​​Zero Degrees

There is a fire in my heart

The flame glows at every thought of you

Bright sparks accompanying each sight of you

There is a fire in my heart 

Burning deep of love for you
But day after day

All you do is rain cold ice

In little drops after little drops

With words of distrust and dubiety

Every flicker dampened by your deeds and misdeeds

Now it’s all chilly and icy 
There was a fire in my heart

But now it’s all ice and cold

The feelings dead and frozen

This will never be business as usual

The flame is quenched 

And the glow is gone forever 

It’s all down to zero degrees 
But as I watch the ice drop in torrents

On this cold Monday morning 

I see it is yet business as usual

As men go about their daily bread

Despising the cold and weather 

So be it zero degrees or not

A man got to do what a man got to do

I move on – to set a new fire

​Pastors, doctors and the god complex…

So much has been said about doctors and pastors in the Nigerian cyberspace, but one common denominator I have observed is that they are both equally privately loved as much as they are publicly harangued. You need only to stay on Twitter or Facebook for a few minutes before you see people berate organised religion, malign one pastor for his wealth or abuse another for not being socially correct, denigrate one church for her archaic views and practises… and the list goes on; but never ends without a quick mention of how incompetent Nigerian doctors are, how they are selfish and only go on strike because of salaries, etc. This is now a recurring phenomenon that we have come to live with, and is in no way the object of my interest today. 

Having lived as a Christian for at least two decades, and practised medicine for about three years, including one year in a rural Southwestern Nigerian community, I have made certain observations as well as had a few encounters that ofttimes leave me curious, and it’s as a result of this curiosity that I ask this simple question: who is the bigger god, the pastor or the doctor? In fact, is the doctor really a god as I’ve once asserted? Stay with me.

Funny scenario: I once knew this young man, about 20 years of age, I think, who having had some challenges furthering his formal education, heeded the Lord’s call and went into full time ministry – now the validity of that call is beyond the scope of this article. LOL. I’d rather leave such discourse for the skeptics and agnostics amongst my readers. I must confess I was more than befuddled, and at the same time equally amused when I saw how he was revered by the elderly, especially women, in the church. He was no longer that boy seeking admission a few months ago, he was now “our pastor”. To tell you the truth, the English language will fail me to appropriately describe how this was communicated to me by one of the women in the ever genuflecting manner characteristic of Yoruba women. My young friend is now a pastor, a shepherd with his own flock. He is now a man of God; officially, a god to many men. Did I hear someone say I was jealous? Nope… far from it. 

On the flipside, one of my friends graduated as a medical doctor, with a licence to practice medicine at the prime age of 21 – one of the few lucky, howbeit brilliant ones, I must note. Unfortunately, it was not unusual for patients to refuse to see him at the hospital, but rather ask to see the “real doctor”… he’s considered too young to be a doctor – too bad!  Whilst I’ve not been as unfortunate as he was, I cannot deny that I’ve had times, in spite of my gradually greying hair, that some people have stupidly asked to see “the doctor” after I had attended to them. I mean,  who did they think I was? The receptionist?!? Oh now you want to conclude that I’m definitely jealous of my young Pastor friend eh? Nope… Still far from it. I’ve come a long way in this practice… LOL… Please don’t quote that anywhere – I’ve not even started yet. 

Nonetheless, I cannot deny that I’ve had my fair share of adulation and veneration from people old enough to be my grandmother, simply because I happen to be the doctor on duty – and many a doctor would attest to this. Personally, it’s one of the very shuddering feelings I encounter, and to tell you the truth, I find it really scary sometimes. It did make me wish I was back to those Lagos patients that don’t give a hoot about your being their doctor or whatsoever. LOL. 

Whilst, the pastor usually gets the gifts after the doctor’s intervention to save the patient’s life, one cannot but mention the few occasions when patients have superfluously treated their doctors well. But having described the foregoing, the question remains: who is the bigger god, the doctor or the pastor? 

