge. So, among these states and others, which terms apply where and what are the why’s and wherefores?
It’s in the news that many states are developing and concluding the legislations that enable covid-19 related restrictions. We trust and pray that these documents will be generous in offering the necessary definitions
7.8. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 8: A good example in this period, and the emergence of community transmission.
Exactly three weeks today, Saturday March 21, the Head of our Department of Mass Communication, Dr. Ngozi Uduma, returned from the UK, where she had been attending a TETFund research Programme. Before then, the university had issued an advisory asking staff/students returning from outside the country to report to a given phone contact, and self isolate for 14 days. Dr. Uduma did exactly as advised. One extra week after, we formally commend her excellent conduct. Nigeria will do with more of such, driven by the power of personal example.
We earlier called attention to the Oga culture. We have heard of Nigerians who came into the country, some said to have gotten by the checks at the ports of entry somehow. This has made many persons regard this pandemic as a big man problem or Oga disease.
Now we are beginning to see cases of persons who are not traced to any returnee – community transmission of COVID-19. The first case in Kano is a gateman who returned from Lagos on public transport.
Should anyone be imagining relaxing current measures?
7.9. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 9: Buy 1 get 5 free.
As at Saturday 11 April, official COVID-19 report in Nigeria: total cases 318, recovered and discharged 70, deaths 10. The ratio of recovered of 70 to total of 318, is 4.54, approximately 5.
In this war the Enemy is not losing grounds. The number of new cases is ahead of the number of deaths plus discharged. The enemy has moved from just Lagos state to 19 states plus the FCT, and from elite prisoners to common people. Clearly the enemies’ field commanders are earning medals.
Is this therefore time to grant off-days to our troops? Clearly more vigilance, more arms, more troops, in more numbers and better quality are required.
But Nigerians from top to bottom are getting impatient, perhaps due to socioeconomic pressures.
The late professor M.O. Ijere told us in our development economics class at the UNN in the mid-1980s that Nigerians like disobeying laws meant to protect them. The situation now may be an example.
What does evidence- and knowledge-based leadership and governance recommend – doing the right thing or the popular thing? Even religious leaders are under pressure and are also putting pressure on government. How can leadership encourage the populace for more patience and sacrifice? Can that be if the rulers had not earned the trust and confidence of the populace? As the late Sarduana of Sokoto would say, in the dry season there are often many paths home, but in the floods of the rainy season there is often one path home. A people without respected, trusted heroes, and voices of leadership, grasp and wait for the deluge of community-driven pandemic.
Where is the light for the people to find the way, ala Nnamdi Azikiwe.
7.10. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 10: God is With Us!
Every society, every civilisation, will develop her approach and character. Ours in Nigeria seem to be hope to hope on God to do it for us. It does not seem logical to many persons who take life seriously, but if it’s not effective in Nigeria, how else do you explain many illogical things in and about Nigeria
Let’s look at how people who consider themselves serious and logical will look at things with what the world is facing.
As at Sunday 12 April, official COVID-19 report in Nigeria: total cases 323, recovered and discharged 85, deaths 10. The percent death is approximately 3.1. The mortality rates for some countries:
- Germany – 0.018%
- United States – 0.032%
- Spain – 0.098%
- Italy – 0.126%
As at March 28, 2020
From these we are worse than these countries, and specifically 100 times worse than the US.
We can hypothesize that some key factors affect these, including quality of leadership and governance, degree of discipline of those who govern and are governed, and the common culture and attitude of the people. Scary as the Nigeria situation may seem, we have reason to introduce the God factor as being with us. Consider the Kano case, a gateman, who travelled by public bus from Lagos. The Anambra case that travelled from Lagos went into at least three private clinics shopping for treatment. A group of Aba traders that arrived from China and simply found their way home.
The Hotelier, who arrived his country, travelled to Owerri, stayed in his hotel, visited people and attended events, and found his way to Abuja. What science claims to know about this pandemic would suggest extreme occurrences, but that doesn’t seem our case, at least not yet.
Certainly, God is with us.
7.11. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 11: Coupling current alleviation efforts with economic stimulus post-covid19.
There is a broad swell of efforts to alleviate current suffering by Nigerians. The Federal Government, states, churches, communities, and individuals, are offering help.
Commonly being offered are food items, including rice, yams, beans, noodles, tinned tomatoes, bread, etc., and cash.
How about each state government, churches and persons, focusing on what is produced locally, as a way to support the economy of the particular state?
I am not sure noodles, tinned tomatoes, and rice are produced in Imo state. Some yam is grown in the state, but really very meager.
If a state like Imo should identify what is produced in the state for patronage in this period, with a consciousness to help the state economy, that would be patriotic.
But for now, the state is doing well procuring rice, yams, etc., from other states, chiefly Ebonyi.
No doubt, Ebonyi state is the leading economy of the south east, with strength in the real sectors, especially agriculture.
This is a lesson in NIGERIA BEYOUND OIL.
7.12. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 12: As Germany commences relaxation of lockdown.
Germany has become the first major economy – that is equally a democracy – which began to relax the pandemic-induced lockdown rules.
In NOTE 10, we presented some mortality rates for a few countries and Germany, perhaps, had the lowest rate.
We also identified core factors which may be correlates of the performance of countries. We further hypothesized that the key factors include quality of leadership and governance, degree of discipline of those who govern and are governed, and the common culture and attitude of the people.
On all these factors Germany scores very high, perhaps higher than her peers, and comparable with countries of the Nordic region. Not surprisingly another country considering opening schools is in the Nordic region.
