The New Year 2018 is gradually becoming old. The month of January is about to end. When a boy grows older, he is called a man. If a boy is called Bomboy as a little boy, should he not change his name to Bomman when he grows older? I brought out the picture I took when I was in class five in secondary and compared it with my recent picture. I shouted, “Oh my God, a great osmosis has occurred!” The difference is very clear. Indeed a lot of transformations have taken place in between the time. I was a boy by then, but now a full grown man. Nothing is constant in this world. According to the famous philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, nature is in a state of constant flux. In other words, everything is constantly changing and becoming something else. For instance, cold things grow hot, the hot cools, the wet dries, the parched moistens. A boy becomes a man. A young man becomes an old man. Few months ago I saw a woman who married immediately after her secondary school career. She is about 30 years old now, but has grown fat and older and is a mother of five children. With all my goodwill I greeted her, “Madam, good afternoon. How are you?” Her face turned pale immediately. She replied, “Father, who are you addressing as madam? Please if it is a joke stop it. I am still a girl.” No one can cheat nature. If this is the case, one must develop steps to handle the changes. In this year 2018 I intend to look into the major events coming up one after the other, so that we can make adjustments on time.
This year's Valentine Day falls on Ash Wednesday, 14th February. What a contradictory coincidence! When this was announced in a church at Benin last week, a group of boys and girls among the congregation started wailing profusely. The church minister became confused and asked them the cause of their wailing. With tears they told the priest: “Man of God, water don pass garri. How can we combine happiness with sorrow on February 14, 2018?” Valentine Day is popularly known as Lovers' Day. On this day lovers exchange pleasantries and gifts. They eat, drink, dance and make other forms of merriment. Some misuse the day to engage in sexual immorality as an expression of erotic love. Some use the occasion to help the less privileged as an expression of agape love. St Valentine, from whose name the feast originated, was a Roman priest who suffered martyrdom for encouraging marriage for young soldiers, when it was forbidden by the emperor. When Valentine was in prison the daughter of his jailer helped him a lot by providing his needs. Before he was executed, he wrote a letter to the girl, thanking her for the assistance. He ended the letter with these words, “Yours Valentine.” Valentine preached Agape type of love and not erotic love as many believe. He was misquoted. In my vision yesterday, St Valentine warned those who misuse his name for immorality to desist from doing so before the hammer strikes on them.
On the other hand, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. It is a day of mortification. It calls for special prayers and sober reflection. Fasting, abstinence from meat and almsgiving are encouraged on this day. On that day we go to church to be signed with ashes on our foreheads. As the priest does the signing he says, “You are dust, unto dust you shall return again” or “Repent and believe the Gospel.” The Lenten period of 40 days is a preparation time for Easter.
On 14th February this year, it seems that there will be a contest between Light and Darkness. The agents of darkness will try to manoeuvre over the children of light. God and Satan will meet again after his unfortunate expulsion from heaven. As human beings we are endowed with freedom of choice. We choose between good and evil. We are responsible for whatever choice we make. On this 14th February being Ash Wednesday and Valentine Day we choose between the love of God and love of the flesh. St Paul reminds us that each and every one of us will give account to God of how we lived our lives in this world (Rom. 14:12). We can celebrate Valentine day positively by remembering our loved ones and the less privileged. Also we can offer some gifts to them according to our capacities with good intention. The charity done by a cat to a rat is questionable. Isn't it? When we say “I love you”, we should have a positive mind towards the person in question. It should not end on the lips but translated into good actions. In this way we can do Ash Wednesday and Valentine day well. Whatever we do, let us remember that we are ashes. We are called to repent from our sins and seek the Kingdom of God. The soul is willing but the body is weak. Therefore we must mortify ourselves and be prayerful.
Do you know that Easter and April fool game fall on the same day this year, being Easter Sunday, 1st April? Jesus Christ died on Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Sunday. Hence, we assert that without Good Friday, there can be no Easter. Easter is our hope. It is a glorious and redemptive annual celebration. If Christ died and did not resurrect, then it means that human life is hopeless. What happens if a hopeless person dies a hopeless death?
