As an adult, there are several things that I’m trying to unlearn. This is not because I find it difficult to break old habits, but more because I have been made right from childhood to believe that it was the right thing to do, when in actual fact, it is doing more harm than good.
Top on the list is the removal of wax from the ears! If you live in Nigeria, you will realise that this terrible habit of removing wax from the ears starts from when a baby is birthed. By default, a pack of cotton-bud is most often included in the list of items purchased before or when a baby is born. It is like a starter-pack.
You can then imagine how I felt when I learnt that the wax in the ear which I considered as ‘dirt’ for many years is meant to protect the ears! In fact, I learnt the wax acts as a helpful coating for the ear canal, so removing it is not necessary.
For someone like me who started removing wax from my ears with cotton buds, and later graduated to the to using ‘biro cover,’ and match sticks, you can imagine my shock! If not for some persons who have decided to hold me accountable, I would have since gotten a PhD in the act of using a 4×4 wood, pestle and even machete to remove wax from my ears.
While I seem to be gradually winning the war against this terrible habit which is more of a reflex action, same cannot be said of Nigerians, many of whom who are battling to overcome the distrust that they have for the government. You cannot blame them.
For as long as I can remember, the government have been known to say one thing and then do another. For example, how do you trust someone who gets into office after making glowing promises during electioneering campaigns only to make life unbearable for those that they govern?
How do you trust a set of people who constantly tells you that their policies are well-intentioned, when in fact, the policies are crippling businesses and making it more difficult for the common man to fend for themselves?
A few days back, I came across a news headline where some State Governors said they would make the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for civil servants and those resident in their States. How they intend to go about it is what I am struggling to understand.
Though this looks well-intentioned as all hands must be on deck to defeat Covid-19, some persons have vowed to fight this compulsory vaccination by these states.
Like the 1986 action movie, ‘No Retreat No Surrender’ which featured Jean-Claude Van Damme, these persons have vowed to fight these governors to the end. Would you blame them?
How would you convince the common man on the street that the government is well-intentioned with the vaccination, when they can still clearly remember how palliatives that should have been shared during the lockdown were hoarded, and eventually discovered hidden away in some warehouses during the end-sars protest?
I am thinking, why not incentivise the vaccination rather than making it compulsory? What if the government decides to reward anyone who gets vaccinated with cash gifts or food items?
I read of how a village in Indonesia gave out live chicken to encourage villagers to get vaccinated, I also read of how Moscow planned to give out cars in a raffle, all in the bid to encourage people to get vaccinated. You see, Nigerians want to trust the government, but their past records make it difficult to do so.
Meanwhile, as I am writing this article like this, I have suddenly developed the urge to use my biro cover to clean my wears. Would I?
Written by John Olugbemi.®