We earlier wrote about Nigeria’s Oga Culture. This is reflected in all the factors listed above. Germany will never make exception in burying any big man who dies from the pandemic. It will also be almost impossible to have a German, whether a big man or not, take off and abandon his PPE after a funeral by the roadside. In the unlikely event that it happens and the person is exposed, I am almost certain he will take his life.
The head of a German Agency who faces the embarrassment of such high profile disregard of the rules would have resigned, and so would have the Minister of Health.
Germans pride themselves as Leistungsgesellschaft- a performance-driven society. That is the national culture and philosophy. What is Nigeria’s? Corruption, Ogaism, and pseudo-religiousity?
Germans’ performance-driven society is encapsulated in personal and national culture of seriousness and the power of personal example. How do you rate Nigerians and Nigeria on these?
If we are the opposite on these, would you expect the outcomes/ends to be similar in the management of COVID-19?
7.13. COVID-19 NOTES OF PROF. C. NWAJIUBA.
NOTE 13: Should schools still be closed?
Today in Nigeria offices are open with senior staff and staff on essential duties in the offices. In many cases Staff on essential duties include cleaners.
Today in Nigeria supermarkets, and indeed all rural markets are open.
Today in Nigeria Banks are open.
Add all other sectors that were excluded from the close down.
We now believe we understand how this virus is transmitted and identified personal responsibility as key. We also understand that enhanced testing capacity is important.
If we massively increase this capacity, and enlighten people on the implications of personality responsibility, why should we not reopen the schools? If children of school age who have been at home and can is hawk wares along the streets and markets, what is the justification closing schools as a means of protection? Continuing closing of schools, perhaps, can only be for elite children in urban areas. Can’t the elite schools provide testing facilities in each school and reopen?
Trading can resume but education should not?
The education of the child should not wait.
APPENDIX 8: RESEARCH
Measuring Household Food Insecurity in South East Nigeria Amidst COVID-19 Lockdown
By Johnny Ogunji, Stanley Iheanacho, Chinwe Ogunji, Michael Olaolu, Vivian Oleforuh-Okoleh,
Nuria Amaechi, Esther David, Onyekachi Ndukauba, Theophilus Ikegwu, Delight
APPENDIX 9: POEMS
- ỤWA EZURULA IKE
Hee etiem! Heee, Heee tiem!! Hehehe….
Ọsọ atala nuo!
Gịnị bụ nke a?
A sị na ọ bụ ụkwara ụgbọelu
Ewu na ọkụkọ alakpuola
Ndị uwe ojii na ndị agha obodo Naijiria, akwụchichaala n’ogbe niile
Moto adịghịzi n’okporo, ebe niile ederela jii
ụwa ezuola ike !
Gịnị bụkwanụ nke a?
Ọ bụ na ịnụbeghi,
N’ala bekee ederela jii,
Ndị ọcha ekpuola ìsì,
Site na mba Asia ruo Europe nakwa America, ụzọ emechichala.
Ogaranya agbakpuola n’ụlọ,nwa mgbenye nọkwa n’ọsọ
Ọdịghịkwa onye na ajụ ibe ya, nkịta gị ,ọ mụrụ ole?
Ụkwara ụgbọelu adịghịkwa onye ọ na-asọ
Ụwa ederela jii.
Uwa na-ezuzi ike
Ihe nke a,ọ bụ mmụọ ka ọ bụ agbara?
Nyem nnu,nyem ose
Diji, ji gi o ruru ole?
Nwanyi ede, abọ gị o jukwara eju?
Ewoooooo!oke osisi adala. Maazị Ugoji anwụọla.
Ozu a ga-agbarịrị nkwụ!
Enyim, ọ bụ na ị nụbeghi na ọ bụ gọọmenti nwe ozu onye ụkwara ụgbọelu gburu?
Ọ bụkwa na ị nụbeghi na mmemme,oriri na nkwarị
abụghizi maka ugbua?
Kedu kwanụ ebe ị hụrụ mmadụ?
Nwoke na ibe ya, ọ na-ekwezikwanụ n’aka nke nwanyị na ibe ya jikwanu ebi oma?
Ụkwara ụgboelu nke a,arụọla ala
Ụwa ezurula ike!
China eriela ji nwata,hie ya mmanụ n’ọnụ
Ha eriela awọ na idide ma si anyị kwọba aka,
kpuchiwe imi na ọnụ.
Nke a ọ bụ ọgwụgwụ ụwa?
Anyị agbaba na nchedo gị,o Chukwu Abịama
Ya bụrụ na nke a abụghị ọgwụgwụ ụwa a, biko, kwenu ka ndụ fọrọ anyị
(c) Onyinye Nwankwo, 2020
The unseen queen
Who came stealthily
with great row
And horrid devastation
You creep in
Finding rest in our bodies
If only our bodies
Will know peace after,
The hue and cry
Would not be so rife
How you have troubled
The world of men
Shutting down everything
Our convivial exchanges
You have cut short
You have snatched from us
Our essential reflexes
For how long
Shall your ravage persist.
We have been sentenced
To a life of hibernation
I hear an outcry in the land,
Wuhan, Rome, and Paris
Mourn their loss,
world leaders are aghast
Like a wild fire
You are spreading
Across the world,
Leaving panic in the air.
Men are masked
As though there’s
A stench in the air;
hands are washed severally.
It’s as though
We have soiled our hands,
Maybe we have, but,
will water cleanse our filth?
What then can cleanse us,
And make us whole?
With our hands lifted up,
We invoke the blood that speaks.
Oh blood of the Lamb,
Slain from the cradle,
Plead our cause.
And rid the world of this plague.
(c) Obinna Ibezim 2020