By DOMINIC KIDZU
Jimmy Atibile took ill more than one year ago and lies prostrate in the hospital up till today, still ill, still waiting for a miracle, while his wife and children remain hopeful still, even in their helplessness.
He woke up one morning to find a cancerous growth sitting between his nose and eyes which the doctors called nasopharyngeal cancer. A nice fellow set up a WatsaAp group for the kind assistance of his friends, family and colleagues, but money only trickled into the purse in nickels, pennies, bits and droplets.
Jimmy, like his late elder brother, Prince Atibile, has been a politician for most of his adult life, therefore most of his friends are also politicians. He is the Chairman, Hawkers Rights Commission. His family and friends are good people, kind and caring too. Grown men, hunch – backed with their own burdens of life who look at Jimmy as he lies helpless in the Teaching Hospital and shed tears for their stricken friend.
Jimmy’s friends cannot help him because they have no money to spare. The only thing they have enough to spare these days is their tears and that has been flowing freely down their wrinkled jaws like the dews of heaven. They remind me of the saying that men only cry when they have no money to solve the problem.
And they are all politicians who nolonger have money to help anybody. All they have left today are the honorific titles: “Distinguished”, “Honourable”, “Right Honourable”, “the Chair the Chair”, etc. Their cars are tattered, their houses decrepit and their courage and self belief have long been eroded by the years of steady reduction.
They nolonger go home to their villages, only the brave can afford the luxury. The politicians have kissed the dust and fallen from their emblematic grace, pomp and pageantry. Only a few of them have been spared the epidemic of lack and suffering. These are the nouveau riche who have ascended their new heights without having to be particularly excellent in any field of human endeavour. The rest are left to clap and chorus and hope against hope.
And so Jimmy Atibile remains imprisoned in his hospital bed, held captive by an ailment the doctors say can be treated if Jimmy’s family and friends could raise three million Naira (N3,000,000). But alas, Jimmy’s family and friends can only hope that tears were a commodity they could sell to save the life of their daddy and bossom friend.
Is there someone out there listening to this cry? Is there someone out there willing to help pay for his cure and bring him home to his family and friends?
Atibile Joyce Anyi