“. . . in the last days perilous times shall come” – 2Timothy 3:1.
One of the unpredictable issues of the Holy Bible is the concept of the last days and the “soonest” wrap up of the sinful world into the fiery dungeon of hell. The same goes for perilious times as history is replete with painful sessions difficult to decipher or measure the intensity of the peril or perilousness inherent in it. Also, the notion of the last days is another odyssey into the realm of conjectures to the time or season to be considered as the last days and its attendant perils upon the mother earth. Whereas the book of Matthew Chapter 24 had listed signs of the end times to include wars and rumours of war and other holocaustic trends to herald the end of the world, the time and perils to be associated with it vis-à-vis the state of the nation points to peril expected of the end time.
As most mortals usually associate the last days with those of governments, tenures and regimes; one is forced to associate the uncertain and unpredictable turn of events in the Nigerian polity as signposts to the perilious times foretold by the litany of new year prophets scattered in Nigeria. The nation appears to be bleeding for help from all fronts – political, economic, diplomatic, amongst others. A cursory analyses of the perilioussituations in the country may not take a particular order especially as this piece is not disposed to hold brief for the operators of the various sectors of the polity, nor apportion blame to anyone; rather an intercession of a sort for the powers that be to wade through the uncertain times of the moment, with hope and solutions ahead.
The nation was greeted too early in the year with the dingdong of bad or dirty quality of petroleum products which knocked the automobiles of citizens; resulting in needless, senseless and suffocating fuel queues across the nation. Nigerians waited at petrol stations to no end for fuel which turned our roads into narrow corridors and snarling traffic situations forcing motorist and other road users to lose good man hours before they could arrive at their destinations. The dirty fuel imbroglio made nonsense of the fixed price of petroleum products as petroleum marketers flouted every known official price and subsidy to sell petroleum products at neck-breaking prices.
Nigerians managed to survive the fuel trouble only to hear the drums of war beaten by President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Some Nigerian parents who had circumvented the incessant disruptions in the Nigerian educational system for a Ukrainian education, turned into biblical Rachel’s weeping for their children in faraway Ukraine. But for Federal Government’s intervention of sending aircrafts to evacuate Nigerians from Ukraine and neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary etc., the casualty figures and apprehensions would have reached the heavens! Yet, the situation which caused the departure to Ukraine for “distant education” by the more than average Nigerian parents, money bags and other privileged Nigerians,have refused to change and the so-called distant education is now a nonsense of itself. The fleeing Nigerian “foreign” students arrived the country in the heat of an ongoing ASUU strike and may have to enjoy with their brethren at home the just announced two months extension of the ASUU strike to prove the maxim that says, “he who fights and run away may live to fight another day”! Going forward, the season of the current ASUU strike may mull something close to “international resistance” as our brothers hitherto billed for diaspora education are now at home and may now join forces to wrestle with the powers and principalities hurting the Nigerian education space.
The political scene is akin to the saying: since God created Eve, neither God nor Adam (men) has known peace! The uneasy calm in the ruling and main opposition parties in Nigeria is another peril of the moment. In our dear Akwa Ibom State, since the unveiling of a particular political direction, inauguration of a constituency project by some politicians, it has been a perilious time of pros and cons. The most recent is the purported resignation, sack and even the snobbing of somepolitical characters by the powers that be. Trust the murky nature of politics, it is now the reign of back-stabbing and the revelation of the real characters of friends, associates and other players in the corridors of power, now villains of power, expired and out rightly rejected personalities before their once friendly principal.
At the federal scene, the power mongers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are at it again; and this time gunning for the head of the “chief negotiator of decampees” and chairman of the party’s caretaker committee and governor of Yobe State, AlhajiMai Mala Buni. With Buni’s absence in Abuja where he runs his Yobe State government, and few days of President Buhari’s trip to the United Kingdom for medical checkup, the hawks of power descended on the party and almost pecked away the soul of the party and seat of the chairman who had carefully transmitted power to a member of the caretaker committee and governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubaker Sani Bello. But for the neutrality, intervention and discipline of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Buni would have been sacked from his Dubai sickbed. The situation is a dicey one, but one fact is sure, the ruling party may not be shrewd in party administration to make it a family affair like when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held the federal levers of power.
The worst of the current perilous times in Nigeria is the collapse of the national grid in the hot month of March. In Abuja and other northern states, the heat wave and sustained power outages are almost snuffing life out of the citizenry. The management of the Abuja Energy Distribution Company (AEDC) recently had apologized for power outages in Abuja, Kogi State and other areas in the North Central geopolitical zone. In the same vein, the executive secretary of the Association of Power Generating Companies (APGC), Dr. Joy Ogaji, in a briefing in Abuja declared that Nigerians are in darkness because they are owed over 1.6 trillion naira since 2013. She added that Generation Companies (GENCOS) have exhausted all their borrowing sources as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had reportedly warned banks to desist from leading money to them. Indeed, darkness have actually reigned in the country as the collapse of the national grid has reduced power stations and transformers into mere iron monuments without a spark. This is addition to the painful electricity subsidy which have reduced an average cum domestic electricity consumer into an industrial user of electricity into unsubstantiated estimated bill.
Again, the economy has bled beyond remedy with the price of diesel at about N800.00, unavailability of aviation fuel which have caused several airlines to cancel and reschedule flights and the deadly notice of the total shutdown of the aviation sector in few days to come. The Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN) has screamed at the impending job cuts, losses and close down of factories, hotels and several businesses which may not survive the astronomical regime of diesel price.
Indeed, we are not in the best of times at the national and global spheres. With the madness cum jamboree of the world powers with weapons of mass destruction, may we not wake up to see ourselves in an unplanned great beyond! For developed countries who had boasted that COVID-19 would turn African streets into booth of corpses, purported declaration of Africa as a cemetery by President Vladimir Putin of Russian, the use of Africa and Africans as guinea pigs and testing ground for their scientific discoveries; may turn Africa into another Japanese Hiroshima or Nagazaky to test run their global genocide devices.
May I conclude with a prayer drawn from Matthew 24:22 – “And except those days should be shortened, there should noflesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”. Thus, may the perilous days of dirty fuel, power outages, high cost of diesel, aviation fuel, political brouhaha, Bro Putin and other global terrorists of this ilk be shortened for Nigeria and the world to enjoy peace, Amen.
Archibong is of the Nigerian Guild of Editors