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2017: Well done and good bye

By Ugoji Egbujo

2017, you started in a hurry. You  had barely arrived when you forced a medical leave on our president. We won’t forget you in a hurry. You misled prophets. They looked at the falling naira and prophesied that  it was headed for the abyss. They read economic forecasts and said, God said. Irreverent 2017, you  exposed their charlatanism. Naira rose from  its drunken stupor  at 520 per dollar and has since sat clear-eyed  at 360  per dollar. Hopefully, pastors  and  soothsayers would learn to talk about only floods, scientific discoveries and other mundanities.

But 2017, you played too many games with pastors.  You  arranged one garrulous Daddy Freeze to  irritate a multitude of Daddy GOs. You need deliverance, 2017.  You made the theology of tithing the talk of  beer parlors and strip bars.  Many who had not read the Bible in ages, looked up Malachi. Someone lamented that you  caused  tithes to slump in many churches. You said you only wanted to clear up doctrinal confusion.  But some said  that  you  made the men of the underworld happy. You made them learn  Malachi  chapter 3, and realize many of  the dignitaries that litter our society could  perhaps be robbers.  Malachi says  tithe defaulters are  all robbers.

2017, you didn’t just fool prophets, you turned many mortals into prophets of death.

One  governor was sure Buhari had died. The other had pictures of his  lifeless body in a London morgue. Bigotry beat drums in Port Harcourt and political opponents and their hirelings danced to Buhari’s death on the streets. The North was perpetually meeting with the military those days. You turned  grown men into rumor mills.  You raised devilish hopes and crashed them like the devil. When Buhari returned a few thought  it was his double from  Sudan. They refused to stop believing that  Buhari was dead.  That former Aviation minister  is not a mad man. But his theory  of ‘corpsocracy’ was one only  lunacy  nor  severe drunkenness could saddle  on any  adult mind. 2017, you made ‘hale and hearty’ lose its meaning.

2017, you  how did you arrange so  many  fights but didn’t book  a ring for any. The DSS versus the EFCC loomed for so long. Ringside tickets were already being printed in Oluwole street.  The president’s ambivalence  guaranteed its  rating as the ‘fight of the year.’ But after the promotional show at the Senate chambers and the other one at a street in Mataima, you disappointed many fans seeking amusement in a beleaguered economy. Other tantalizing offers like the Head of Service versus the Chief of Staff, the Kogi governor versus Senator Melaye, and a mouth-watering  Kachikwu versus Baru, all didn’t hold.

2017, you  toyed and teased. The IPOB was  the gate of their  heaven. Nnamdi Kanu left the prison and became an emperor in one week. Many, including senior politicians,  had started bowing publicly before him. 2017, you were such a hopeless  tease. You  bared unclothed fame at him and his group. They stood  imperiously erect. Then you brought in pythons for a dance. What followed was equally cataclysmic.  Nobody knows exactly what the python swallowed and what has  since squirreled  into  a deep wintry hole. November 18 came and went. There was no referendum but there were elections.  You burst the  IPOB hot air balloon. 2017, you were a little harsh on Spanish separatists too.

You showed early signs of  ruthlessness. You took ECOWAS soldiers to the Gambia and put out the nuisance, Yahya Jammeh. When you turned on Pa Mugabe, we thought it was a joke.  But you saw it through. That was a crafty maneuver. You have left Kenya in limbo.  You know the consequences are incubating. You know Raila Odinga didn’t boycottt the elections to retire and die in an old people’s home.  We all thought you would relieve South Africa of Zuma.  We held our breaths  and waited for you to hang him dry with an impeachment.  You let him off and  gave him a statue in Owerri.

How then  did you pick your victims?  You crashed MMM but you let Bitcoin soar. You let Arewa loquacious Youths slip off. You let Maina slip in and slip out. You let a bumbling Malami hang in there with moonlight tales. Yet you let Babachir fall because he cut grasses. And you allowed pythons swallow a motormouthed Director born of the tribe of Judah. We wanted Alex Ekwueme to linger with us, but you broke our hearts.

You talked too much 2017.  You allowed Mrs Aisha  Buhari announce the banishment of hyenas and jackals. We made our ‘asoebis’ and brought out  drums.  But the Hyenas and Jackals have remained  unperturbed, seated in very high places. You said the heads of those who smuggled Abdulrasheed Maina  back into the civil service would roll. But the president has tucked away the Maina  report under his pillow,  and he  sleeps more soundly on it. You talked too much 2017. You fooled us with that  two month whistleblowing frenzy.  We thought  you would help us  whistle  corruption to death.  But after that Kaduna bungalow and the Ikoyi flat, you allowed whistleblowing  to go out of fashion

2017, you could’t keep secrets. Everyone now knows that George H.W Bush pinched the buttocks of women while taking photographs.  Children now know that Harvey Weinstein begged to have it for just one minute. You allowed the excavation of  buried matters. You made decent men lose their  hard-won reputation and  become mere  he-goats. Thank God you didn’t let Nigerian women join the #MeToo train. God could have simply brought forward the Apocalypse. It’s okay that you stopped at Senator Abba Ibrahim and his threesome crew.

But you weren’t all mischief. You took Atiku Abubakar back to the PDP. The party was in literal tatters. The commonsense Senator  now dreams a president Atiku. That is heart warming. The nation needs an opposition that does more than frothing divisiveness  and  raving like a rabid dog. I must thank you for arranging the capture of Evans, the kidnapper, after 5 years of elusiveness. You took away the menace of VIO’s from Lagos roads and you exposed the madness of SARS. We are grateful.

But you must think of what to do with the APAPA traffic. And of course the fuel scarcity. Please suggest to 2018 the need to remove petrol subsidy and deregulate the market.  The job reports are not good. 2018 must do something radical. I have a personal request, 2017. I know you don’t really have any  time left. But please before you leave. Can you help me dismantle the cabal?



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