By Fr Pat Amobi Chkwuma
Few days ago, I was driving through a local tarred road. At a point I saw a sign-post with the inscription “Slow down, bombs ahead.” My heartbeat increased by hundred percent. My blood pressure also rose to the point of almost no return. Immediately, I made an act of perfect contrition in case of any eventuality.
I commended my troubled soul and my jerking body into God’s hand. Then I slowed down. The current insecurity situation in Nigeria has made human life uncertain. I asked myself, “Who might have planted the bombs? Does slowing down make the bombs not disastrous?” I didn’t want to take chances.
I quickly reversed my car and ran for my dear life. After about five poles away, I stopped and came out of the car. I waited for any vehicle coming from the direction of the bombs ahead. Luckily, a commercial bus was coming. I waved at the driver to stop. He marched on his breaks. The conductor asked me to enter. I asked him to wait. Then I gently approached the driver and enquired from him if he saw any bombs from the direction he came.
He laughed at me and said, “Man of God. Do not fear. It is a mistake of the mind and hand. Instead of bumps they wrote bombs. Go back and continue your journey. There is no cause for alarm. What I saw were road bumps and not chemical bombs.” On hearing this, my breath which went up with anxiety for a long time came down with joy. I thanked the driver and imparted special blessing on him. He drove off happily.
I laughed at myself for fear of fake bombs ahead. I drove back. When I reached the spot of the road bumps, I saw things for myself. In order to dispel fear in the hearts of other road users, I drove back to where the misleading sign-post stood.
Fortunately there was a red paint in my car. I used the rough edge of a chewing stick to change the inscription from bombs to bumps. The motorists driving up and down slowed down and hailed me, one after the other, “Man of God well done! You have saved many from high blood pleasure.” After this charitable work, I breathed down and continued my journey.
The expectation of bombs ahead was blotted out of my memory. Invariably, my death day was postponed indefinitely. No wonder William Shakespeare said that cowards die many times before their actual death. Am I a coward? Finally, I drove happily to my destination with a lot of stories to tell.
Calendar wise, the year of equality 2021 ended without objection by the midnight of December 31. I call it a year of equality because if you add your age to the year of your birth it gives rise to 2021. That transition night is normally regarded as cross-over night. It is a mental calculation and not a physical occurrence. The environment, people, animals and plants remain the same without any noticeable marks.
Time continues to run without any hindrance. The month of January begins the race and hands over to subsequent months. Twelve months make a year. As the years run, we continue to grow older. How old are you in this New Year 2022? How many more years have you to spend in this physical world called earth? Definitely the answer is not sure. Only God knows.
In each New Year, most people make New Year resolutions. Planning for the future continues. Federal and State governments make financial budgets. Expectations in the New Year from all quarters are high. As individuals, groups and communities our hopes are high. However, it is not the New Year that actualizes these expectations. Rather we human beings are to actualize them.
Take up your pen and list your expectations in the Year 2022. A jobless man told me that his two expectations in 2022 are to build one-in-town house and to buy a private jet. Is he dreaming? Can this dream come true? There is priority of needs. I think his first expectation should be to secure a befitting job. Without it, every other plan is in vain.
As we rejoice at Christmas and New Year, parents and sponsors must expect that their children and wards must go back to school. Therefore expect to pay school fees. We owe them quality education, which is demanding. Civil servants sometimes wail in the month of January because their monthly salaries are yet to be paid. Often the month of January seems to be endless.
The prolonged month of January shortens the month of February. Thus February grudgingly ends at 28 or 29 days. Those who were born on 29th February will forfeit their birthday in 2022. From my large heart, I invite them to join me in celebrating my own unique birthday on 1st April 2022. I shall welcome them into the company of the wise fools.
Immediately we march into the month of March, new history will be written in Anambra State on 17 March 2022. The outgoing Governor Willie Obiano will step down while the Governor-Elect, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo will step up. I hope Father Chukwuma shall be invited to say the opening prayer at the occasion of the inauguration and handing over to Professor Chukwuma.
The two Chukwumas will compel God to dwell perpetually in Anambra State, which is the Light of the Nation. God lives in light and never in darkness. Goodbye Akpokuedike Mmaduaburochukwu Obiano. You left an enviable legacy. Your greatest achievement is the unique Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport at Umuleri, which you built within a short time. Anambrarians are now flying.
We say bravo as you hand over the baton of leadership to Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo. Welcome Chukwuma Soludo. You governed the Central Bank before. Now you are going to govern Anambra State. Our State shall be gloriously transformed as you transformed the Central Bank. The remaining problems in Anambra State shall be things of the past with your mathematical, mental and economic solutions in peaceful atmosphere.
In the New Year 2022, it is likely that the cost of basic human amenities will gallop higher. This is due to the news circulating that the Federal Governor will remove fuel subsidy. Consequently, a liter of fuel shall sell at N340. It is likely that many car owners, especially low income earners, will either sell their vehicles or pack them indefinitely. Personally I have made an order for the purchase of a bicycle which does not need fuel. It needs strength to propel.
Therefore, I shall provide myself with enough energy drinks and hard cassava fufu. In addition, I have serviced my legs for trekking and running when need be. I shall manage my car in travelling to long distances. Even I have embarked on 21 days Novena for a specific miracle of making use of water to drive. If God answers my prayer, no one will see me at any petrol filling station for the rest of my life. Please join me in this akpucative prayer for divine possibility.
As the Federal Government is planning to remove fuel subsidy, she is also deciding to pay forty million jobless Nigerian youths five thousand naira per month. Is it not a contradiction? How can you rob Peter to pay Paul? With the impending hike in basic commodities, the five thousand naira becomes worthless.
Instead of always giving someone fish, it is better you teach the person how to fish. In other words, the jobless Nigerian youths need employment rather than the five thousand monthly token. By the way, more than forty million youths are jobless. With what modalities will the federal government chose the forty million? For how long shall they be paid?
Fashion is not a finished product. Could you remember that at creation, God moulded man from the soil of the earth while He fashioned woman from the ribs of the first man Adam. So when men are talking of economy, women talk of fashion.
Women are known for attaching one thing or the other on their God-given bodies. They attach various types of hair, artificial buttocks, nails and eyelashes. With the attached eyelashes they look like ghosts. Unfortunately, some women got eye injuries during the delicate attachment. The chemical used to do the attachment is corrosive. I remember the story of one young lady who lost her right eye to the eyelashes corrosive chemical attachment. She is wailing till today for what she did to herself.
In 2022 there is going to be an added attachment fashion for hot ladies. This time they will attach two long frightening iron teeth at the center of their dental formula. The lips will not cover the two. It shall be called Lion fashion. The bearers shall belong to a secret cult.
They will go about without underwear. They will also put on transparent dresses in order to seduce men. Many vulnerable girls and ladies shall be initiated willingly and unwillingly. Many men shall be trapped. Watch and pray!