LASSA FEVER – Help Me Lord! by Sayo Aluko


LASSA FEVER – help me Lord!

Dateline: Bus ride from Allen to CMS, 8:10 am, Wednesday, 26th January, 2016.

I seldom converse inside a public bus, even in directly dire situations that attempt to stimulate a comment, I just keep kwayet. But, today, this guy forced me beyond belief; he was eating snacks and had two bottles of a soft drink with him. He ate the first and proceeded to throw out the pack through the window, I didn’t talk; he did same for the second snack, and then after gulping content from the first bottle, he threw it out too. At that point, I ‘doro-snapped’, and this convo ensued. ….

I didn’t get his name, but, for this post, let’s just call him Tifunloran F’otesola (Qesophageal Simpleton )

ME: Oga! Guy! Are you okay?

Tifunloran F’otesola: (mouthfully replies) Wor do yu mhin?

ME: Why are you discarding used packs through the bus’ window onto the road? Can’t you just keep them until you see a dustbin and rightfully discard them?

Tifunloran F’otesola: Abeg leave me …. at least government pays people to clean them …. (gulps his coloured sugar further ….and then grimaces…saying…) I should hold on to empty bottle till when I get to a dustbin? Bros, you are very funny oh.

ME: I am not funny at all. You are part of the people making Lassa Fever get pervasive.

Tifunloran F’otesola: Par.. what? Hehehe … na wa oh

ME: Okay, I mean, you are the reason why Lassa fever is spreading fast, and you just made it worse by throwing out those empty snack packs and bottles. I can call you a murderer, indirectly.

Tifunloran F’otesola: (his voice raised…) Call me a mudhara now, and you can even report me to Ambode…..I am respecting you oh…mind your own biznez and leave me…. how can you say I’m causing Lassa something. …Lassa fever, how?

…. at this point, we’ve been both “Tupac-ked” in the bus.., all Eyez on us.

ME: Calm down, I will tell you. I didn’t say you are the cause of Lassa fever, you are not a multi-mammate Rat (my mind asked, really?), I just said you make it spread more easily. When you litter the streets this effortlessly, and after only few get mopped up by LAWMA, most of them get to block drainage across the state. And, asides environmental pollution, flooding and road destruction, a blocked drainage also means a perfect niche for spontaneous breeding by natural heavy-breeders, rodents. ..Rats.

Tifunloran F’otesola: So now, hAm (I am) a Rat… *he huffs*

ME: You don’t get me yet. Rats, especially the ones with multiple breasts, are vectors, I mean carriers of the Lassa Fever virus that has killed close to 100 Nigerians in 2 weeks, which includes a 5th fatal casualty in Lagos yesterday. Over 212 infection cases also reported. Because of your littering, almost all the drainage in the Ikeja metropolis aren’t working, blocked, and are domiciled by rodents. …

Tifunloran F’otesola: (… cuts in….before biting off a chunk off his last snack) Let them kill all the rats then now. …it’s possible, instead of disturbing ourselves….

ME: You can’t kill all the rats, in fact, they play their own part in the working of the Ecosystem; but, what you, an effortless litter monger, have succeeded to do and keep doing, is bring these rodents closer to our homes. ….too close for comfort, and through this, you’ve raised the tendencies of making Lassa Fever endemic … (he stares at me, lost, again). …oh!, okay I get…Ecosystem is the way the nature of the world works sha. …and endemic is still like “spread fast” (…thus I explained to his now careening poise)

Tifunloran F’otesola: Ehnnnn… I know I know, thank you Mr. Prof … but, I am sha not a murderer. Almost everybody drop nai-lon (nylon) on the ground, including you sef, and you can’t deny it… and you are here forming righteous … (bites off his last chunk and rolls the empty snack pack into his fist, probably ready for another throw)

ME: I don’t litter, and you don’t have to really believe me…just try to understand what I just told you. Stop littering these streets…and in so doing, you’d stop increasing the tendencies for an endemic situation. Play your part.

Tifunloran F’otesola: Oga, I’ve haad (heard) you. Motigbo..

Now, wait for it. …he threw out that last empty sachet he rolled into his hands, walaitalai, he threw it out again…despite all my atotonu (prolonged chiding)…my mind exclaimed, ” Jesu Kristi! ”

Shocked Me, I said nothing further. Shocked Him too, he recoiled, feigned a shame-smile, and said, “sorry sorry, o ti di baraku” (it is already a genetic conditioning)

I looked at him again, he wore a pretty nice suit, had an Employee tag of a popular Bank hanging from his neck and was on his way to work; there I was too, wearing one teee-shaat (T-shirt) like that and a jean. ..puzzled, I asked myself, So this guy is actually *educated??

I carried my introverted “rebel” bumbum outta the bus with one forgettable despair fading away from mi head….


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