Year 2023 On My Mind
A lot has happened since we last communed on this column, that was way back in 2021. As you can see, 2022 is gaining speed as we have already gone some bold steps into the New Year, precisely one month and 14 days into the year 2022. But permit me to take us a little into year 2021 in retrospect. The year you agree was a unique year for many people and many nations of the world. It was unique because it was pregnantwith, and calamitously delivered with all trappings of chaos and effects of the global pandemic code-named Covid-19 by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The 2021 couldn’t have done any individual any good, with a lot of challenges confronting the global population. It was a year that preservation of life alone was and still is the only paramountthing. Indeed, staying alive and safe from the global pandemic has become all that mattered and, still crucial. People say the havoc wrecked on human community was worse than what was experienced from influenza during the World War era.
This, of course, is enough for survivors to be thankful to God that they survived to see another year. That alone is enough to be grateful to God. I was not there during the influenza period, but available information reveal that the experience was one prayed never to be experienced by humans again, and if the Covid-19 is described by some reliable authorities as being the worst human pandemic, then God must be praised for His mercies, particularly for Africans, the ever dependent continent. Africans have the compelling need to be grateful to God that the scourge did not come to Africa as predicted,where it was expected would spell the end for African continent, with her familiar backwardness in everything, where she must wait for handouts from other continents and nations to survive. When the pandemic first started, it was tagged by Africans as ‘overseas sickness’ that would remain so where it was conceived forever.
Then gradually it journeyed to Africa for real, and Africans being who they are were quick at changing the slogan to ‘big man’s sickness that will not touch small people. Remember Africans are never big until they find themselves in the proverbial ‘corridors of power’. But a few began to witness some changes in their health system. Strangely, such were diagnosed as Covid-19. Even at that, most Africans nay Nigerians still trivialized the issue and referred to it as activities of witches and wizards. That is that on that, the pandemic has gone past the stage of African pessimism to global reality that leaves African nations as helpless ‘guessers’ for which countries are producing genuine vaccines. Theworld has come faster and sophisticated than what African continent can afford to continue dancing ‘krukere’ in the ensuing global competition. Africa must ‘wise up’, what behooves it now is Africa and particularly its ‘giant’ Nigeria to necessarily begin to think outside the box on how todevelop and introduce their own vaccines into the world to also contribute to global rescue.
This is about the only thing that matters now, not the vicious miasma of politics that currently spreads across all our socio-political milieu. This should be the concern of every Nigerian. Like I used to say, there is so much wuru-wuru in Nigeria to the extent that the only way to stay safe is for you to deliberately choose to see and follow only the comic side of events in the country; and such are many. Imagine the type of a country that permanently puts its president through agonising hysteria. The ‘Presido’ knows that here assassins are permanently on the prowl and naming his successor now is tantamount to high risk. The President says the person would be ‘assassinated’, probably before one could say ‘Jack Robinson.’
Let us begin to view Nigeria from the emergence of Boko Haram that has become a Frankenstein as created by a 20-year old English novelist, Mary W. Shelley. Boko Haram wasstarted by Nigerians to boost group’s ethno-religious and political ego. As it turned, that creation believed to have been created, particularly for the group’s superiority, is now beyond the capacity of the creators to control or kill. Isn’t it funny that our desires are what is enslaving us?
Let nobody be deceived, Boko Haram has been and still is a monumental dent on the socio-economic and political future of the North in particular and the country in general. The political strain that conceived and delivered Boko Haram is the same that ignites all manner of socio-ethnic and political strives around the country. But the North is losing the more. It cannot be otherwise; whatever is created must have moreserious and daunting effects where it is created. If in doubt asksome sincere and honest northerners, they will tell you that the cost of keeping Boko Haram is heavier on them. Think of spending years in Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp(IDPC), with bruised psychology; sometimes with some loved ones lost in the process. Do you know the comic side of thisone? The North wants to be free from the shackles of death which is Boko Haram, yet, the North does not want to denounce Boko Haram.
Let nobody deceive us, Boko Haram is a project funded by some influential Islamic interest in Nigeria with foreign collaboration and conspiracy. As it is well known, the group is so sophisticated as it relies so much on outside contributions. Cut the supply link and the strength wobbles. Again, hunger as hypnosis could be another reliable strategy: block the supply and they will come out of the forests. Ironically, someof the sect members that maintain link for colleagues in the forest co-habit in the same society with those they daily torment, maim or kill. As noted earlier, the same strain that delivered Boko Haram is viciously ravaging all the socio-economic and even the political strata of the country. Banditgroups for example, is a way of exacting more and instant wealth from the society on a fast lane.
The same thing with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOP) andits infantile leader, Nnamdi Kano. Nnamdi Kano, while I respect his right of expression and every other rights accorded all citizens, to me, sounds like the babbling of a possessedinfant. I used to think that the Biafra project as floated by late General Chukwu Emeka Odumekwu Ojukwu was all for Igbo speaking people of the South East, surprisingly, the youth who are believed to be the future of any nation are always willing allies in such friction. The truth about Nigeria is that our youths have over the years been cultured not to think about the nation but their pockets. That is why our youths are ready to do anything for money.
Sadly, if we carry the same mental composure into the forthcoming general elections in 2023, we are sure to come out from it completely broken. The youth are ready to do anything to put money in their pockets. That is about the only thing that matters for our youths now: money and more money. The government as it shows doesn’t seem to be bothered about what happens in the country as long as it does not tamper with system’s interest. Nearer home the authority seems to despise cultism, yet, cultism is spreading all over the place, in the villages and even down to the secondary school level. Sadly, elders who should be advising are themselves deep in the fray as some of the village heads are deceived by their youths into the ‘game’. But honestly, some of our village heads and chiefs are initiates in the various cult groups. What moral grounds do we then have to correct a son who belongs in the same fraternity with the father? As usual, I am not predicting doom, but believe it or not, trouble looms as we approach the elections. .