THE 21st CENTURY ELIXIR: THE MERCHANTS OF DOOM

“The alchemists of past centuries tried hard to make the elixir of life…these efforts were in vain; it is not in our power to obtain the experiences and the views of the future by prolonging our lives forward in this direction. However, it is well possible in a certain sense to prolong our lives backwards by acquiring the experiences of those who existed before us and by learning to know their views as well as if we were their contemporaries. The means for doing this is also an elixir of life” – Hermann Franz Moritz Kopp

 

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, I left for the car park. I was also saying my prayers of forgiveness for what I did in church that morning. While the choir was busy singing songs of praises to the Almighty, I was busy spying on a black chick with a big butt. I tried to bind the devil but I couldn’t. I never knew the devil sef dey enter inside church on Sunday. After all, the good book says if you stare at a woman lustfully, it is the same thing as the main thing. Alright then, pamurogo!

So there I was on top of a bike saying my prayers to God for forgiveness, while also praying not to fall off the bike and die. This okada man dey speed o; I for carry car go the park o. Anyway, I was the one that told him to drive fast because I had to reach the car park on time and follow the first bus to Kano.

Upon arrival, I hopped off the bike and paid the guy. I also gave him an extra 100 bucks for bringing me to the car park safely and right on time. He thanked me and I left to purchase my ticket. At the counter, I handed over the cash to the attendant and promptly got a ticket. With the ticket and my bag in hand, I headed to the bus. It wasn’t filled up yet and luckily, no one was in the front seat too. I quickly sat on the seat and wrote my name on the manifest.

There was a burly guy beside the bus selling some products he had in his hands. He was busy telling the occupants of the bus about how powerful the drug was. This drug would cure any disease one could think of, though he didn’t mention cancer. A frail elderly woman in the bus called him to come closer and she proceeded to ask him, “Nwa m, would this cure my sugar disease”. “Ehh, that one na small thing na. For sugar disease, just put the drug on your hand and pour inside your mouth. Do this two times and your sugar problem will go kpata kpata. If you have sugar problem again after taking this drug, call me bastard”, he said with an Onitsha accent. The woman asked how much and he said 500 bucks. The frail woman bought two. Another man in the bus asked whether the drug cured typhoid, and the dogga-man replied in the affirmative. “For typhoid and malaria, just put the powder in a spoon, mix am well with any bitter drink and sip it. After one hour don pass, your urine go dey green. That green colour na the typhoid wey the drug don kill”, the dogga-man replied. The gullible man handed over 500 bucks to him and promptly got a bottle of the elixir. Within 30 minutes, about six other gullible folks have gotten their respective bottles of elixir. A young guy bought three bottles – one for himself, one for the girlfriend and one for the sick mother at home.

All the while, I stayed put and keenly watched the dogga-man. Some even called him doctor and he gladly answered. Gracious Lord, have mercy! Now before you judge me and condemn me for not confronting the merchant of doom, calm down first and hear me out. In all honesty, I respected the guy’s hustle. It is not easy to convince a bunch of people to buy a bottle of powder that could cure every single ailment they could think of. To do this, you really have to be a wise guy. So let’s give props to the dogga-man for coming up with such a cunning scheme. Ogbeni, e no dey easy jor!

OK, back to the matter…on a more serious note, that evil dogga-man should be hung on a cross by his balls upside down till he breaths his last. My God, what kind of wickedness is that! At a point, a woman that was complaining of toothache got the elixir from the dogga-man and applied on the aching tooth. After a couple of minutes, she shouted ‘Praise the Lord’ and proceeded to give a quick testimony of how the toothache had ‘disappeared’ within minutes. Chai! I shook my head and pitied the innocent woman.

After the bus got filled up, we left the park and commenced our journey. And then I wondered how many naïve people this dogga-man had succeeded in ruining their lives. Why would a grown man or woman believe that a single drug could cure every ailment? I think there are a thousand and one reasons including poverty, poor education/enlightenment and the greatest reason is SHEER STUPIDITY. I mean, c’mon, it is like still believing the Boogeyman really exists at the age of twenty…or a grown man believing in the tooth fairy!

One time, I was participating in a medical outreach in a rural area and a patient came in for check up. He gave me a piece of paper on which was written his blood sugar and blood pressure readings. They were alarmingly high. I asked him whether he had been diagnosed of the diseases before and he gave me an affirmative reply. I then proceeded to inquire why he hadn’t been on his medications. He gave me a pitiable answer: “my brother, to be honest, I don’t even have enough money to eat not to talk of buying my drugs”. It is a pity! Now I wouldn’t blame this kind of patient if he eventually falls victim to the dogga-man’s lies and deception. As long as there is poverty in the land, people would still fall victim to such antics.

We arrived Kano safely. We were told a bomb had exploded few hours before we arrived. Thank God for that dogga-man jor. Na the guy wey delay our movement and as such, prevented us from getting bombed to pieces. When next I see him, I’m gonna give him a handshake and buy ten bottles of the elixir. I’m gonna make him rich, I swear.

That night, I had a dream. In my dream, I was a dogga-man selling roots and rat poison at a car park in Ogbomosho. And the worst part of the dream was that I had tribal marks on my face and spoke with a thick Ijebu accent. Olorun maje o!

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