Which Way, Our World?
Michael Ovienmhada

Every four years, in spite of what is going on around the world, FIFA strives to give us something to celebrate——the World Cup.

As Qatar hosts the world to a spectacular display of how a small country can deploy its Oil resources to pave a way and solidify its place in world history, one cannot but wonder if, according to Joseph Zuma, (himself, a very poor example of an African leader, past or present), Nigeria is not selling coconut oil.

Nigerian Oil revenues have fallen to the thieving hands of our rulers through the years, leaving very little for infrastructural development. Through the Oil boom months since Russia invaded Ukraine, Nigeria has been the only country not to meet its OPEC quota.

As Nigeria searches for forms of government each time the political season turns around, I try to remind anyone who would listen that we should rather be searching for forms of men.

As 2023 is upon us, it is our hope that we would get it right this time.

That being said, the felling of giants by erstwhile Lilliputian nations is a thing of wonder. Argentina has fallen. Germany has fallen.

The highly anticipated match between the United States and England could only be described as — great expectations—flat outcome. The match was so boring, it sent me off to sleep.

In a week that held so much hope for so much joy, we had to deal with a string of tragedies. As we were trying hard to recover from the slaying of three members of the football team of the University of Virginia, our tears had barely dried up when a young man carried his hate to a nightclub, killing random people he had never met. In all of this mayhem, we were trying to process the senseless slaughter of four young men and women in Idaho when news came that a manager in a big store in Chesapeake, Virginia thought to drag his colleagues down with him on his journey to the pits of hell. It is getting harder and harder to find a safe haven these days. Children cannot feel safe in school, shoppers cannot feel safe in malls, fun seekers cannot feel safe in a club, and students cannot feel safe in their bedrooms.

America is a nation under siege—the siege of a misinterpreted, and runaway Second Amendment.

With over 450 million guns in circulation, and an average of 120 guns per 100 households, it may be too late however, to fix the epidemic of guns, but a commonsense approach in a bipartisan effort should be able to restrict the possession of automatic weapons.

Thanksgiving day has come and gone. Every day, when we wake up, we take it for granted that we are supposed to wake up.

Not so, my friends.

Whilst the United States has a designated day, the last Thursday of November every year as Thanksgiving day, we all ought to be grateful when we see the miracle of the sunrise every beautiful morning. As the nights get longer, and the days shorter in the Western hemisphere, there are no words in the dictionary to describe the awesomeness of the Sun trying to penetrate the darkness of the early morning. It’s a piece of beauty that only an inspired painter can capture.

For me, on a personal note, this year’s thanksgiving takes on special significance in gratitude. I am glad to be alive and thriving. About this same time last year, I was in adult diapers, while recovering from seven hours and thirty minutes of blissful sleep on the operating table. I was wheeled into the theater just before 7am as my first child whispered in my ears, “you’re gonna be fine, dad.”
She had come to visit me in Atlanta, GA, on my birthday in January, 2021. During the course of her week’s stay, one day, for no particular reason, but looking back now, for reason of God’s Grace and mercy, she looked up and said, “Dad, when was the last time you saw a doctor?” I was quiet. She continued, “I am making an appointment for you right now.”
That had always been her style. She’s a young lady who knows her role as first child. I had prayed for a girl as number one. God granted my wish, now, I see, to save my life by her actions, 32 years down the road. This essay is a tribute to her.

Only a fool says in his heart, “there is no God.”

I got the news that I had a form of aggressive prostate cancer with my PSA reading at 36. Not only was my prostate completely inundated, but it was already advancing into my lymphatic system. Surgery was urgently required.

By some ironic twist, while the cancer was discovered in the week of my birthday in January, the surgery was performed on June 2nd, on my daughter’s birthday.

I woke up at 2.37pm, and the first words out of my mouth were — “Praise the Lord.” I was grateful to still be counted among the living. Friends, the bigger lesson here for my readers is—call your doctor. See your doctor. It will save your life.

Charles Dickens, writing in 18th century Europe about the events of his time, had penned some of the most beautiful prose that mankind has ever seen.

Hear him in his book: A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times——“

He was writing against the backdrop of the cruelty of Kings in his era. Food was running low. People were anxious for their future. All they wanted was listening ears. Even that was denied them. “We want bread,” they said. The reply they got was: “If there’s no bread, let them eat cake.” The French Revolution happened. The American Revolution followed. Kings everywhere were forced to pay attention.

It is my hope that leaders are paying serious attention to the issues that face the world today. Food is becoming scarce, and prices are rising out of the reach of a large portion of the world’s population. This is further exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but for the most part in Nigeria, by the menace of bandits, terrorists, and Boko Haram rebels.

It is against this backdrop that the new phenomenon, of Obiism has taken root in Nigeria. Obiism is a grassroots movement that has taken the Nigerian consciousness by storm. It is a clamor for hope, for a better future, for jobs, for security, but most of all, a repudiation of the ruling class as symbolized by two existing big Parties that have, by their bad behavior, outlived their usefulness in the Nigerian political space.

Still recovering from the disastrous end of the “End SARS” campaign, the Nigerian people, had vowed a revenge. “We may not possess guns, but we have the power of the vote. We have our PVCs,” they are saying with one voice, and in One Accord.

We may be witnessing a quiet revolution of the ballot box in 2023.

When the political season began a few months ago as politicians resigned their “bird in hand” jobs to seek the presidency, one could not but wonder at the audacity of the kinds who sought to rule over us from the two major Parties. The only way to describe it was “a circus.”

One man, had an ongoing job as Senate President. He got someone to hold a spot for him as candidate for the Senate while he applied for a bigger job to be president. Another one held a job as Minister of the Niger Delta. He had gobbled up the NDDC in the course of his time at the Ministry. Not satisfied with the destruction he had wrought at the NDDC, he also applied for a job to be president. In the meantime, he held on to his job as Minister, whilst he got a man to hold a spot for him as candidate for the Senate.

He lost all three spots as did his fellow co-traveler. Ordinarily, the actions of these men, in “another Nigeria” would not have attracted any attention. What they do not seem to understand is that, whilst they were pillaging, and have been pillaging for the last 23 years since the start of our newly established democracy, things had changed. The Cheese had moved.

The Nigerian people had come of age. They have come of age, children, no longer.

This is what Peter Obi represents—- the coming of age of Nigeria.
Peter Obi is not a Saint, and this is no contestation for Saints. The Nigerian people do not want or wish for the sky. All they are asking for are basic things that people everywhere desire—-the right to a decent existence. But for our overlords, even that is a demand “too far” as emblematic of the two Ministers described above. They eat with all ten fingers, all ten toes and every orifice in their body.

When Peter Obi emerged from the rubble of the PDP, in the shadow of another man who is also known to eat with all ten fingers, and all ten toes, we thought initially—-here goes another “also ran—wanna be,” but he quickly ignited and caught fire. As we presided over the demolition of roasted turkey, honey-baked ham, mashed potatoes, and gravy last week at Thanksgiving, the word on every lip was Obiism, but someone quickly rose and corrected the phrase and changed it to “Nigerianism,” saying that the movement is bigger than Peter Obi. True.

Indeed, Nigeria has come of age, but the political class in their inordinate greed have no capacity to recognize it.

Viva Nigeria!!!

As you begin a new week, may Adonai, creator of heaven and earth be your guard and guide to keep you from stumbling.

Michael (O’meekey) Ovienmhada.
Author, Poet, Playwright, and Public Affairs Commentator.
[email protected]

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