Are you aware that the new year that was prophesied to many of us as the year that will swallow all our problems has gone into the second month? The whole noise of the cross-over night with its prophesies has come and gone. We are once more faced with the reality that issues of ’cause and effect’ do not require prophecies, but rather, planning, hard work, diligence and change of attitude/mind-sets, if the need arises. There is no calamity that befalls us that has no cause. There is also no other way of preventing them apart from addressing the causes. As long as the bad roads that led to many road accidents and deaths last year are still the way they were, we should not expect a different result this year.
It is simply folly believing that sicknesses will vanish when our hospitals are not in good shape and our medical practitioners are currently storming various embassies in search of escape routes. Since the government has no plans of a regional or self-government, which remains at the moment the first step out of the dungeon of socio-economic hopelessness, we must find other ways of solving our problems as we wait. I was happy to read from a Facebook page yesterday of the ‘build a road challenge’ going on in Anambra state where well-to-do persons are single handedly competing on road construction: (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=424031652852676&id=100057375342702&sfnsn=scwspwa).
This is very commendable. However, I will suggest that rather than leaving such multimillion Naira projects in the hands of few rich individuals every member of the community should contribute, no matter how little. By making them community projects, the projects will be better planned, executed, managed and protected. More so, we should not only concentrate on roads. We should also concentrate on other amenities like school, hospital, water, security and so on. If we succeed in replicating this mind-set across Igboland or Nigeria before the end of the year, then, we shall not waste our time looking for soothsayers to tell us what awaits us in 2023 and beyond.
Fr Angelo Chidi Unegbu