It is my considered opinion, that there are several reasons the Western world is ahead of us in Africa.
But today, I am focusing on one: the ability to prepare and plan for exigencies, including death.
That the death of a gubernatorial candidate, can trigger a constitutional crisis in the twenty-first century should really shame us all.
The way that Africans tend to go about, believing “death is not our portion” shows how narrow-minded we really are. It is not faith, it is foolishness.
How many of you (at least those who can afford it) have taken out a life insurance policy?
Or do you really think you are above death? I work in a hospital. Most of the young people who I have seen die here, did not plan to die.
From that pastor who preached faith to his congregation, only to wind up dead after being involved in a fatal car accident; to that bread-winner who kissed his children goodnight, only to sleep and never wake up.
From the pregnant mother who told her child to expect a sibling soon, only to die in labour; to that father who was gunned down by armed robbers, barely 24hours after making his ten-year life plan.
You cannot control certain things in life; certain things are what they are.
However, you can mitigate the unwanted effects, when certain events occur … at least while you have the opportunity.
For the “it is not our portion brigade”, let me tell you two true-life stories.
1) I had a colleague, who was in school with a a fair number of my Facebook friends. We worked together in Scotland. One day, an insurance agent offered her a package on life insurance. She could afford the premium: it was the equivalent of price of a MacDonald’s meal for two. In the event of death, her next of kin would get over £200,000. She was the sole bread-winner. She went away and thought about it. Her husband discouraged her, so she eventually declined the insurance agent’s offer. Three weeks later, she went in for scheduled surgery. 48 hours later, she was dead. Her husband and daughter, after going through the trauma of bereavement, had to endure a second hell of financial adjustment. The widower nearly his sanity in the process (he was not working before his wife died). I am fairly certain that some people reading this know who the parties are, but please, lets keep it anonymous.
2) I went on a trip to Ibadan in the late 90s, via public transport. We came across an accident scene, in which there were the dead and some survivors. Those who had stopped to help,were having a difficult task identifying a particular deceased lady. One of the survivors suggested that since all passengers had filled a manifest before travelling, her name could be there. But another survivor, who had been sitting beside the deceased lady, was adamant that the name would not be there. This was because he remembered her insisting that there was no need for her to fill the manifest, because she “was not destined to die by accident”. Yet, there she lay there: dead, as a result of an accident. I shook my head, as I left the scene.
Good things happen to bad people, many of us can take that. Unfortunately, bad things can also happen to good people. I have seen pastors pray against cancer, which eventually killed them. I have seen people make 5-year plans, only to exit this world the following day. These things cannot be helped.
What can be helped, is planning for the unexpected.
It is not lack of faith, it is wisdom.
Dr. Obinna Aligwekwe is a Medical Practitioner, based in the United Kingdom and you can find him on Facebook