FEATURE ARTICLE

Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaTuesday, April 12, 2016
amobipchuks@yahoo.com


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THE NATIONAL ACUTE HEADACHE

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f police marries a warder, there child becomes a prisoner. If a soldier marries a custom, their child becomes a customer. If a politician marries a politician, their child becomes a voter. If a lawyer marries a lawyer, their child becomes Lawrence. If a doctor marries a nurse their child becomes a patient. If you fall sick and go to hospital you also become a patient. Thus, a patient went into the doctor's consulting room for diagnosis of his ailment. The doctor asked him, "What is wrong with you?" The patient sighed and said, "Doc, my head is in the state of confusion. There is serious war going on inside my head. I can't sleep at all. In short, my head is nearing the breaking point. Doc, please help me. If it is possible, I need head transplant." The doctor calmed him down and started to exam him medically. At last he told the patient, "You have acute headache. If care is not taken, you will enter into coma any moment from now." The patient shouted, "God forbid!"

Nigeria, the Giant of Africa is suffering now from acute headache. We pray that she may not enter into the state of coma. Our political system is still lacking in essential ingredients. The dividends of Democracy have not reached the door of the common man. Rigging and electoral violence are still ambushing justice and truth. The end still justifies the means. I doff my cap for the ex-president Goodluck Jonathan who said, "My re-election as President is not worth the blood of any Nigerian." Bloody politicians take note! Snatching of ballot boxes occur from time to time. This entails the snatching of good governance and the enthronement of injustice. We are yet to see the positive change promised by the APC Government during their electioneering campaign. A pregnant woman who is not yet sure of safe delivery is making serious plan for the next pregnancy in two years to come. What do I mean? Our ambitious politicians have started war of words and actions over the 2019 presidential and gubernatorial elections. Who knows if the world will still be in existence by then? A man and his wife were quarreling over the name they would give to their baby in the womb, when suddenly the baby was still born. If I were there, I would divide the corpse of the dead baby into two and force them to eat it. Those playing dirty politics, take it easy. Are you sure of tomorrow? Must you be Senator, Governor or President at all costs? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Leadership is a service and not a lordship.

The fuel scarcity is biting hard. The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibeh Kachikwu stated that the acute problem will persist till the month of May this year. He was criticized and forced to withdraw his negativism. Then he assured Nigerians that the fuel shortage will cease in two weeks. A doctor was makes wrong diagnosis and also prescribes bad medication to his patients will soon discover the harm he has caused. What is the real Minister of Petroleum, the President, doing to alleviate this canker-worm which causes Nigerians to sleep hopelessly at filling stations? A Lagos resident lamented over the acute fuel scarcity saying, "Everything we were told by the APC-led government was that our suffering would cease, I was among those who believed in the party. But see what we're passing through for the third time now…It seems like a seasonal movie to me. When this is over, we don't know whether there is other phase around the corner" (Punch, April 2, 2016, page 16). A Lagos based Lawyer also lamented, "I was one of those who voted for change, but this is not the change I voted for. The government is dissipating so much energy on corruption and not focusing on the real economic issues to spur growth" (Ibid). A father of seven children slumped recently and died as he stood in a queue in one of the fuel filling stations. Shortly before he collapsed, he complained of hunger, anger and weakness.

As if enough is not enough, the perennial electricity failure is worsening. This has crippled our economy. Many industries have been forced to close down. Some industrialists have dislocated and migrated to those countries within Africa and the developed countries where there is steady electricity supply. If the APC Government can change this country from power epilepsy to constant power supply, then Nigerians will jubilate and clamour for their continual stay in the corridors of power. At creation when the world was still shrouded in total darkness, God commanded, "Let there be light" and there was light. Why should we the creatures of God created in the image and likeness of God plunge ourselves in darkness again? Government, please come to our aid! We are children of light and not children of darkness.

A sick woman went to a hospital to consult her doctor. She was found to be suffering from Malaria and Typhoid Fever. She cried, "I am finished. I have not come out of Malaria, and Typhoid Fever has joined the line to pull me down. God, na you sabi!" Our problem of acute power failure in this country has double effect with the present heat wave in many parts of the Nation. Many people can no more sleep during the day and at night due to excessive heat. Not many are buoyant enough to purchase a generator, even the small one called "I pass my neighbor." Few weeks ago, a certain man couldn't endue the excessive heat during the night of that ill-fated Monday. He bought some ice-blocks, packed them in his freezer and then entered the freezer and laid himself flat there. As the cold of the ice started to cool his body, he slept off. Suddenly, electricity came back when he was already deep asleep inside the freezer. In the morning, he was found frozen and dead. Tears flowed like water. The relations of the demised man gathered and decided to bury the dead man using the freezer as coffin. After digging the grave, they carried the freezer and corpse inside the grave and covered everything with sand. Due to the same excessive heat wave, a certain married man hired a cooling van. After supper each night, he, his wife and five children slept inside the cooling van. On the morning of the fifth day, the whole family of seven was found stiff dead in the cooling van. They were conveyed straight to the mortuary for autopsy. The result showed that they all died of cold wave. What an irony of life, from heat wave to cold wave!

An angry man is a hungry man. There is anger and hunger in the polity. The people are angry because of economic hardship. They are hungry because essential commodities are beyond the reach of low income earners. Some people cannot afford three square meals any longer. My people, it high time we went back to Agriculture. The people's oriented Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, has a good foresight. He is investing much on Agriculture now and this is yielding much dividend for the economic growth of Anambra State. He has already started exportation of agricultural products. Indeed, Willie is working in all fields. Also priesthood does not end at the Sanctuary. A priest cares for the spiritual and temporal good of the people. For this reason, a devoted priest of Awka Diocese in Anambra State, Very Reverend Father Sebastian Anokwulu is investing in Agriculture to alleviate the suffering of the poor masses. His farm is known as Masdevan Farm. It is situated at Urum in Awka North Local Government of the State. If you go there, it is just like the Paradise God gave to Adam and Eve to take of it. Seeing is believing! St Paul warns: "If you do not work, do not eat" (2Thess.3:10). Nigerians abandoned God-given natural resources and pursued oil. Oil has failed us. Let us go back to farm.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. We need to exercise the body from time to time. Football is one of the exercises. During my childhood, one who always plays football was taken to be a hooligan. As time went on, things changed. Football now is a source of income. An expectant mother went to shopping of clothes for her expected baby. She also bought football for the baby. Another pregnant woman tells the story of how her baby in the wombs jumps up and down from time to time. A prophet prophesied to her that the baby in her womb will be a good footballer. She was so happy. She went to church and prayed: "Thank you Jesus that I will give birth to a footballer. Please make it possible for him to join Chelsea team when he is born. Jesus, I trust in you!"

Our country Nigeria is also suffering from the headache of the football pitch. Over two years now the mighty Eagles have fallen. They refused to fly. When an eagle can no longer fly, it is to be used for soup at the kitchen. Again Nigeria has failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations taking place in Gabon in 2017. It is a pity. Indeed, we have so many talented players within and outside the country. Our problem is in management and selection. Personally, I stopped playing football so many years ago when at half time confusion blocked my vision. Instead of playing against our opponent, I played against my team. Instantly, I was removed from the pitch without consultation. Unlike me, we have talented players here and there. There is no ado in begetting so many children. But how do we train them? As a lover of football my dream to watch the 2017 AFCON has been nipped in the bud. "Which way Nigeria is heading to?" sang Sunny Okosun many years ago. There is an urgent call for all to pray for Nigeria in distress.

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