FEATURE ARTICLE

Friday, January 1, 2021
amobipchuks@yahoo.com

THE UGLINESS OF YEAR 2020
certain young couple gave birth to non-bouncing ugly baby boy, who was born with long beard and thick hairy body. His face looked like the face of the jungle monkey. The parents received him with mix feelings of joy and sadness. On the naming day he was called 'Ahusiemanya' which means 'I Never See.' As the ugly boy was growing up, he associated with both human beings and animals. Tongues started wagging. Some were speculating that either a male monkey or chimpanzee fathered the ugly boy. The mother should be called to explain, because it is only the mother who knows the father of her child.

At the dawn of Year 2020, we rejoiced that a hopeful year had arrived. Personally I thought that 20-20 signifies fullness of joy, progress and prosperity. One of my relations is popularly called 20-20 because of his successful venture in life. When high heel shoes were reigning in the 1970's he wore the highest heel with the biggest bongo trousers. In addition he had the best CD 195 motorcycle that was popular in town in those days. Indeed the nickname 20-20 favoured him a lot. But with the horrible events that took place in the year 2020, he changed his nickname to All Weather.

When garri is mixed with sand, it becomes injurious to human health. At the beginning of 2020 we heard of Coronavirus pandemic as news from Asia, America and Europe. During the Nigeria-Biafran civil war, we as children consumed a lot of rats and lizards as protein supplement due to the economic blockade imposed on Biafra. Those rats and lizards were so nutritious and had no trace of Lassa fever in them. It was after the unfortunate civil war that some Nigerian rats travelled abroad and came back with the dreaded Lassa fever. From then till today, rats and other rodents became enemies to humanity, especially to Nigerians.

The months of January and February 2020 saw Nigerians booming with hopeful smiles. As soon as we entered into the month of March 2020, we were preparing to march forward to success when the unexpected happened. Some notable Nigerians travelled to Coronavirus countries and got infected with the virus without their knowledge. When they came back, the invisible and dangerous Coronavirus emanated from their sensible organs and began to pursue innocent Nigerians who were going about their daily duties. Thus there was fire on the mountain and everyone ran into the house. The federal and state governments ordered, "Stay at Home!" Businesses, schools, churches and mosques were closed. To put it more technical, there was nationwide economic lockdown.

If a lazy man covers himself with a mat, hunger will eventually pull it off his body. After staying at home for days and weeks, a more dangerous virus sprang up. It was called hunger virus. A certain rich man knelt down before a meal and thanked God for giving him food and also making him to be hungry. When food marries hunger, the marriage becomes successful and fruitful. On the other hand, when hunger marries empty plate, the marriage becomes disastrous. During the stay at home order from above, what was mightier than spider invaded its territory, making the spider desperate. When Covid-19 pandemic drove everybody inside the house, many died from the virus of hunger. Government, groups and well-to-do individuals were forced to fight the hunger virus with palliatives. Unfortunately the hunger refused to be palliated. Consequently hungry Nigerians were compelled to go out to look for means of survival. They reasoned that it is better to die of Coronavirus than to die of hungervirus. If you were given an option, which of the two viruses would you prefer?

An idle mind is the devil's workshop. Many atrocities were committed during the stay at home order. Rape was very common. Incest was practiced. Some men impregnated their biological daughters and sisters. Many unwanted pregnancies were recorded. This increased the surging population of Nigeria. A number of suicide cases were recorded here and there during the lockdown. Some persons went mental.

A woman who absconded from her marital home said that she has no tongue to narrate the horrible experiences she passed through in her husband's house. In other words, if the wine tapper reports what he sees up there, then no one will dare to climb a palm tree. Thus, as the sad experiences from the Covid-19 pandemic were being managed by Nigerians, the police brutality came on board. Hunger met brutality and the center could no longer hold. The agama lizard said that it is not the beating that it received from the crowd that pained it so much, but the utterance of the person who suggested that its head be smashed on the ground. When Coronavirus and hungervirus were mesmerizing the poor masses, some members of the Special Anti Robbery Squad popularly known as SARS leashed terror on innocent Nigerians. Many innocent persons were tortured and killed mercilessly. This triggered the anger of the youths who were at the receiving end of the police brutality. They protested peacefully and demanded from the federal government to bring SARS to an end. This is shortened as 'EndSARS'. The nationwide peaceful protest lasted for eleven consecutive days. Unfortunately on the 12th day Satan was let loose. Some hoodlums infiltrated the peaceful EndSARS protest and caused mayhem. Some innocent youths thereby lost their precious lives. Many federal, state and individual assets were set ablaze. The SARS ended in more bloodshed. It is unfortunate. Till now none of the hoodlums has been brought to justice. Who were the hoodlums and where did they come from? Were they sponsored by the powers that be? Only God knows.

To add salt to an injury in 2020, insecurity of lives reached its climax in this country. The President Buhari led government failed in his essential duty of protecting the lives and properties of the citizens. The Boko Haram terrorists, the Fulani bloody herdsmen, kidnappers, bandits and cultists slaughtered thousands of innocents Nigerians in 2020. It was either the barber is inexperienced or that the razor is blunt. There was a clarion call to the president to rejig the security apparatus and to change the service chiefs who have served out their usefulness. Unfortunately the call fell on deaf ears. The wanton abductions, kidnapping and killings continued unabated. The blood of the innocent is crying for vengeance. Who will deliver us and when?

Above all in 2020, the Nigerian economy was dragged to the mud twice. Nigeria became the World Capital of Poverty. The power of the Naira became a laughing stock in the global market. Along the line the Giant of Africa fell into recession and was later revived a bit. In few months time the child that is learning to walk suddenly was crippled in both legs and it somersaulted. This saw Nigeria falling into a second recession within the same year 2020. Is there any hope of rising from the mess before 31st December 2020? Or will the economic downfall be carried forward to the New Year 2021? God forbid!

The mother vulture went into a river to take a bath. When she came out, she smiled and asked her daughter, "How am I looking?" The daughter without mincing words asserted with tears, "Mama, ugliness has met ugliness." The mother vulture reacted violently toward her honest daughter who took to her heels because life has no duplicate. If an ugly man marries an ugly woman, their children will become bundles of ugliness. But if an ugly man marries a beautiful woman, then there is hope of complementation.

All said and done, since a black hen laid white eggs, no hope is lost. It took the Israelites about 430 years to migrate from their slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land of liberation. America went through thorns and thistles before they landed safely and democratically. God never sleeps. He has plans for Nigeria. Some day and some time God will send a local Moses to rescue Nigerians from years of bloodshed and bad governance. Goodbye 2020! Welcome 2021! In God we trust.

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