Fr. Timothy ETSENAMHE
As the New Year unfolds we must continue to agitate for restructuring and making our states autonomous so that we can exploit the natural resources that states are blessed with that remain under-exploited and abandoned.
Although in all fronts the year 2020 was replete with challenges it was a year that raised the morale of many people all over the world in its early stage. Many visions were believed to be met in the year 2020. Televangelists, ‘Wolis’ and ‘woli Agbas’ prophesied economic and political prosperity to their ‘clients’ and ‘audiences.’ Particularly in Nigeria where ‘Vision 2020’ was a cliché for over a decade before now, many were asking God to spare them their dear life to experience the drastic turn from the absurdities that are found in the country. With the advent of a government that acclaimed itself the Messiah of the Nigeria people, many Nigerians felt and believed that the year 2020 was their year of reaching the Promised Land.
With so much enthusiasm many young Nigerians on the 31st of December, 2019 jam packed at Cross –Over prayer sessions (as it is now called) across the Nation unbinding the spells that have held them in shackles of poverty occasioned by unemployment orchestrated, in naivety, not by the systems in the country but by witches and wizards found in their villages among family members. They were so sure that the chains the heinous ones have bound them with have been let loosed only to prosper economically as the year unwind.
Just like a pack of card dismantling, things began to crumble and turn sour. Countries with high sophistication in all sphere of human endeavours began to shut down. Entertainment which hitherto provided so much opium to the people began to fizzle out. Lovers of football were shock when league matches were banned and postponed! Vatican City closed her doors to public worship; same with Mecca! Businessmen and women could not travel to China to buy and sell goods and services. Covid-19 shut- down our ever busy world and lofty dreams!
Here in Nigeria Covid-19 has dealt with us with a recession that has made things unbearable for the populace. There is high inflation. Petroleum products are experiencing a sharp hike. And because of this every other commodity is expected to be affected. This increased the rate of agitation and protest externalized in the very resilient protest by the EndSARS protesters; there is also a stupendous rise in banditry, armed robbery and kidnapping in every part of the country. The security of the country is in doldrums; in a porous state. Living in Nigeria in 2020 is something many have described as living in the shadows of death! The recent kidnapping of about Three Hundred school Boys brings to light the level of disintegration and degradation we have sunk into as a country with a democratically elected president.
The leadership problem that has been the bane of our impoverishment as a nation only reared out its ugly head very conspicuous in 2020. Our leaders seem to only think about themselves and their next political ambition to the detriment of the masses. They are ready to spill the blood of the innocent to achieve their goals. They are quick to quote the erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan that ‘’my political ambition is not worth the blood of anyone.’’ Like Jesus would say in the scriptures, they only proclaim this with their lips. What is more baffling is the caliber of the tide of citizens that support our leaders in looting and destroying our common patrimony. Today only few men in position of speaking truth to power can do this judiciously. Many have sold their right for a pot of porridge.
It was Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah who said that the only commodity we market as Christians is hope. As the year 2021 rolled in let us hope on God to heal our world of this virus by illuminating the minds of our scientists with divine inspiration to produce a moral, ethical and efficacious vaccine to help in making our world safe to live in. And as a country we must continue to demand for good governance from those we have elected to lead us. As the New Year unfolds we must continue to agitate for restructuring and making our states autonomous so that we can exploit the natural resources that states are blessed with that remain under-exploited and abandoned. We must demand for security of life and property. It is our fundamental human right to be secured and protected. The late afro beat maestro Fela Anikulapo- Kuti lyricizes, ‘’you can’t dash me human right!’’ The Nigeria government is not doing her citizenry favours by ensuring they are secured. We should not beg for it. It is our right! If a government is unable to protect and secure her citizens that government has failed and should resign. We hope to employ more people in the business of speaking truth to our government. The church hierarchies should not shy from seeking social justice for their flocks whenever they have the opportunity.
Consequently the New Year for us all should be a Year of ‘soro so ke’! We should demand the revamping of our steel factories in Ajaokuta and Warri and many other factories that have been left to decay in the country. There is no way the naira will equal the dollar when we do not produce and export goods and services enough. When the rich in Aso rock buy pizza from London and Washington then be rest assured that the naira will continue to fall flat in the presence of the dollar. We can make Nigeria great again like the years when with N17 you could afford a return ticket to the US. Let us all get on board to make Nigeria work! Wishing you a prosperous and grace-filled New Year.