Adieu our great Doctor, a great woman, a true human, a true Nigerian. When the headline filtered in yesterday, my heart sank; grief enveloped me. I do not know her, never met her even remotely. But I did not need to; her deed and heroics speaks loud and this was all I needed to truly admire her and the noble profession she represents. In her death, the words in the Holy Book “There is no greater love than that a man should lay down his life for his friends” comes alive and sink really home in me. She did not have to die; she should not have. It was all too easy to have simply buckled under pressure and allowed the Liberian-American to go away, carrying death to the greater populace in the land; hundreds or may be thousands in the long run. But she would not, she stood her ground and saved many of us and stopped many more tears from flowing through the land.
In many other different settings and sectors in the land, it would have been a different story; we would have been battling a real national disaster. Patrick Sawyer, with some little offers of porridge; would have easily waltzed his way across the border, through checkpoints; through relevant clearing points. He would have easily subverted necessary paperwork, by-passed laid down protocol; blatantly short-changed the system; just name, it and gotten away. But not so with this great woman and daughter of the land – a land that in many instances have failed her own; unable to give away even a finger for her own. Her laws and precepts are mighty when her lowly ones are involved; but powerless and lame where her high and mighty is involved.
Adieu great Doctor, you died the death of many. Only a momentary loss of the Physician’s instincts; a lowering of your conviction and the ethics of your profession, and we all would have been in a national pandemonium today. You thought of us all – your children, family and the good people of Nigeria. You thought of our present struggles as a nation, where we are still unable to resolve a lot of the fundamental things that make us good humans and country people. You knew that a disaster, such as the Ebola Virus Diseases is capable of unleashing, would be too much for us to handle. You fought to shield us, unfazed by the harassments from top quarters to let “that VIP” go; that harbinger of death; that weapon of mass destruction who was well aware of the lethal armoury he was carrying.
I do not know how much we did for you during your suffering and labour of death. I do not know how disappointed you were with all of us; from the leadership to each and every one of us. We read that you were given the best care possible; that our leaders were not sparing anything to support you in coming around and back to us. We believed, prayed and hoped. How true this was, we shall find out, may be on judgement day. But I am sure you forgave us as you expired. I have no doubt that a woman of your stature and heroics would have no difficulty in forgiving us all.
It is really painful that you had to go home this early. When the news broke of your other great colleagues, who made it back from ‘death’, we rejoiced, prayed and hoped the more. We trusted that you will come through; but alas it was not to be.
In this period of our national life, meeting any member of my generation who exudes virtue, consistent with what is required for nation building, lights me up with great hope for mother land. There is great paucity of such men and women in my time; and may be for much longer. I hope not so anyway. It does not take much to be true Nigerian, a nation builder. It only requires that each one of us discharges his or her small responsibilities diligently and in strict accordance with the laws and precepts of the land on the one hand; and the ethics of our specialisations on the other. It is not in rhetoric, it is in walking the talk. It is in putting our nation, her people today and the generations of tomorrow in consideration at all times.
Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh and her heroics lighted me up. She was that typical member of my generation. But she exited almost immediately, painfully. Adieu great daughter of beloved motherland.