April fool saga is commonly celebrated on 1st April annually. As sinners, we are all fools. I am the number one fool because I was born on 1st April, 1963 at Jos in Plateau at exactly 12.05p.m. I reiterate that I escaped being a complete fool just by five minutes. The April fool saga starts early in the morning of 1st April and ends at 12.00noon. I waited in my mother's womb until it was five minutes past noon. Then I landed on the birth-stool like a jet. The doctor and nurses around gave me a loud applause and wondered what I would be in life. This idea prompted my parents to give me a name instantly as Amaobichukwu (Who knows the mind of God?). I hereby cordially invite you to my birthday celebration on Easter Sunday 1st April, 2018. Holy Mass shall begin at 10.00a.m while reception starts at 12.05p.m; the exact time I was born. My Book titled “The Wisdom of April Fool, Part Two” will be launched to mark the occasion. Rice, stew and dog meat shall be very plenty. I have boycotted beef meat due to the Fulani herdsmen's bloody menace all over the country. Consumption of too much cow meat makes one a coward. On the other hand, the consumption of a lot of dog meat makes one not to tolerate evil by barking at it. A trial will convince you.
This year 2018 also is my Priestly Silver Jubilee celebration. I was anointed a priest of God according to the Order of Melchizedek on 5th September, 1993, in the year of Oso Abiola, at St Peter's Catholic Church Aguluezechukwu (God's own town), Aguata Local Government of Anambra State. other things being equal, the Silver Jubilee Celebration will take place at St James Catholic Church Neni, Anaocha Local Government of Anambra State on Sunday 2nd September, 2018. Mass begins at 10.00a.m. Reception follows immediately after. Come one, come all! It is just a proposal. God has the final say. Kindly pray for me that God may show me mercy in the various ways I have disappointed him all these 25 years in the Lord's vineyard. I thank God that I have not absconded from the priesthood, no matter the odds. I am also grateful that I am still alive to make amends and work harder in the Lord's vineyard. To God be the glory; to me shame!
God created us to live and not to perish. The year 2018 began with the senseless killing of innocent Nigerians in Rivers and Benue States of Nigeria. The cultists and their sponsors are said to be responsible in Rivers state. The Fulani herdsmen caused bloody havoc in Benue, where seventy-three corpses of innocent women, men and children were given mass burial. Many victims are still lying critically in hospitals. The Buhari Government is yet to designate the Fulani herdsmen as terrorists. Instead there is hidden agenda by the Federal Government to create Cattle colony in the 36 States. This is a new form of Colonization, whereby the Fulani people and their cattle will automatically occupy permanent homes in all the states including the Federal Capital Territory. If this happens, then the Islamization of Nigeria will be as easy as ABC. The Middle Belt, the Southern and the Eastern parts of Nigeria must reject this hidden agenda. Let the herdsmen set up ranches by themselves to feed their cattle and market them from there. Business men have their own shops financed by themselves. Why should the government provide only for Fulani herdsmen? Jihad is behind this agenda. The Nigeria Constitution stipulates Freedom of Religion and Worship for all her citizens. In other words, Nigeria is a Circular State with no state religion. The Christians and Muslims should co-exist as brothers and sisters wherever they live. Christians dominate in the Southern part of the country while the Muslims dominate in the North. Let the sleeping dog lie!
The year 2018 is a decisive year. The menace of the Fulani herdsmen must be curbed for peace to reign. Politically, the picking of Presidential, Gubernatorial, National Assembly forms and the primary elections of the various political parties for the 2019 General Elections come up this year. Presently, we have a total of 68 registered political parties gearing up for the forthcoming elections. Even more political organizations are warming up for registration. For me, those already registered are too many. Where are we heading to? For a meaningful political progress, Nigeria should not have more than five mega political parties. The Bible says that many are called, but few are chosen. Why waste our hard earned money in financing so many political parties? I am moved to form my own party, which is Heaven Is Our Goal Party (HIOGP). If you are not a member of this party, then you are lost forever. So, come and register with me immediately before it is too late. Jesus Christ is our sole Presidential candidate for the 2018 General Elections. He must win for our country Nigeria to remain relevant in the Comity of Nations and in the eyes of the Almighty God. Vote for Jesus Christ, come 2018!