New Year’s Eve

nother Friday, another birthday, death-day, another feminine heart shattered like beer bottles on the head of a cheating partner, another anything. Some lady is muttering: Why must it be a woman’s heart that should be broken. That lady dons the look of a staunch feminist or a feminist wanna-be and my reply is curt: Women are susceptible to heartbreaks. Thus, I escaped a long and exhausting essay on how women will soon be liberated from the shackles of men.

Women are wonderful beings and that is why when God saw Adam wandering in the precious Garden of Eden, felicitating with animals, He shook his head and caused him to fall into a deep sleep and took one of his ribs and made a woman. Women are also the reason the sons of God lusted after the daughters of men and married them to the chagrin of their creator. It is obvious that God never rested the day He made woman, but that is a strong topic for another day.

So I travelled down to the east to spend my holiday. The word “down” is always associated with adventure. And that is how Samson went down to Timnah and his adventures began. As the journey began from Portharcourt, we were driven past soldiers mounting (Should I say illegal) roadblocks. These bold extortionists deprived motorists of their hard earned hundred Naira notes. Erring motorists were delayed and later cajoled to part with the fixed sum.

Our driver doughtily refused to part with the sum and he was descended upon by the angry voices of commuters. To the passengers it was retribution being served because they had earlier parted with exorbitant amounts of money so as to be ferried to their location. The driver diffidently parted with money at five more barricades before the rage of the passengers doused and he was advised not to dish out the Awolowos anymore.

We arrived in one piece and I noticed that nothing had changed down east. Everything looked the same. There were the irate pedestrians, intolerant tricycle and okada operators. They were all hustling, cursing the lackadaisical President and praying for the outcome of Biafra. Pot holes had been hurriedly filled by untested contractors. The life span of the filled pot holes was of course the duration of the Xmas period. There were mammoth queues at banks and a swell crowd at gaming centers. The Christmas air was drab and gloomy were the faces I passed.

There were new garments hanging in market stalls and other local boutiques but no buyers were seen haggling. The shop owners just sat in front of their shops nursing forlorn looks. But as usual, there were the oppressors who were unperturbed by the broke climate and they made sure they dangled their opulence in the faces of their supposedly oppressed victims with their flashy cars and siren blaring Hiluxes. Truth be told, no one really cared about them.

On Christmas day, church pews were empty and no mind-boggling donations were made. Priests had looks of dissatisfaction plastered on their faces and their tempers flared unreasonably. There were neither cows nor cocks to be sold at the bazaar because there were more yams used for thanksgiving. Seemed everyone had embraced tuber agriculture full time.

The New Year ushered in new couples. There were more wedding ceremonies at the beginning of this year than any other year and it simply means that more people are becoming responsible and kicking away mendacity.

The New Year has come and gone and we have every reason to give credit to God, especially those of us that travelled safely to choice locations and journeyed back unscathed. We ought to thank God for making us see the month of January and yet another weekend eve. Twenty six new days have gone by and many have no resolution set for the year. It is pertinent to set a goal to be achieved at the end of the year because one, who fails to plan, plans to fail. Let the resolution be a principle to beam your way as you trudge upon the earth’s surface. Many passed to the great beyond on the eve of the New Year and the New Year itself, but we are alive and kicking. God almighty should be glorified.

It is true January has its prospects. There are school fees to be paid to unsympathetic Proprietors, house rents to be delivered to already pesky Landlords, debts to be paid to red eyed creditors and reimbursement to be made to tailors and so on and so forth. But despite all these inevitable brouhaha, the most important thing this month has brought is the gift of life.

The precious gift of life. Without it you are a solid okwute (Not the former governor of Anambra state o). Okwute means rock in the Igbo parlance. A rock is cold, hard and dumb. The dead stay dumb and that is why a breathing ekuke is better than a dead lion. Or just like I always say, a bleating goat is better than a steaming plate of 404. Kudos to the original set of Calabarians who produced this trendy code. Therefore, we all should cast away our burdens, blunders and thunderous fears and celebrate life and also thank God for giving us a new Friday.

Everyone nurse New Year hopes. Hopes to marry that sweetheart, to buy or steal that car, to move into that duplex or flat depending on the financial strength, to covet that neighbor’s wife,  his Samsung plasma, laptop and Iphone in that unholy order. Which way the wind of our hope blows, it is certain that our belief should be propelled by benevolent spirits who pave the way for us. But God almighty is a just immortal who separates grains from chaff.

Fresh hopes. The Biafrans who have been waiting for the swearing in of  Donald Ekenedilichukwu Trump as the next President of the United States of America have every right to rejoice since their collective hope and dream have partly been actualized. President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America on the 20th of January, 2017. To these agitators, Trump is the Moses of their generation who promised to liberate them from the strong hold of the Nigerian Pharaoh. Trump is the proverbial knight in shiny armor. That the supposed armor is made of tin foil or the supposed knight is all prawn-brawn is none of their business. So, on the 20th of January, 2017 the Biafrans filed out en masse to celebrate the inauguration of President Donald Trump. They held a peace procession of solidarity in Portharcourt but unfortunately for these happy and hopeful people, what ought to have been a day of joy turned sour as the Nigerian Army intercepted their procession and in the ensuing fracas six Biafran lives were lost. It is pertinent to state the President Donald Trump hasn’t released a statement to protest the killings and condemn the act of the overzealous soldiers.

Still the Biafrans are hopeful that they and their incarcerated leader Nnamdi Kanu would soon be liberated by President Donald Trump.

Nigerians nurse hopes that the APC led government of President Buhari will eventually find a bearing and stop its wild goose chase. Nigerian’s have been led, cattle like, through the wasteland of despondency by their Rearer-in-Chief. The general hope is for the change mantra to be rejuvenated. The excuses given by the present administration are getting irritating and petty and it is hoped that the girdles of the leaders are firmly tied and their policies restructured.

Those who invested in the assumed Ponzi scheme known as Mavrodi Mondial Movement (MMM) were hopeful that come January 14th the scheme would be revitalized and help can be given and received consequently. The D-day has come and gone and nay-Sayers have supposedly been put to shame.

It is obvious every inhabitant of this earth nurse hope for better days. From the golden shoreline of the USA to the war ravaged zone of Somalia, appealing England to scheming Russia, cackling Turkey to Liberia, budding Ghana to rugged Afghanistan, nomadic Nigeria to the befuddled once-Jammeh-led Gambia, the prayer is analogous: Let the earth be a better place to live in. This can only be achieved by humans living on earth and not aliens.

Like the Late Pop Star Michael Jackson sang, let’s heal the world and make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race…

Lastly, there is this trend in the city of Portharcourt which has got to stop. You see a well dressed man and you courteously greet him out of civility. The next thing is for that same person to call you back and ask you for money, that he is stranded. Ndi Portharcourt, this is a new year and I see no reason why you people should incessantly ridicule yourselves in the pursuit of quick bucks. That particular hustle is cheap, debasing and obsolete.  The culprits should desist from such despicable exploit and it shall be well with them.

The holidays are finally over so drink responsibly, save wisely and miserly and always drive carefully. Also, blessed are the peace makers: for they shall be called the children of God. We all should live in peace. I wish you all good luck as you ponder.

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Lawyer, Creative writer, Poet, Humorist

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