The arrival of the much-expected medical equipment electrified Iwo with the Oluwo, Oba AbdulRasheem beaming with smile of fulfillment at the delivery. TUNDE BUSARI who was at the scene reports.
Since the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi declared his intention to improve health care facilities of the hospitals in his domain and its environs, expectation by the surprising public headed northward.
Aside the fact that Oba Akanbi has, since his coronation in January, embarked on some laudable humanitarian gestures including feeding the hungry and clothing the needy, taking delivery of the N1.5 billion medical equipment had occupied his mind so much that he hardly spoke to the media without a mention of the container coming from Canada, his former base.
Both the expectation and anticipation, however, came to an end on Thursday July 22, 2016 when an articulated vehicle arrived Iwo and offloaded an orange container in front of the palace of the Oluwo. The news hit the monarch in the right chord as he rushed out of the palace to take a look and inspect the consignment.
A few among the equipment include electrical beds, Urine kits, digital ultra sound machines, wheel chairs, ECG,EKG, X-ray machine and resuscitating machines.
Remarkably, what was planned to be a casual inspection suddenly turned to a show when passers-by paused to catch a glimpse of the brand new equipment and showered endless encomiums on Oba Akanbi whom they described as their transformational king.
Abdul Akeem Salawudeen, a commercial motorcycle operator, parked his ‘okada’ to join the crowd watching Oba Akanbi beside the container. He said he received the news at his park and promptly rode down to the palace to see for himself. The 34-year-old explained that he never believed a traditional ruler could embark upon project government is expected to fund.
“We are happy with the way Kabiyesi is wining himself into people’s heart. It shows that despite the fact that baba was not living here, he understood the problem we had in the town. I am happy to be here when Kabiyesi is even inspecting the container,” the exhilarated Salawudeen said in Yoruba language.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the senior officers at the state General Hospital are still celebrating the news seen as a social service which well-to-do personalities of the society, according to them, should always do to support government effort.
An officer, who did not want her name in print apparently in compliance with civil service regime, disclosed that the equipment could not have come at a better time, even though she expressed sympathy with Osun State Government, which, she said, was facing economic challenge like other states of the federation.
“The equipment Kabiyesi has brought will help our job and also help the public. I am not from this town but I am happy that this kind of support is being given by a royal father,” she said.
Iwo, being a prominent Muslim community in the South-West Nigeria, does not compromise Islamic rule which forbids keeping a corpse after death. This practice, according to Oba Akanbi, has sent some who could have been revived back to life with resuscitating machine, to their early grave.
While the Oluwo is in order with Islamic injunction regarding burial of Muslim corpse, he shed light on the need to exercise caution now with the use of facility to confirm the true state of the person.
He explained that some ailing ones may fall into coma for days and still regain their breath later. This is an era of high technology in which the practice of last year is outdated this year. Technology keeps moving at a faster rate. This is one of the reasons behind bringing these equipment.
“I am very sure that many lives will be saved with the resuscitating machine available now. I am excited to have facilities used in the US and other developed countries in my domain. We don’t need to run to those countries any more to seek solution to our health problem,” Oba Akanbi said assuredly and with a smile.
Alhaji Lukman Badru, an Iwo indigene, resident in Kuwait, could not but commend the Oluwo for challenging sons and daughters of the town, especially those who have succeeded in their respective chosen professions, to look back and contribute their own quota to the development of the town.
Badru argued that leadership of group, community, state or country is all about service, stressing that service to the people has an enduring value than service to oneself alone.
“Kabiyesi has finally nailed it. He has finally thrown the challenge at us that we don’t have any excuse not to support his development drive. No one would want his town to be left behind. And no one should wait for government before his town is improved. I am happy that Kabiyesi never hid his love for our town with the way he is doing including this medical equipment. Long shall he reign,” Badru said.
While working on the logistics on the distribution of the equipment to hospitals in Iwo and its environ, Oba Akanbi is also thinking on how to consolidate this with more value-adding projects to his subjects.
He said he was doing it to sustain the hope of his subjects and assure them that despite the state of the economy, they still have a bright future, stressing that the rough economic weather is not restricted to Osun State or Nigeria but it is a global issue.
“When I distributed 50 laptops each to Bowen University here and Osun State University, Osogbo, I said medical equipment were on the way. Saying this does not mean I always want to be heard. I only want to boost the morale of my people not to lose hope because I am very sure we are going to survive it,” he said.
Worried by the alleged lackadaisical attitude of health personnel at public hospitals, some indigenes of Iwo were appealing to the monarch to strictly monitor the distribution of the equipment and also ensure they are put to proper use.
A palace drummer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, advised Oba Akanbi to warn doctors and nurses in government hospitals not to keep the equipment away from the patients. The young outspoken drummer said.
“We know what they do. They can do anything in their hospital. Kabiyesi should warn them and also visit the hospitals to know whether they use them for us or not.”