Friday, 18 January 2013
Saturday, 12 January 2013
The crowds are tensely walking on the streets. Bangers and fireworks can be heard in the distance as we make our way slowly through the traffic. Yes; Nigeria is getting ready to usher in the new year. A huge part of our population has come to congregate in religious houses to pray.
2012 shook Nigeria with the sounds of sorrow and pain as we watched the horror of the Dana plane crash and felt the anger of the nation at the rising fuel price and also had to deal with the increase in the activities of Boko Haram in the North. So yes, Nigerians were anxious about this new year. This 2013 that hopefully would not throw the same dark shadow that had been cast over 2012. There was a sense of tense optimism in the churches as mouths whispered in prayer and gratitude. The congregation spewing sweat sang praises to the Most High for the grace to see the last days of the year 2012 which seemed to have been filled with many opportunites to die. The crowd cried in elation that they had been spared; they had survived to see the dawn of a new day; a new year that would usher in new opportunities.
Nigerians waited and prayed patiently in the churches and counted down the minutes to midnight. Prayer rocked the house of God as the congregation spoke words of hope and words of power led by the pastor at the pulpit.Yes 2012 had been filled with many challenges that had tested the patience of the nation.Yes it had brought Nigerians to their knees in different situations through collective and individual experiences.Yes this past year Nigeria had struggled to protect its population from the greedy hands of the government and the misguided moves of Boko Haram. And yet its people were hopeful.
Tears of anticipation filled the eyes of the population as they brought their knees down to plead with their maker. To beg that this past year with all its sorrows and difficulties would not spread its deadly grasp into the new year. That they had seen the last of the terrible events that had rocked the faith of the nation at home and abroad. And as the minutes turned into seconds, the crowd grew more restless and boisterous. Anxiously fueled with the desire to say happy new year.
Finally, midnight struck and rocked the congregation with a sense of giddiness and greatfulness. For a few minutes everyone was a friend. The church burst with chorus of praises and loud greetings of happy new year to anyone in sight and the sky went mad with bangers and fireworks to usher in the new year. A year that would hopefully redeem the nation both at home and abroad.