By Bala Ibrahim
Ordinarily, the issue of the first identified case of the COVID-19 in Kano out to be treated as a one-off incidence, that should not go beyond the gossips and whispers of the day. But the issue seems not ready to go by such protocol. Conversations on the matter are repeatedly recurring, in a manner that is taking the direction of a campaign of calumny.
Since the release of the bad news, which came as Breaking news, many people have run short of breath in Kano, principally because of the personality of the patient, and the public presumption of what happened.
Some are talking in anger, some in anguish, while others are simply expressing empathy over the clanger.
Clips of voices and tweets are viral in the social media, ranging from the audio narratives of family members of the index person, the text message of the patient, to the disclosure of the Doctor that received him at a private clinic in the Nasarawa GRA of Kano.
From the various releases, one can clearly deduce a lot of conflicts, that may justify the anger of some people, particularly those who are alleging deliberate attempt, or desire to harm the general public. The repercussion of the action on the hospital would also come with a negative effect.
Listening to the doctor’s description of what transpired between him and the patient, also draws additional sympathy to the doctor, especially if we imagine the consequences, or the ripple effect of the clanger, not only on the doctor’s family but all the people and patients that may have met him in the cause of duty.
The transitory state of the story has added another voice today, the voice of a lady, who claimed to be the daughter of the index person.
The lady’s voice is deeply remorseful, expressly and extensively regretful, to the point of admitting the guilt, if any, for the offense or wrongdoing committed by their father.
In an emotion-laden voice, the lady earnestly appealed to the public, to forgive their father, whom she described as an honest and truthful person, that is free from any form of deceit. She begged the people to pardon the offense or mistake of her father.
Knowing her father very well, especially his sincerity of purpose, that can be attested by all, the lady wondered what could have beleaguered him, to the point of committing such a blunder, that is attracting serious chastisement and castigation from the public.
She pleaded with the public to forgive him, in order not to earn the wrath of Allah. She said the family is in unprecedented distress.
Certainly forgiving others is not easy, particularly when we feel the offense was committed deliberately, with the intent to unfairly hurt. As such, sometimes forgiveness feels like violating the principles of pride.
Individually or collectively, we all have ego or a sense of self-esteem. It is this believe of self-importance that is pushing us away from the act of forgiveness.
But then we should be humane. They say to err is human, but to forgive is divine. There is an African proverb that says, If you offend, ask for pardon; if offended, please forgive.
One of the beauties of Kano is the unity of the people in Islam, and the Islamic teachings about forgiveness abound in the Qur’an. They strongly encourage Muslims to forgive wrongdoings.
The Quran says, “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
I don’t know the lady that is making the appeal. I don’t know the patient in person, though I know him by name, because of the positions he held in the past.
But I wish to join in the plea for pardon, and I hope we shall collectively find spaces in our hearts, to stop feeling angry or resentful towards his actions. He is now a patient, with whom we should be patient, and accord empathy and compassion.
May Allah hasten his healing and soften our feelings about his flaws, or mistakes. Ameen.
Bala Ibrahim, a Media Advisor writes from Kano.