Few days ago I was taking a lonely digestive walk after a sumptuous supper. At the onset, the moon was shinning such that I could see the Angels of God descending and ascending. It was a colourful sight to behold. As I was pouring praises to God, the weather changed automatically. It might be that the devil struck because he was not happy seeing the glory of God. The light of the moon instantly fell. The cloud thickened. Darkness descended. A heavy wind began to blow. Heavy thunder struck thrice. I made the Sign of the Cross and ran with extra strength towards my residence. Hardly did I enter into the house than the central iron door through which I passed violently shut itself. My fingers would have been amputated by the force of the door closure had I not swiftly removed them from the sharp edges. At that moment series of lightening occurred. A heavier thunder struck again, which caused the foundation of my house to shake strongly. I became so afraid and confused such that I was undecided whether to go into my room or to get outside the house. At a second thought I convinced myself that it was better to go in than to go out. Immediately I rushed into my room and took cover. I wore my rubber slippers to avoid any electrical shock and I grabbed my Rosary beads and started to pray sanctimoniously.
To take precaution is not cowardice. Earlier, I bought a big rope and tied it at the trunk of a giant mango tree beside my house, which is adjacent to my room. Then I passed the rope into my room through the back door. Finally I tied the head of the rope at the pillar of my bed. In case of any emergency like fire outbreak, house collapse or earthquake, I will hold the rope and swing or jump to safety. So, during the raging storm on that fateful night, I tied the rope round my waist as I was kneeling down in ardent prayer. In case the storm pulls down the house, at least the rope will either help me to escape or help sympathizers to rescue me easily from the debris. But God forbid.
When we were little children we normally rejoice during lightening; shouting on top of our little voices that God has photographed us. We are still waiting till today to see the divine pictures. Seeing ourselves exposed to danger as a result of the lightening, our parents or elders around would order us to enter the house. Even during rainfall we would go out naked, bathing joyfully under the rain. If thunder strikes during the period, we normally make some symbolic sounds with our tongues and lips.
Let me now mean business before my customers laugh away from me. The whole world has been battling with the storm of coronavirus pandemic since the terminal of 2019 till today. Could you imagine how an invisible virus is keeping the whole world including the world powers restless and sleepless? Hence the concentration of the powers-that-be on building of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons has minimized.
Since the coronavirus pandemic stormed the entire universe, everybody is running helter-skelter. This has brought great isolation here and there. Fear has gripped every Dick and Harry. Even medical doctors and nurses are afraid when patients come to hospital nowadays. If one coughs or sneezes today, everyone takes cover somewhere. The virus emanates from the carrier and jumps into the nose, mouth or eyes of anyone nearby. Consequently, wearing of face masks and social distancing are the order of the day. Numerous human hands are complaining of being over washed. Some dangerous chemicals labeled as sanitizers flood the markets.
The other day a man poured some quantities of dangerous sanitizer into his palms and started symbiotic rubbing of his two hands. Do you know what happened? It was unexpected. It was disastrous. His two palms burst into pieces and separated from the wrists. The victim was rushed to orthopedic hospital where specialist doctors battled for hours to restore the palms. Indeed it was an effort in futility. The shattered palms were then amputated from the writs. The victim groaned for days unending. When his wound healed, he was compensated with plastic palms and fingers. Please beware of dangerous sanitizers in the market. Personally I sanitize my entire body with Holy Water before the application of any other Covid-19 protocols.
The storm of Covid-19 is yet to cease. How long shall we take cover? Thousands of despaired Germans poured into the street recently to say that they are tired of the Covid-19 protocols which have led them into untold hardships. They want to confront the raging pandemic storm by going about their normal businesses. I have observed today that death-rate has doubled worldwide not as a result of coronavirus but because of the preventive measures against the Covid-19 storm. Here in Nigeria Covid-19 storm has killed hundreds but economic and health hardships have killed thousands. The storm forced the churches, mosques and schools to shut down. How long shall we remain in the shutdown? Someone lamented that the Nigerian pupils and students are tired of staying at home. They want schools to reopen.
As the coronavirus storm is raging, the nefarious activities of terrorists, bandits, bloody herdsmen and kidnappers are thriving. I wonder why the raging pandemic storm is not affecting them. These terrorists, bandits, bloody herdsmen and kidnappers kill more Nigerians than coronavirus. It is not an over statement that our greatest problem now is insecurity storm. The primary assignment of any government is to secure the lives and properties of the citizenry. Has the present Nigerian government failed? President Buhari is fond of sympathizing with the families of slain Nigerians than taking proactive measures to nip the blood-letting in the bud. Boko Haram is gaining more grounds. As millions of displaced Nigerians are languishing in various camps and our soldiers are being killed in the warfronts, the federal government is bent on presumed deradicalization and release of captured Boko Haram terrorists. This is very unfortunate. No matter how much you tame a fox, it must bite. One of the released Boko Haram terrorists went home in Borno state and killed his father and ran away. Prisoners of war are released after the war and not during the war. Most of the released Boko Haram terrorists go back to their group through the forest. Those who stay in their communities pose great danger to the people.
There is a lot of grumbling in the Army. No wonder a junior officer who was fed up shot a senior officer to death in the Northeast. Also, many soldiers are reported to have retired voluntarily. There is no smoke without fire. Something is basically wrong in the army barracks. The current Service Chiefs have tried their best and are overdue for retirement. Appointment of new Service Chiefs will boast the morale of our soldiers, especially those at the warfronts. Nigerians are now sleeping with one eye closed. President Buhari should confront the raging insecurity storm by taking drastic actions.
While we are swimming in the ocean of political storm, the tussle for 2023 presidential election has started. When the present child is yet to crawl, the parents are already expecting a new baby. Some political manoeuvres are going on secretly and openly. Who will occupy Aso Rock in 2023? That is the question giving our politicians sleepless nights. The rotation of the Presidency was introduced to allow peace to reign. Even though it is not constitutional but it is situational. From the evidence available, all the geopolitical regions have taken their turns except the Southeast. So, the political question answers itself. If we are One Nigeria, then no geopolitical region should be cheated. Let us give peace a chance so that the raging storm of 2023 will be calmed down.
To quell the raging Covid-19, insecurity and political storms we need divine assistance. We cannot do it alone. There is a limit to human power. When Jesus Christ and his disciples were sailing in the lake, the Lord was asleep. A fierce storm suddenly broke out. The disciples on their own battled to bring it under control but all to no avail. Hence they woke their Master Jesus Christ shouting, “Save us, Lord, we are lost!” (Mtt. 8:25). Jesus woke up and calmed the raging storm by his mighty power. And there was calm. In the way, the world powers and we Nigerians cannot calm the raging storms alone. We require divine assistance. Therefore we must fall on our knees every day and call on God, who is never asleep. May He deliver us from the raging global and national storms, so that we may not perish! Amen!
By Fr Pat Amobi Chukwuma
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