Before delving into the above topic, let me express my unalloyed gratitude to God for leading us into another new year. It is by the grace of God that we survived. Despite the man-made odds before us, I wish you and me a blissful and hopeful New Year. It is unfortunate that I am starting the New Year write-up on a sad note. Our lives nearly somersaulted in 2017 in this country Nigeria. If our Saviour Jesus Christ was not born, I would have committed suicide. Please do not pity me.
Four days into the New Year 2018, at about 7.30p.m, I was behind my four wheels returning from the Coal City. Before setting out on the journey I fortified myself by invoking the Holy Spirit to light my way. Then I drank a cup of Holy Water and anointed myself with 'akpucative' holy oil. Accidentally, a prestigious jeep with full lights on was coming opposite me. The driver swerved into my lane as he was making a dangerous nocturnal overtaking. Probably he was drunk. Thank God that I was sane. To avoid head on collision, I sharply turned my steering towards the pedestrian lane. A woman walking along the lane ran for her dear life as she shouted, “What is all this!?” Her screaming touched my heart and I felt for her. I would have run over her, thereby committing manslaughter. So far, I can only accuse myself of slaughtering a few fowls for meat, thereby committing 'fowlslaughter'. God forbid that I should be accused of manslaughter, if not outright murder. For the twenty-five years I have been driving, I have only unintentionally killed two lizards and one fowl on the highway. I tried my best to avoid running over them but it was too late. They were guilty of crossing the highway without looking well sideways. Anyway they knew not what they were doing due to their lack of rationality. The Federal Road Safety Commission should give me a special award for my careful driving all those years. In fact, I am celebrating in this year 2018 my Silver Jubilee as a priest and a driver. To God be the glory! You are highly invited whenever the double celebration will take place. Also you are invited to my birthday which happens to fall on Easter Sunday, 1st April.
As I was driving home after the unfortunate incidence, the question “what is all this?” occupied my thinking faculty. At home, I rushed out of the car and rushed into the house in total darkness due to power failure. I wallowed in total darkness towards my room. Accidently, I hit my forehead with great force at the door-post. My forehead dismantled and swelled like Olympic football immediately. Twelve fierce stars fell from my two eyes. Dizziness seized me. Painfully I shouted, “What is all this!?” There was no one to console me because I am a professional bachelor. I groaned over the pains. Then I applied self medication by mixing three drops of dry Gin, grounded pepper and red oil. The mixture was very painful but very effective. Am I not a pharmacist by necessity? The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) owes me compensation for the harm she caused me. Could you imagine that we celebrated the 2017 Christmas and New Year in my area in total darkness? Yet we pay our monthly electricity bills. What is all this? It is a great injustice. Does one pay for the food he didn't eat? I must take the case to God.
In few minutes time our small generating set was on and there was light in the house. The acute darkness disappeared like a ghost. I laid flat on the bed as the pain on my forehead was subsiding gradually. In order to forget the sorrowful events of that fateful evening, I put on my television set to hear the current news. I was saddened to hear the news of Fulani herdsmen bloody attack in Benue State. This irked me so much, such that the pain on my forehead resurrected. I shouted, “What is all this? Fulani herdsmen bloody rampage again in 2018! Are we in the regime of herdsmen? How can Fulani herdsmen hold the Giant of Africa to ransom?” I blame President Buhari for not taking the bull by the horn. His silence over the gruesome attack by his kinsmen all these years is suspicious. If the Federal Government of Buhari could call a non violent Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist group, what is the label for this bloody Fulani herdsmen? Who arms these herdsmen with sophisticated weapons? Who are the owners of those cows parading into people's farms? These herdsmen seem to have been given license to operate freely, destroy farmers' farms and kill mercilessly. The present Federal Government seems to protect the lives of cattle and the herders at the detriment of innocent Nigerians. What is all this? I am furious. I am seeking my bishop's permission to embark on special nomadic mission in order to convert the rampaging cattle and the bloody herders. I know that it is a dangerous mission. Jesus Christ died on the Cross to salvage sinful mankind. However, I do not want to undertake this mission alone. I need the help of ten priests, twenty youths bubbling with vitality and ten men between the ages of 50 and 60. Those interested should indicate immediately by phone calls or text messages. However, the prerequisite is that you must write your will before we set out for the mission. You must also go to confession before our departure. I also need the company of one bishop to confirm those we shall convert.
