When the year 2020 popped out of the womb of time, nobody knew that it was going to be what Yoruba people call Ogbologbo.
Rough and tough. Unpredictable. Hungry and angry, consuming anything and everything it could lay its jaws on.
Across America, Europe, Asia, Africa, indeed, all continents, time, like an ever rolling stream, has been bearing its sons and daughters away. They fly forgotten as a dream dies at the opening day.
And who or what is the Grim Reaper? It is called a pandemic. COVID-19. Like President Muhammadu Buhari often says, “you can’t see it, you can’t hear it, you can’t smell or touch it, yet it is there, wreaking havoc all over the world.”
COVID-19 is a Great Leveler. It has removed dichotomies between the First World and the Third World. Every country, no matter the level of your health infrastructure, suffers. In fact, curiously, those who were better prepared for emergencies are suffering more, even than Africa, Nigeria particularly, with severe health infrastructural deficits. God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. When a cow has no tail, it is God that helps it to drive away flies. That is Nigeria for you.
The Grim Reaper is a respecter of nobody. It takes the rich, takes the poor. It takes the old, and the young. It takes the brilliant, and the dullard. It is still around, stalking, predating, seeking who to devour. May God keep us from an enemy we can’t see, hear, smell or touch. Amen, somebody!
As 2021 rolls in, it calls for new priorities from us as a people. As Nigerians, people ordained by fate to inhabit the area of the great River Niger, we must pause and think, and reset our priorities.
When this administration first came in 2015, every of its move was opposed by the then freshly rusticated People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Spokesman for that party then was Olisa Metuh.
If President Buhari inhaled, he didn’t do it well. If he exhaled, he was asked why he did it like that. If rain didn’t fall, Buhari did it. If it rained too much, Buhari o, Buhari o. If a man was like a stud in his home, it was Buhari. If he suffered loss of power, chai, Buhari o, Buhari o.
Olisa Metuh led the charge of criticism. And he had good allies in millions of people, worsted at the 2015 polls, and who didn’t seem to realize that the elections had been lost and won, and power had changed hands.
As spokesman to President Buhari, I had the duty to respond to a good number of the criticisms. One tried to do it as decently as necessary. One day, they had been ululating over one flimsy matter, and I responded, wondering whether the professional critics had any other job at all. I told them that power had changed hands inexorably, and that they should be ready to cry for a long time, if it was the option they preferred. I remembered the reggae music group, Bob Marley and the Wailing Wailers. I borrowed the name of the band to describe them. Wailing wailers.