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May Our Own Year Never End Yet!



Kenya Presidential Election: Comparing Notes

The Insight by Lateef Adewole

Today is the last day of the year 2022. May we live to see the next; 2023 and many more. It is understandable, the excitement of a day like this, given how many days of the year have passed and the apprehension that usually heralds the new year due to fear of unknown. Such feeling is only terrestrial. It is we, the human beings, who distinguish between these days. In reality, there is nothing different or distinct that differentiates one day from another.

This day won’t be different from yesterday, days in last year or in the next. They all have 24 hours in them. None is extended or shortened by fraction of a second (to simple human knowledge). The day will break. The sun will rise and set. Brightness will shine during the day while darkness will envelop the night. To the celestial, they are all the same. But what could actually make them different? It is the use to which we put each and every one of them that makes all the difference.

Today will be full of activities, especially in a “religious” country with overly “religious” people, though less Godly, like ours. Many will not sleep overnight but populate religious houses. Many will go to where they considered sanctuaries. Many do go to the beaches and waterfronts to worship and pray. I am yet to decipher the essence of that actually because, same people will condemn the Osun traditional worshippers as idolaters for worshipping where there is river or large body of water. What difference is between them really?

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This is a period people make resolutions. They call them “New Year’s Resolutions”. These are things they hope to do in the new year. These could be in characters, actions, activities or projects. Many could have identified flaws in their characters which have had negative effects on them but would like to change them for better. It could be about imbibing new habits for personal growth. It could be getting involved in life changing activities. It could be embarking on new projects. And so on. Whichever one is it, making new year’s resolution is beyond wishful thinking or simply ink on paper. They require deep thinking about them, thinking them through, making up one’s mind to start, and be resolute to see them through.

Oftentimes, it doesn’t take more than few weeks into the new year before many peoples’ new year’s resolution will “lule” (fail / be abandoned), and they relapse into their old ways. As the euphoria of the new year dies down, so are the resolutions. They get blown away with the wind. Lol! This is why no one should deceive themselves. Taking serious decision as to better one’s life or start laudable project doesn’t have to wait till the year ends. It should be a continous engagement.

As many people reflect on the past 365 days, they might be disappointed. There is more than enough reasons in the world to complain. One doesn’t need to look far. The world is full of excessive negativities that one need not search very far to have things to be angry about and unhappy with. In Nigeria, that is the easiest thing to do. It is also what the media mainstreams. If you want to be sad, simply turn on your radio and listen to, or your television and watch, the news. You will be bombarded with loads of bad news.

The easiest of all is social media. With the preponderance of mobile phones that support internet, the world is at everyone’s palm. The social media has become the dustbin of all kind of information and news. If anyone wants news to travel in a flash, put it on social media. Before the blink of an eye, it has gone viral, especially bad news, because of the speed with which people forward messages even before reading, understanding or verifying them. This has made fake news to be everywhere.

Why won’t anyone be sad about the situation the country and the people have found themselves? The past one year has been challenging like every other year or more challenging. Despite that Russia and Ukraine are thousands of miles away from us, we suffered for their actions, majorly unnecessarily because of our irresponsibility as a country. The top on it is the petroleum products’ crisis, especially the petrol and diesel. While the former became regually scarce, thereby putting people in hardship, the other’s price went through the roof, causing hardship to the people as well. Same as kerosene and aviation fuel.

This is in spite of the country being blessed with abundance of crude oil from where these products are obtained. The increasing landing cost of imported petrol often wiped out all the revenues that should have accrued to the government from the sales of our crude oil. The implication was that there was no money to be shared to the tiers of government in many months, thereby incapacitating their functionality. We all suffer for it. To cushion the effect, we went borrowing. We keep accumulating debts we are now finding difficult to service, not to talk of paying back. He who goes borrowing, goes sorrowing, but only if it is for non-productive ventures, like we have seen in Nigeria countless times.

There are insecurities everywhere. Traversing the country by road has become scary. Kidnapping is the commonest. It could be for ransom or ritual, particularly at this election season. All manners of devilish involvements by the politicians in their desperate bid to win elections do increase kidnappings and killings for ritual. This is different from the perennial yahoo-plus that has become the past time of the youths. Armed robbery, accidents, etc, are some other challenges on the roads.