In this curiosity, I once asked my mum what her thoughts were on this particular matter and she was generous to elucidate why the pastor, however young, is at least a little bit more revered – “the mantle on his life”, she called it. 

But then, I am left bewildered when I recall my personal experience with a 60year old pastor who was always genuflecting in my consulting room for the few months I was practicing in the village, and who whenever I walk past his house (which happens to be the church), never for once failed to leave whoever he was with or whatever he was doing, just to greet his doctor. I mean! A pastor, the shepherd of the flock, does all that, for this ordinary young doctor!

Now you tell me who’s the bigger god… 

WHY I BLAME BUHARI…

​On the 30th of June 2016, emergency doctor, Elena Duta was charged with manslaughter of former Cameroon midfielder Patrick Ekeng, who had collapsed during a league match in May. Though an autopsy showed the player was suffering from multiple serious heart problems, the Bucharest prosecutor said: “Even if among Patrick Ekeng’s causes of death were the cardiac problems he suffered from, by her unjustified inaction Elena Duta removed any chance of survival. Worthy of note is the keyword INACTION… and now, this is why I blame Mr Buhari – inaction. 

In emergency medicine, you understand that there is a narrow window of opportunity for you to attempt a successful resuscitation. In corollary, Nigeria’s president Buhari inherited an economy in a critical state and did absolutely nothing for six months… While president Buhari and his supporters may continue to peddle the rhetoric of blaming the past administration and even as far back as the past 16 years, forgetting the rather obvious fact that Nigeria indeed existed way beyond 16 years ago and Buhari himself played his part in that inglorious past, Buhari’s inaction and a lack of economic direction alone is responsible for the plummeting of this once largest economy in Africa. To borrow the words of the prosecutor in Dr Duta’s case, Mr Buhari removed any chance of the economy surviving by his unjustified inaction.

If Doctor Duta, like every other doctor would be, is being held responsible for one single life that was transiently in her care, Mr Buhari shouldn’t be held any less accountable for the lives of 170 million Nigerians committed to his care. Is it not said that to whom much is given, much more is expected?

Back to the hospital: imagine a specialist doctor, a consultant, reviews a patient in the care of another consultant and having concluded that he is in the best position to manage this patient he requests that the said patient be transferred to his care. However, instead of calling on his subordinates and charting a management plan for this new patient, he proceeds to appoint a photographer, then another photographer, and thereafter a host of social media PR experts and volunteers to help pontificate his noble qualities and tirelessly berate the consultant previously in charge of this new patient. Needless to say, the patient benefits nothing from the vainglory of our dear consultant but rather deteriorates more as a result of the inattention. 

Putting it lightly, as is obvious to all, this is exactly the story of Mr Buhari. Having spent twelve years begging for this job, and a further two months between election and inauguration into office, it is a shame that Mr Buhari did not hit the ground running. The signs were there. In fact,  you  and your party made it a pre-election rhetoric how we were supposedly headed for the doldrums under the past administration, and why we so much needed this change. So really, it beats me how you can afford to spend this time ball watching, name-calling and finger-pointing.

Mr Buhari, you have no excuse whatsoever; the buck stops at your table, sir!

ORIGINS AND MEMORIES: a personal tribute to the Royals XV who made The Orators Club

A week ago, on Tuesday March 15 2016, The Orators Club College of Medicine University of Lagos hosted her graduating members to a farewell meeting tagged MEMORIES – in which several people relived their memories of the origins of, and their times at The Orators Club.

