Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaTuesday, April 15, 2014




ecently, I was behind the wheels from Abuja to Awka. At a point at Ugwuoba in Enugu State, I was forced to slow down as I beheld a long queue of vehicles moving at the pace of a millipede on our own side of the Enugu - Onitsha "jagajaga" express road that is taking decades of years to reconstruct. A child that was born when the reconstruction started may be a driver by now plying on the same road. Who knows when the express road that has been in coma will be resuscitated to normalcy? Hail Mary, we fly to thy patronage! President Goodluck Jonathan, come to our assistance! Anambra and Enugu States' Governors, lead us not into temptation! Amen!

As I drove closer to the spot causing the traffic jam, what did I see? I saw a loaded 911 Lorry that got broke on the middle of the "jagajaga" road. Some men, probably mechanics, were lying like breathing corpses underneath the lorry, making trial and error to put it back to shape. As I was looking pitifully at the lorry and the men at work, my eyes caught the inscription on the lorry, which reads: "Life goes on."

Yes, life goes on whether the lorry is repaired or not. Life goes on even if the goods in the lorry perish and the owner loses. Life goes on even if the driver loses his job. No matter the delay caused other motorists plying the road that day, life goes on. Even if the damaged lorry stationing at the middle of the road causes accidents, life goes on.

One of my classmates in my Elementary Three was asked to use "I will" to make five sentences. He wrote: "I will go to Onitsha. I will go to Enugu. I will go to Lagos. I will go to Abuja. I will go to Jos." When our class teacher came across his exercise book, her face changed like someone who ate fresh bitter-leaf. She was infuriated by the monotonous sentences. She called out the pupil involved and took him round the classes to teach him a lesson. We followed behind mocking the pupil in question. As our teacher repeats the 'I will go to' sentences, the pupil in question danced to the amusement of the class pupils.

Likewise, I have learnt that life goes on no matter the situation, good or bad. In this write-up therefore, I shall make a lot of sentences with "Life goes on." My Bishop can take me round the parishes to dance it out. The lay people can bring out their drums to beat for me as I jump up and down.

Those at the corridors of power should know that no condition is permanent. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Where is General Sani Abacha of Nigeria after his reign of terror? Where is Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya who was born to rule? Where is Saddam Hussein of Iraq who mesmerised his people for decades? Where is Field Marshall Idi Amin of Uganda who cannibalised his subjects? Life goes on after the unfortunate exits of these unjust powerful rulers. Even in Heaven life goes on after Angel Lucifer rebelled against God and was consequently expelled from Heaven and thrown into Hell.

No one is indispensable. Ex-military president Ibrahim B. Babangida was forced to step aside when he tried by all means to sit tight on the Nigerian throne of leadership. Nigerians rejected ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo when he attempted to amend the constitution in order to perpetuate himself at the corridors of power. After the unwilling exits of these men, life goes on. When the ailing President Yar'Adua was flown into the Country from Saudi Arabia amidst total darkness at the Airport, a voice was heard thanking Vice President Goodluck Jonathan for holding brief for him in absentia. Unfortunately, the owner of the voice was never seen until the powers that be were forced to break the news that Yar'Adua was dead. Life goes on as Goodluck Jonathan was sworn into office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Later he contested an election and won. Life goes on as the 2015 Presidential Election draws closer. After the National Conference, good or bad, life goes on.

At the Parochial level, the parish priest, the vicars and the Christian community should endeavour to live in harmony. No one should lord it over the other. Life goes on if one by nature or by authority of the Hierarchy loses his office. When Judas left his office by betrayal and suicide, Matthias was chosen to occupy his seat. Life goes on.

Of recent about 520,000 jobless Nigerians, among whom only 4,556 were wanted, surged the Nigeria Immigration recruitment centres held across the country. In Abuja alone, 70,000 candidates trooped into the National Stadium to partake in the recruitment exercise. There was stampede here and there. In all about 16 candidates lost their dear lives. Many were wounded. Life goes on after the bloody recruitment exercise. The dead have gone forever. The living struggles for survival. Can we call the bloody recruitment exercise a blessing in disguise? The Federal Government gave automatic employment to some members of the families who lost someone in the botched exercise. Those wounded were also rewarded with instant employment.

On hearing of the instant employment, a certain woman living in Abuja regretted that if she had known, she would have sent her maid to the recruitment exercise. If the maid had died in the stampede, then her two graduates would have secured instant federal employment. What if the maid was wounded and rewarded with a federal job? The woman answered, "God forbid that my maid would secure an employment while my son and daughter are jobless!" I also overheard a male jobless graduate lament that if he had known, he would have broken his head with a sharp stone during the stampede, so that he is given an automatic employment by the Federal Government. Whatever is the case, life goes on!

Few days ago, a police corporal ran amok in Abeokuta. He was having misunderstanding with his lawful wedded wife. To give peace a chance, the wife who was also a policewoman took refuge in the house of a certain landlady. This act angered the husband police corporal. He laid ambush on a certain morning with his Ak-47. He first of all shot mercilessly his wife and the okada man trying to pick her to office. They died instantly. Further, he went into the landlady's house and shot her dead together with her daughter and her two years old child. He also shot dead the two sons of the landlady. At last he shot himself dead. How would all these victims and the amok police corporal stand together at God's judgement seat? The Angels of God may be at hand to separate the fight among them in the world beyond. As tears run like flood in the affected families, life goes on.

Death has struck a deep blow in many families. Mine is not an exemption. After the burial and funeral, life goes on. Two weeks ago, a Reverend Sister from a town in Enugu State lost instantly her mother and three siblings in a ghastly motor accident along Abakaliki - Enugu road. The question in every lip was: "God, where were you?" My dear sister and other family members, do not despair. Take heart! It is indeed very painful. But God knows why he allowed the harvest of deaths in one family in one day. I commiserate with you and pray that as the four left suddenly, so will God's blessings flow in abundance into your family. Look unto God as life goes on.

Wonders shall never end. Some weeks ago a Malaysian Airliner with 239 persons on board disappeared into oblivion about one hour after take-off. It has taken weeks to trace the where-about of the aircraft and its passengers and crew. Speculations are being made here and there. Are they still alive? Did the aircraft fly into another planet? Did it crash? If yes, where? Whether the plane and its passengers and crew are later found alive or dead, life goes on.

My dear readers, friends and well-wishers, thank you for enjoying my Wit's Corner. Your healthy and unhealthy criticisms are welcome. Life goes on even if I cease to write. If you refuse to read me, life goes on.