The economic hardship cannot be overemphasised. “Kaka k’ewe agbon ro, lile lo n le si” (rather than things to get better, they get worse). More people become more miserable by the day. Poverty kept increasing. Hunger is angrily biting the people harder. To add salt to injury, while the masses are crying of lack of money and hunger, they hear daily reports of how their leaders in authority are siphoning their money. They read of how the meagre public funds are being stolen and squandered. They watch in the news, how one person has stolen money enough for a whole community. Are they expected to rejoice? One can go on and on.

However, all hope is not lost. As the Yorubas will say: “eniba mo inu ro, yio mo ope da” (he who can reflect deeply, will always have cause to be grateful). I watched a video recently where a man narrated his experience to an audience. He said he witnessed where blood is being extracted from a man’s body, put in the machine and returned to his body. On his enquiry, he was told that the man’s system cannot oxygenate his blood by itself any longer. So, the process helps to put oxygen in his blood. Given that the whole system depends on oxygen being carried by the blood to all parts of the body. Any lack of it means death. The process is said to cost about 9,000 pounds per week.

In Nigeria, at an exchange rate of N800 per pound, that is about N7.2 million per week! That’s incredible. Is this not what God does for us all our life, free of charge? Imagine the cost for a 70 year old (3,640 weeks). Surely, the natural process can never be equated to the artificial, added to the complications of the process and inconveniences. This is something we do unconsciously. To say this is just one process out of possibly thousands or millions of others in our body that keep us alive. Is it our eyes, ears, nose, bones, muscles, digestive system, heart, lung, kidney, liver, and other internal organs, or the most intricate part; our brain? How much are paying for them to function effectively as they do without our help? If we can reflect on this, definitely, we will have more than enough reasons to be grateful.

In life, there will always be imperfections. Everything can never be smooth all the time, just like there can never be endless day or endless night. They continue to interchange, so is our life conditions. There shall be time of plenty and time of drought. There shall be time of wellness and time of sickness. There shall be time for work and time for play. There shall be time to be happy and time to be sad. There shall be time to live and time to die. Only those who have died that their own has ended. “Bi emi ba wa, ireti nbe” (when there is life, there is hope).

The unfortunate misconception of the people about life is responsible for why we are always feeling miserable. We only expect things to always work for us and go well at all times. Whenever we are faced with challenges, no matter how small, we begin to feel dejected because we don’t anticipate or expect them to happen to us. Our misunderstanding of our religious beliefs drives such desperation. We see all bad things as coming from the “devil”, hence, they are not our portion. This is wrong belief. There is nothing that can afflict any person without the knowledge of the Almighty. Nothing happens without His knowledge, power and permission.

Trials are given to man to make him strong, but we don’t like them. “Eni maa ga, ese re a gun” (he who will be great, will pass through difficulties). This is replete in the holy books that we claim to believe in but we don’t like to accept. The world is in categories. There will be rich and poor people. And each are in levels. Those who only look ahead of them feel God has not done well for them because they only see those who are ahead of them in life. If we try to look behind us too, we will realise the multitudes far worse than our present conditions.

A rich man thanks God he is not poor. A poor man thanks God he is not in prison. A man in prison thanks God he is not sick. A sick man thanks God he is not dead. A dead man is dead. May be he also thanks God that he is free from all the tribulations of this world (if that ever happens). This is how life is. “Bi ilu gangan l’oro ile aye, ibi t’okoju s’enikan, eyin lo ko s’elomiran” (life is like the talking drum, while one side faces one person, the other faces another person).

As we move to enter another year, we must never allow that Nigerian spirit leave us. We are a resilient people. If what we are facing is faced by many other countries, their people would have risen up, called for change of government and brought down the country, but not in Nigeria. We have seen this happened in different countries; Tunisia, Egypt, Venezuela and Ghana some weeks ago. Our elastic seems not to have limit. Actually, it has limit, Nigerians only love their country and do not want it to go to ruins. However, our leaders should not push the people to their limits and breaking points. The outcome won’t be palatable.

This also should inspire all of us to rise up to the occasion as the 2023 general elections come near. We must go out and choose candidates of our choices peacefully. There are multiple candidates contesting for different positions on different platforms, only one person will win per position. Whoever wins should be accepted. The elections should not be made do-or-die affairs. Power is given by God only. Let us do our own part and leave the rest to God. I only pray that the Almighty guide our path to choose the person who will make Nigeria better and greater. May we all be alive, in good health, to witness and enjoy the good era in Nigeria. May our own year never end yet!

May God continue to protect us and guide us aright.

God Bless Nigeria.

You can follow me on:
Twitter: @lateef_adewole
Facebook: Lateef Adewole
Whatsapp: +2348179512401

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December 31, 2022.


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