Needless to say, this jolted my memory a little bit and I will therefore attempt a recount of a little bit of history here (just in case I’m the next to be injected with substance M, and lose all these memories… God forbid… lol); although the primary aim of this write up is to particularly acknowledge members of the Royals XV class without whom I doubt The Orators Club would have been nothing more than a lofty wishful thinking in the mind of a certain random fellow…
Sometime around mid 2011 I made the mental switch from writing to speaking (a switch I think technically killed my writing… perhaps) and began to sought to develop speakers/debaters to fill in what I considered was a dearth at the time – I had seen the College participate in a few debates in those years and to say the least, was little impressed with the representatives, and particularly the process of selecting those representatives… I consulted widely with a lot of folks, many of whom had shared similar sentiments but for one reason or the other never made the move but gladly spurred me on to go on and make things happen. In the course of my consultations, I came across Toastmasters International, and particularly Eagles Toastmasters Club to which I have been a perennial visitor for the past four years or so… (One day, I’ll pick up that membership form… So help me God! Amen). My exposure to Toastmasters  inadvertently led to my preference for public speaking generally over debating and that in a long way reflected in the future outlay of The Orators Club… Thankfully AMSUL came up with a debate club at about same time, and COMPSSA under our watch also reviewed the process of selecting representatives for debate contests and continued what was at that time a recent tradition of interdepartmental debates. By and large, I think the debate problem was to a large extent solved… No thanks to me!
Now to the real origins…
First the seniors…
Till tomorrow I keep asking myself where I first met Ebuwa… If anyone knows, please do tell me… But when I had the idea to start up a debating/public speaking club, she was one of the first persons I ran the idea by… and one of the few persons who bought the idea. In fact, the only member of her class to be a member of Orators Club. She went on to become my personal evaluator. Then there is Badru, a fellow COMPSSA executive at the time who apparently had similar ideas and was doing some background work already, unbeknownst to me. I remember it was Yussuf Shittu who first told me about that and his unwillingness to be a part of two different bodies running the same course… Well, getting Badru to cofound Orators Club was the easiest of tasks…
And now the Royals…
In giving honour to whom it is due, one man is responsible for the major ground work of putting together The Orators Club and to a large extent sustained its functioning for the best part of the last three years or so, and that man is none other than Zubair Abdullahi, the past Orator (president) of the club. Amongst many other responsibilities, Zubair was responsible for sourcing a significant fraction of the foundation membership of The Orators Club, and arguably the highest recruiter of members, to the best of my knowledge… Also he was single handedly responsible for the constitution of the club… like I said, amongst many other contributions that need not be relayed here… But I didn’t know Zubair from Adam… So I would not fail to acknowledge Akudo who having shared my ideas with concluded Zubair was the answer to my questions… You’ll agree with me Akudo was right! Akudo, The Orators Club says thank you for that recommendation… and we won’t forget you graced our meeting once, I think… I’ll leave out why you refused to be a member… that will remain our little secret…
A quick mention of Banji, who on his own accord after many of our planned publicity never saw the light of day, went on a personal publicity to Old Great Hall to tell part 1 students of the time about The Orators Club… this no doubt yielded its results as I myself became aware of that feat about a year later from someone who was in audience one of those days… Thank you Banji! We will pardon your forsaking us after becoming AMSUL president, but at the same time will not but appreciate your gracefully granting us usage of the AMSUL secretariat up till date… I just hope it’s now free!
To those who started with us, those who joined us along the way, those who got very busy and forsook us, those who became chickens and those who stood by us all the way… Zubair, Rahman, Yussuf, Ope, Okpe, Banji, Olumide, Chike, Tunde, Doris, Pero, Taofeeq, Mariam, Mayowa… For every time spent at The Orators Club, for every speech given and/or assessed, for every contribution either in the open or in your closets, The Orators Club says a very big thank you… and I personally appreciate every single one of you for making The Orators Club the success it is today…

MY PERSONAL OPINION ON THE CURRENT STAND OFF BETWEEN NMA AND FG (&JOHESU).

I don’t expect y’all to agree, but I don’t think this could have been better said… This system indeed needs sanity!

Boloxine's mind graph.

