The season we have all been expecting is very much around. It is Christmas. Many people are coming home and many activities will be taking place. Such activities include wine carrying, weddings, chieftaincy title ceremonies, feasts and all manner of merriment.
But amid these activities are the thoughts that I want to share; thoughts which cut across our national life, be it politics, religion and whatever. Let me start with some politicking.
Muhammadu Buhari's Promises
To say that many Nigerians cannot wait to see the end of this year called 2015 is to say the very obvious. Indeed, for many years now, no year has come near this one in terms of hardship. Immediately after the general elections, everything had seemingly dried up. The common man became the worst hit because those better placed people they used to run to for help are also down. It is indeed an anti-climax to what promised to be a new dawn.
The new dawn was that the APC government of Muhammadu Buhari would automatically right the wrongs of the 16-year damage done by the PDP. Among the wrongs they promised to right was the issue of the abducted Chibok Girls. They found it amazing during electioneering that the previous regime couldn't just enter the Sambisa Forest and drag the girls out amid cheers from parents and relations. It was therefore thought that once they came in, that is the APC government, the girls would come out flying into the arms of their parents. It hasn't happened up to now.
The APC people made us believe that Jonathan was playing politics with the reduction in the pump price of petrol when Jonathan brought it down to N87. They gave the impression that everything concerning fuel would be okay when they came in. Well, they have come in and fuel is fast becoming the scarcest commodity. We down here may not understand but those in Lagos and Abuja will. Here the commodity is everywhere but costly, while yonder, it is hardly seen.
Now Christmas is upon us and the people are going through excruciating times to get that commodity. Many people will feel the pangs this Christmas and many of those are Christians because they are the ones that celebrate Christmas. There is even no hope that it will be over soon as the government has said we should wait till next year for the price to come down.
Terror is still very much a part of our national life. Ask those in the North East zone and you will understand what I'm talking about. Even those in Abuja are occasionally harassed by the bombs and who knows who else will?
What of power generation and supply? We haven't seen much change which we can say is a far cry from what it was previously. Recall that just before Jonathan left, there had been an improvement (not here) which prompted people to say it was all politics. But many months after the coming of Buhari, we are still where we were. So which way APC and Buhari?
UNN and the Biafran Spirit
The Nigerian airwaves, social media and the regular media have been awash recently with the agitation for a Biafran nation. The agitators believe that under that new nation, every Igbo man and woman will be happy, contented and won't be exploited.
But what took place at the Igbo nation's foremost institution, the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, left much to be desired. It told us as nothing else could that the Eldorado nation we are pursuing via the Movement for the Actualisation of a Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is nothing but an exercise in self-delusion.
Recently the entire nation was shocked by the decision of the management of the UNN to force every new student to buy a N75, 000 computer laptop. This is regardless of whether such students have computers or not. Students and parents were not happy. The students protested but the school which is in the heart of Biafra stuck to its guns and many students started paying for the computers.
While this went on, we didn't hear anything from Biafran, sorry, Igbo members of the National Assembly, NASS. Even the NASS members from Nsukka where the battle was taking place kept mum. But help came from an unexpected quarter. The North.
It was a senator from the North that stood up at the floor of the senate to condemn the act and the senate ordered the school to stop the nonsense.
So is this how we shall enjoy our Biafra? Go to federal schools in the West and North and compare and contrast what goes on there. You will discover to your utmost chagrin that it is our own schools that are cutting our throats with all manner of fraudulent fees. Biafra indeed!
This is why I have kept saying that we first have to attain a Biafra of the mind before we look for the physical. A Biafra of the mind will prepare us for the physical one so that when it comes we will not be caught napping.
The bottom line is that Ndigbo are their greatest enemies. And the moment we check this will be the moment we will start getting things right.
How do you See Christmas?
Ordinarily this is a season of merriment. But merriment in the right way. The right way is making the joy of the birth of Christ to reflect on the way we make merry. Thus the rich while popping champagne and tearing into the muscle of turkey and chicken, will remember that there are some people who are only able to perceive the aromas of the meat, being unable to enjoy like them. To those poor folks, eating chicken and turkey is in the mind.
So when the rich folks remember that there are those who cannot enjoy like them, they give them a part of their stuff to eat with them.
This is therefore a time to be good to others and carry others along in our happiness. But do we do that?
What we see in this period are people who can do anything to lord it over others to show they have arrived. Thus in the months leading up to this period, we hear of ritual killings, kidnappings and robberies. Those involved use the proceedings to either buy or hire expensive and flashy cars and use them to spray dust on people already half blinded by dust.
The same people who perpetrate this appear in the churches as special guests at Bazaars and other church functions. At bazaars some of them price and buy costly things on credit and will never be seen again to redeem them. For them, it's all part of the fun of Christmas, or is it?
I want to see within this period situations where the rich will first take care of the basic needs of their poor neighbours before killing many cows to take titles or how can one answer ''ochiliozua'' when many young people of school age around him are not in school because their parents cannot afford to finance their education.
Can anyone be happy answering Akuluouno when everybody around him is wallowing in poverty? That, certainly, isn't in the true spirit of Christmas.
To therefore celebrate it the right way, we have to involve others in our happiness. That way, it becomes more complete, more real and makes more sense.
Obiano Bridges almost Set
The other day on my way home, I saw some vehicles using the Amawbia flyover and I quickly joined in the experiment. It felt good going over that section of the flyover. The next day when I checked, it had been shut to traffic but then I told myself that I had used it, or is it ''washed'' it.
You see, regardless of the propriety or otherwise of locating three flyovers in almost the same place, the fact remains that they have succeeded in transforming the face of the capital city of Awka. In years to come they will still be there and they will always be to the glory of Anambra State.