-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Austen AKHAGBEME:

That year is gone. The year of the locust and the canker worm. That was the year full of political upheavals, social uprisings, inhuman vendetta, killings, kidnapping, you name it!

As bad as it was, it almost ended with over 300 of our youthful ones, missing in the harrowing forest of North west Nigeria. But God had mercy on us and graciously used Aminu Masari, local vigilante and Mìyetti Allah to wipe away our tears and brought our young ones back home to their traumatized families. How could we have been able to cope with such emotional torture, one more time?

At the very last hours, the incontrovertible firebrand critic and Priest from Sokoto, stirred the Hornet’s nest. Tirades of equal proportion, with a commensurate intensity, were fired at his direction, mostly from the inner recesses of the corridors of power. What a way to end the year!

But a new year is here. A year, fresh and promising. Promising to rid us of the much tears from the uncountable deaths, from deadly and unfortunate but avoidable scenarios emanating from insecurity, mayhem, youth brigandage and executive nonchalance.

It was a year that prompted up unusual antithetical solutions and antidotes. Bullets were chosen rather than round tables and official sycophancy was elevated to a place of honour, staring at shame and dishonor in the face with nostalgia.

It was a year, where large money were ferried into the thick bushes of the rain forests; not for Agriculture but to settle the new landlords of kidnappers and mysterious herdsmen. It was a year, in the life of a nation, full of sorrow, tears and blood.

But we’re here now. With a forlorn hope of a hard possibility of ever able to drive the bandits and kidnappers away from our arable forests in north west and also to purify the forests of Sambisa and Lake Chad, from the present habitation of cruelty that it has become.

As I sat down to ponder on so many issues bedevilling our Nation, especially in the recent past, my mind suddenly stumbled on Leah Sharibu. And the remaining unsung girls who probably, may not be heard of again.

I had to try by all means, to comfort myself with the original zeal of this administration vis-a-vis the people’s expectations concerning the fight against corruption and its tributaries. These present Drivers initially meant well. So what happened such that up until now, we’re still running around in circles?

So much on my mind. So many questions that may have no answers yet, but very important. Let us hope that this new year, the killings will stop. And there will be a gradual return to peace and the safety of life and property as it used to be, in those great days of innocence. Is anybody thinking aloud with me?

  • Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnists with Blank NEWS Online
News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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