“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya: “He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.”
Image 1, is a perfect depiction of the above words of the Late Prof. Chinua Achebe and by extension, forms the basis of the subject of this writing.
In the second Image is of course, myself and the man (Prof. Maduike Ezeibe) at the centre of the subject of this writing when I paid him a visit for an exclusive interview on Tuesday. So, whatever you shall be reading here is a firsthand information.
Two months ago, precisely on the 1st of February, 2017, the Michael Okpara University Of Agriculture, Umudike was in the news.
Prof. Francis Otunta, the Vice Chancellor of the university was with what ordinarily could be described as a cheering news as he announced to the press the discovery of a new drug for the treatment and cure of HIV/AIDS.
Yes, it should ordinarily be a thing of pride for the country and her citizens if it gets into the records that Nigeria has provided the solution to the virus that has been ravaging the world by sending millions to early grave.
Prof. Otunta had told the newsmen at the university campus that the finding followed years of scientific research by the institution through the effort of one Prof. Maduike Ezeibe, a researcher in the university.
According to him, Ezeibe had presented the drug to the University management, Senate and Council, where he explained the processes he went through to arrive at his finding.
The VC also said that Ezeibe had equally presented the drug to his colleagues in the medical field and nobody had contradicted his finding.
However, like the proverbial prophet without honour in his own country, this rare contribution by the university don is seemingly facing a subtle bottleneck on the side of the Federal Government as it has so far shown itself to be developing cold feet about the matter.
The first exhibition of such discouraging tendency came from the nation’s minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole who, in few days of receiving the news, subtly dismissed it through a text message in which he simply said he was not aware of the claims.
The simple fact is that if it were to be in other climes, there wouldn’t have been any hesitation in inviting the man to further explain his findings or rather send a team of experts to the university for further details.
The minister’s claim that “The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, in conjunction with the College of Medicine University of Ibadan, has been mandated to verify the claims of cure for HIV in Nigeria and shall make the findings public when ready” sounds like a hoax. It’s more like the usual committees set by the Nigerian Government on issues whose results never see the light of the day.
The truth is that the NIMR in conjunction with whoever, is never going to come out with anything on this. The reason is not far fetched; the moment Nigeria declares or accepts that she has found a cure for the disease, that would be the end to the billions of dollar foreign grants she receives for the fight against HIV/AIDS.
This is probably the reason why the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja refused to grant Prof. Ezeibe audience when he paid them a SCHEDULED visit on the 9th of February.
Ironically, Prof. Ezeibe has been a hot cake for the international community since the presentation of the research findings to the World Virology Conference in Atlanta in 2015, and Antonio (Texas) in 2016.
Besides, the results of the laboratory tests had been published in many international scientific journals, including the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, among several others.
He said is about to sign a memorandum of understanding with a U.S.-based Scientific Research Publishing, publishers of World Journal of AIDS, for the publication of his book “How I came about the cure for HIV/AIDS”.
In the next couple of weeks, he will be in Canada to deliver a lecture on his findings but ordinary disease control centres in his own country would never grant him audience.
Prof. Ezeibe, is a professor of Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Virology. He said that the drug was produced with Aluminum Silicate and Magnesium Silicate (Synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate).
According to him the two minerals “are already in use as medicines for the treatment of various animal and human diseases”.
He said that 10 persons living with the disease, “who volunteered’’, were made to apply through their doctor to the VC.
“They were treated daily with the Medicinal Synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate (50 mg/kg),
Ezeibe said that the volunteers were subjected to monthly tests for viral loads and CD4-lymphocyte counts.
In his words, “With the antiviral effects of the medicine, its ability to reach all cells (as nanoparticles) and the lymphocytes, there is no more hiding place (sanctuary) for HIV,”.
For your information, the medicine was patented in August 2014 in Nigeria, he is only calling on the Federal Government to help him to secure international patency for the drug.
Meanwhile, Prof. Ezeibe is not only an Igbo man, he is an Ngwa man from Umuomayinta Nbawsi in Isiala Ngwa North L.G.A of Abia State and I am very proud of him.
© Emmanuel Maduka