Since the present administration came to power in 2015, the Fulani herdsmen have been killing innocent villagers here and there. Most often they attack the Christian populace. Indeed many have gone to their untimely graves. What is all this? My people say that a bird that dances freely on the road has someone in the bush beating the drum for it. How can herdsmen carry fully loaded Ak-47 and other sophisticated weapons instead of sticks as they were known in the past centuries? Who finances them? Have they licenses to carry firearms? Are they sacred cows? The federal government should as a matter of urgency disarm the herdsmen first before proffering any other solution. The water must be pushed away while it is still at the ankle before it reaches the neck. It was like this that Boko Haram started. Today the terrorist group is a big challenge to the Nigerian Armed Forces. We are told verbally that Boko Haram has been decimated but not defeated. These bloody Fulani herdsmen are another terrorist group that will pose a big problem if not nipped in the bud. No armed group should be taken for granted. Human life is more valuable than the life of cattle. Many sane Nigerians are calling for the establishment of ranches by the Fulani herdsmen to feed their cattle. Open grazing should be banned nationwide. Wanton destruction of people's farms by cattle is unjust and inhuman. If it comes to the worst, Nigerians will cease to buy or eat cattle meat to register their protest. Personally I have resorted to eating dog meat so that I can bark well this year. Enough is enough!
The year 2017 ended on a sad note as a result of acute fuel scarcity. Christians who wanted to travel home for the celebration of Christmas were stranded. Those who managed to go home paid from their noses. Many spent days and nights at petrol filling stations searching for the artificial scarce commodity. Thus many did their Christmas carol at the petrol filling stations and fuel depots. Instead of singing “O come Emmanuel!” they sang “O come fuel!” Both Emmanuel and fuel end in 'uel'. What a coincidence! Nigeria is indeed blessed with rich natural and human resources but our problem is mismanagement. How can someone stand in the sea and then die of thirst? Is the President not the minister of Petroleum? He really apologized for the fuel scarcity which he blamed on sabotage, but apology is not enough. Who are those saboteurs? They can even be found in the President's Cabinet. It is high time Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reshuffled his Cabinet who are more of politicians compensated for their services to the All Progressives Congress ruling party. Buhari must look for technocrats if he would make any meaningful achievement in 2018. The regime has only one and half year span. The promised CHANGE is still a mirage.
Many disgruntled Nigerians have no more hope in the present APC regime due to economic hardship, unemployment and wanton destruction of human lives. Hence some have called on President Buhari not to contest the 2019 Presidential Election. The Arewa Youths, the Ohanaze Youths and the Afenifere Youths have all advised him not to eye the 2019 Presidential seat. Even the popular prophet and spiritual director of Buhari from Enugu State in his New Year message warned him not to contest the forthcoming 2019 election. Someone asserted that Buhari has run out of ideas. Will the President listen to the voice of reason? Time will tell. The year 2018 is a decisive year for the government and citizens of Nigeria. We must take our destiny into our hands. God can only work with us and not for us.
While the Boko Haram terrorists are rampaging in the North East, the Herdsmen terrorists are killing from East, South, Middle Belt and Northern parts of Nigeria. The Badoo terrorists are murdering innocent people in the West. In the South-South, particularly in Rivers States, the cultists are hacking people to death. The havoc done by kidnappers and armed robbers seems to have been swallowed by the new terrorists group all over the land. What is all this? Merciless killing is the order of the day. Where shall we run to? God, where are you? Your children are perishing in this country.
The present bad state of affairs in Nigeria has caused many of our young men and women to migrate illegally to Europe to look for greener pasture. They pass through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea. Some of those walking or travelling through the desert collapse on the way and their bodies shrink like dry wood. Only a few survive. Many corpses of our boys and girls are lying in that desert waiting for the resurrection day. Will the hotness of the Sahara Desert allow them to come back to life on the resurrection morning? On the other hand, many of our boys and girls migrating into Europe via the Mediterranean Sea have been drowned. Their corpses are either floating aimlessly on the sea or eaten up by the hungry fish in the sea. Those who pass through Libya are either sold as slaves or undergo inhuman treatment. Some of them die in the process. If you have not heard from any of your relatives that travelled out for some years now, then you better organize his or her funeral ceremony. There is no hope in waiting for a corpse to come back home.
What is all this? Is it not better to die in hardship in Nigeria than to die shamelessly in the desert or in the sea? Is it not better to suffer at home than to be dehumanized abroad? There is no gain in embarking on a dangerous journey of no return. Many Nigerians are languishing in various prisons overseas for one reason or the other. Some have been caught with dangerous drugs. Some of the culprits have been executed at the stake while some are serving life sentences. Despite all these, Nigerians are said to be the happiest people in the whole world. What is the source of our happiness?