Maintain your self esteem

Maintain your self esteem

Few facts to note!
-JOHESU is an amorphous body.
-Doctors are human beings who have family members that are also human beings.
-Yes, doctors swore the Hippocratic Oath and will aspire to defend it fully.
-Doctors work round the clock while other health professionals work shift and so has more time to spend with family and other things.
-There’s a health team in the hospital and the doctor is the head…and the doctor will always be the head with emphasis on the word, ‘always’
– Any attempt made by a doctor to press home his point can easily be mistaken for pride

I decided to play an observatory role as regards the ongoing stand off between the medical doctors and the FG(&JOHESU) hoping for a speedy resolution but as the situation has tarried, it wouldn’t be out of place to lend my voice to the fewer…

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TO-DO LIST by BADRU OLUWASEUN

I’m not one for this detailed planning buh I,m sure it works for those who need such discipline to achieve their goals… so here is me sharing this for your reading pleasure… Thumbs up Badru

BADRU OLUWASEUN's Blog

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To-do list! Mayhap this is your first encounter with it. Maybe you’ve heard the word or even know exactly what it means. The question is: “do you make use of it?” Unfortunately, most people do not know how to use it, even those who know what it is. The interesting thing is that, it is not difficult but often neglected. Permit me to enlighten you on this subject.
To-do list is a list or bullet points of what you want to accomplish. You can call it your goals or plans. The importance of this list cannot be overestimated. Let’s take it step by step….. 
    
POOL
Let us begin with a monthly plan. Write all the required items you want to achieve for the month. This will serve as your “to-do pool or bank”. Do not be overwhelmed or intimidated by the length of the list. Remember, these are things…

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THOUGHTS OF YOU

Blah blah blah

This is not a poem!

 

Thoughts of you…

 

Tick tock

As seconds are wrapped up into minutes,

And days consume each hour,

Time as it were flies…

And yes, I find myself short of words

Oh! Thoughts of you…

 

If life was a chance,

Then certain chances must of necessity be treasured.

Such is one I shall attempt to elucidate

Alas! How words fail me,

But try, I shall…

 

What’s stranger than ‘famzing’ a stranger?

I remember the chat on a bus that started it all…

And how I missed a class… talking to a stranger – a familiar one howbeit.

Then the whatsapp trick that obviously failed,

Even though you pretended the trick was working.

Scammer!!!

And NO, I cannot forget ‘Edo-Juju’

I mean, how can I explain losing my chat history mysteriously?

Hmmmmmm…  Anyways,

Even if the chat was lost,

And though we both understand this gap ……………

Nonetheless, those words you shared will forever be treasured!

 

In two short days, you made that transition…

And for twenty seven days, I came to know you… in your different shades

The discussions, the belief and encouragement…  Hmm

The little argument (that continued for a while though), and

The ‘whynings’ that will never end (can’t but wonder where you learnt that from tho)

And then, those last two days…  Another part was discovered!

Oops! I guess I have to skip that too.

 

Oh my!!!

How I wish I can get the appropriate words

To articulate the stream as it flows through my mind.

Oh! Thoughts of you…

 

Even if life is said to be by chance,

Then meeting you is one chance I would never have missed…

And yes, I almost missed that chance,

But life as it were wouldn’t let that be!

 

Whew!!!

Exactly, 34 weeks down the line (even though it’s not up to term), lolz

I’m proud to call you a friend…

 

Ding dong

A score and two years you’ve come through,

And I felicitate with you as you celebrate today.

 

My thoughts for you

 

As you stand TALL and beautiful among equals,

And so easily recognized in any conglomeration of humans,

So you shall stand relevant to your generation,

Excel in all that you do each and every day of your life

And one to reckon with you’ll always be.

Shine the light, dear…

 

*whispers*

Out of sight (or chat, or whatever… regardless of the miles apart), is never out of mind!

Again I repeat, never out of mind!!!

 

 

*screams*

Happy birthday,

Abigail Osemheonyemhen Ukpebor

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