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Saturday, June 22, 2024

RENEWED SUFFERING By Fr Pat Amobi Chukwuma

Indeed a toad does not run in the day time for nothing. Also there is no smoke without fire. I was sitting outside minded in my office few days ago. In other words my body was present there while my spirit was roaming about due to the distressful condition in Nigeria today. Suddenly, I heard an uncomfortable knock on my office door. I shouted, “Who is that!?” A restless unfamiliar female voice shouted, “I am an uncomfortable child of God and a hopeless citizen of Nigeria!” I asked her to come in. She walked in like a semi ghost. I offered her a seat, but she rejected. She said she preferred to stand up so that her request can be granted with dispatch. I asked, “What can I do for you?” She forwarded her baptismal card to me and requested for an instant change of her name from Joy to Job. I laughed over her request. She looked at me mercifully and asserted, “Father, this is not a laughing matter. Kindly erase Joy and replaced it with Job or you issue me a new baptismal card bearing Job.” I glanced at her pitifully and replied, “What is written is written. We do not alter names in our vital church document because it has gone viral, even up to heaven. In addition, Job is commonly a masculine name.” She responded, “Father, it is hot weather that made crayfish to bend. Emergency knows no gender. After all some women are called Michael, Raphael, etc. I have suffered many calamities in this country Nigeria.” To cut it short I referred her to any of the National Newspapers for the change of name. She interjected, “What is said is said. Henceforth my name is Job. The y in Joy is automatically changed to b. I will rewrite it by myself.” She walked out of my office like a mad woman, banging the door. I exclaimed, “God have mercy! Hardship has caused havoc in this country.” 

I quite understand the plight of the distressed lady in the scene described above. Suffering has caused untold physical and mental problems nowadays. We seem to be descending from bad to worse every day. It is hoped that a soul delivered from the fire of purgatory is destined for heaven. Here in Nigeria, we walk from purgatory to hell. The eight years of the administration of former president Buhari is adjudged to set us many years behind. In fact, the labours of our heroes past are getting in vain. 

It is now the turn of President Bola Tinubu to lead us. His manifestoes are summarized in two words: ‘Renewed Hope.’ Every word has an opposite. The opposite of God is Satan. The opposite of Renewed is outdated. The opposite of Hope is hopelessness. The opposite of election is selection. The opposite of winning is rigging. The opposite of justice is injustice. The opposite of fair play is intimidation. The opposite of democracy is autocracy. The opposite of truth is falsehood. The opposite of renewed hope is renewed suffering. These negative opposites are the nucleus of our present predicaments in this country. Indeed they have crippled our weak legs. A crippled man can only work by miracle. Our country Nigeria has been crippled by bad leadership. Our sufferings are man-made. God blessed us with abundant natural and human resources. Mismanagement is our sole problem.

The Renewed Hope Administration on the day of her inauguration instantly removed fuel subsidy without thinking of its side effects. What did we see immediately? The prices of essential commodities galloped from bottom to top. Drivers and car owners cried for help due to the exorbitant cost of the motor spirit known as fuel. My neighbor who is a civil servant packed his car and resorted to trekking reasonable distances. Also he resorted to taking his four kids to school on a wheel barrow. Thus school run can be done by any means, so far the pupils are punctual at school.

The careless removal of fuel subsidy caused more harm than good. Its worst effect is acute hunger in the land. Nigerians are hungry. My people believe that a hopeful hunger is not dangerous because food is on the way. On the contrary we are experiencing unhopeful hunger because food is not in sight. Our tables are empty. Even ordinary drinking water is exorbitant. Some people have resorted to drinking urine which, they say, is medicinal. A hungry person is an angry person. High blood pressure is now on the increase due to this anger syndrome. Most common citizens have now double facial appearances of hunger and anger. Asking a hungry and angry man to be merely hopeful is suicidal. Medicine after death is useless. A corpse has no more appetite. Recently some villagers somewhere buried a wretched man who died of hunger with a bag of rice and seven tubers of yam, so that he will not be hungry again in the land of the dead. What a nonsensical nonsense! It is better to pay condolence to a hungry person with food items when the person is still alive. It is foolish to give a befitting burial to a person who died of hunger. I reiterate that befitting living is the best. What is the essence of giving the dead a befitting burial when he or she lived an unbefitting life?

The renewed suffering is evident in the worsening insecurity in the country. The late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, said that government is culpable in any insecurity that lasted more than six months. The former President Goodluck Jonathan lamented that Boko Haram supporters were in his government. The federal government of Tinubu of recent named the sponsors of insecurity in the country. Have they been arrested and persecuted? Until the rotten tooth is identified and pulled out, the mouth must chew with caution. Is it true that some ‘repentant’ terrorists were recruited into the Army and Police? A mad man can be cured of his madness but his murmuring remains. The repentance of a hardened criminal is doubtful. Who are the informants of terrorists and kidnappers? It is the rat at home that told the wild rat that there is fish in the basket at home. Therefore the federal and state governments must look inwards to curb the acute insecurity in this country today. Nearly all Nigerians are sleeping with two eyes opened every night.

The worsening condition of a sick person can lead to coma. The renewed suffering in the country is escalating. The power supply outage experienced presently all over the nation is alarming. The federal government removed electricity subsidy without adequate consultation and increased electricity tariff as well. These have done more harm than good. Power blackout is the order of the day. For almost three weeks now in my area, we are living in acute darkness. Hence the agents of darkness are on the increase. The ‘Renewed Hope’ administration should have ensured constant power supply. Instead we experience renewed suffering of total power failure nationwide. The darkness that God expelled during his creative activity has found an abode in Nigeria. Many people have resorted to use of local oil lamps and charcoal iron.

The acute power failure has added energy in the current heat wave. The inordinate pollution of our environment has made nature to revolt violently. The high and hot temperature has caused uncountable human havoc. Many people now sleep outside due to heat wave. The fans and air conditioners remain dormant due to lack of electricity. Thus the people battle with mosquitoes whose bites cause malaria. Most often nowadays the wind has ceased to blow. A certain man who slept naked outside due to excessive heat had his manhood devoured by a dangerous snake called ‘echieteka.’ He was rushed to the intensive unit of a teaching hospital for plastic surgery with chance of survival put at 50 – 50. From all indications, the solution to our renewed suffering is not in sight. Divine intervention is our only hope. O God, where are you?


The opinions and views expressed in this write-up are entirely those of the Writer(s). They do not reflect the opinions and views of the Publisher (Nze Ikay Media) or any of its employees. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of materials herein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the Publisher (Nze Ikay Media) or its employees concerning the legal status of any country, its authority, area or territory or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers. Equally, the sketches, images, pictures and videos are gotten from the public domain.

Nigeria is an Enigma. The capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of her is undoubtedly God’s endowment to us, her citizens. As a citizen of this lovely nation, I’ve spent decades of my life trying to understand this, Mirage. Hope someday, this Mystery that houses about 250 million blacks will be globally understood, widely accepted, and given the opportunity to play its vital role in the world stage. So, help us God! #NigeriaDeservesBetter #AfricaDeservesBetter

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