The thoughtful is grateful

gratefulThe year 2015 fortunately is ending without a major implosion that could threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria. As a result of this, casting one’s mind back the past 12 months, one would be grateful to God that despite the challenges that the country faced and is still facing, the year is still ending on a good note.

The aphorism that whoever is thoughtful is grateful is applicable to Nigerians and 2015 will remain evergreen in history. This is because around this time last year, the whole country was on the edge with dangerous campaign tactics and fiery rhetoric that had never been witnessed in the annals of electioneering campaigns in Nigeria.

So volatile was the situation that one year ago, precisely December 16, 2014, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, wrote a letter that he addressed to the major presidential candidates, former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the letter, in which he sued for peace and decorum, he averred that “the certainty of violence after the 2015 elections is higher than it was in 2011” and that “the violence of 2015 is going to be horrendous and worse than the one of 2011”. Such was the state in which Nigeria was with the so-called prediction of a US think tank a few years ago that Nigeria would end in 2015 gaining additional national currency.

As no one knew precisely how the pendulum of the fate that awaited Nigeria would swing, some of us were hopeful that regardless of the heated polity and the banishment of common sense from running the affairs of the country as witnessed then, Nigeria would remain intact. For one, I noted in the first appearance of this column in 2015 that “my belief is that the year 2015 will pass away like many years before it and Nigeria will remain intact. Nigeria will not collapse just because of anybody’s political ambition whether in the ruling or opposition party.”

My optimism that we would have every reason to jubilate and thank God was illustrated with the story of the challenged pregnant deer and its happy ending. As part of thinking and thanking God, the story is re-presented again, suggesting further that the current fuel and other challenges will also end happily soon:

“In a remote forest, a pregnant deer was about to give birth to a new life. It found a remote field near a river and slowly went there thinking it would be safe. As she moved slowly, she felt labour pains… and at the same moment, dark clouds gathered around the area as lightening started a forest fire. Turning left, she saw a hunter who was aiming an arrow at her from a distance. As she tried to move towards her right, she spotted a hungry lion approaching her.

“What should the pregnant deer do when she was already under intense labour pains? Would the deer survive? Would it give birth to a calf? Would the calf survive? Or would everything be consumed by the forest fire?

“Could the deer go left? The hunter’s arrow was already aimed at her! Could she go right? The hungry lion was already approaching! Could she move up? There ahead was the forest fire! Could she move down? There was the fierce and deep river!

“In reality, our dear deer there did nothing. She just focused on giving birth to a new life. The sequence of events that happened at that moment is as follows:

“In a fraction of a second, a lightning struck (it was already cloudy) and blinded the eyes of the hunter. At that moment, he released the arrow missing and zipping past the deer, fatally hitting the approaching lion in its very heart. At that moment, it started to rain and the rain extinguished the raging forest fire. At the next moment, the deer gave birth to a healthy calf.

“In our life, as a country, it is our moment of choice and we all have to deal with negative thoughts from all sides always. Some thoughts are so powerful they overpower us and make us clueless. Let us not decide anything in a hurry. Let us think of ourselves as the focused pregnant deer with the ultimate happy ending. Anything can happen in a MOMENT in this life.

“If you are religious, superstitious, atheistic, agnostic or whatever, you can attribute this MOMENT as sublime, divine intervention, faith, sudden luck, serendipity (chance), coincidence or a simple “don’t know”. We all feel the same. But whatever one may call it, the priority of the deer in that given moment was to give birth to a baby…because life is precious. The focus was on what was at hand: giving birth.

“Hence, whether you are a deer or a human, keep that faith and hope within you always. Technically, it is said that our life can be defined as a “Stochastic Probability Theory” where the outcomes of our moments are non-deterministic as future events are determined by random probability distributions that cannot be predicted.”

I therefore concluded thus: “Nigeria will give birth safely and all the fears and foreseen challenges would not come to threaten the corporate existence of the nation. Nigeria will survive the elections….”

Nigerians are winning and the looters of their commonwealth are losing. Thank God for 2015, the year of change!


It is the season of celebrations and it is symbolic that our two major religions are celebrating at the same time now. Whereas Muslims who celebrate Maolidu Nabbiy (Birthday of the Prophet) did so yesterday, Christians who celebrate Christmas also have today and the country is agog. That today is also Friday adds more icing to the celebratory cake.

The import of this season was driven home by the cerebral Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, in his Christmas message to the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) two days ago. He affirmed that Nigerians have reasons to celebrate as Nigeria remains one and the adherents of the two religions are celebrating at the same time.

According to the NSCIA scribe, “Now that the year is ending and we remain united, it is as if God Himself wants us to learn through the near coincidence of the births of our revered Prophets, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon both). As you traditionally celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25, Muslims mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on December 24, this year being the 12th day of Rabiul Awwal.

“The message inherent in this near coincidence appears to be unity and mutual understanding. Therefore, the season of our double celebrations is an opportunity for us Nigerians especially to learn more about the religious personages and re-dedicate ourselves to their true teachings,” he wrote.

Season’s greetings to Nigerians!