By James Patrick
As long as we all continue to live on this planet earth, the year 2020 would remain an unforgettable year among other years of our existence. The year would remain indelible in the psyche of most people who are fortunate to experience it, while the year would also remain incredible to those who would read it in our history books. The year 2020 happens to be the shortest year ever but in reality, it appears to be the longest, the hardest, the poorest and the most difficult year of all times for most people all around the world. The rich suffered. The poor suffered. The powerful suffered. The powerless suffered – everybody suffered. It is one of those years that shows us that all humans are all equal and no one is better, more superior or more equal than the other. To me, the year 2020 stands out. 2020 is a year of it’s own. It is a year in its own class. 2020 is the PANDEMIC year. It is also the LOCKDOWN year, SOCIAL DISTANCING year, WASHING YOUR HANDS REGULARLY year and STAY INDOOR year. The most intriguing part of the year 2020 is that nobody saw all these coming – not even the larger than life pastors, imams, prophets and native doctors we have here in Nigeria; none predicted of an impending doom prior to the year 2020. In the regular new year prophecy of the year that most men of God here in Nigeria normally roll out, none warned of any impending pandemic that would see almost the entire universe shutting down just to curtail the spread of covid 19. But we won’t deny the fact that there were some two or three tragic events that serve as a foreshadow of what our 2020 now looks like. The tragic deaths of the legendary basket player, Kobe Bryant and the uncontrollable Australia bush fire that ravaged the the entire people of Australia and other Government around the world were some of the bad omen pointing to the world how the year 2020 would look like. Be that as it may, let us dive into our topic and unravel some of the seven most trending issues of the year 2020.
1. COVID 19
If there is any word that would stick to this generation long after most of us most have departed this planet, it would definitely be covid 19. The entire world would never remain the same again even after the defeat of this deadly virus that put the economy of the entire world on a stand still for many months in the year 2020. The corona virus that started like a child’s play in Wuhan China late November to December last year 2019 spread like a wild fire all around the world within a short period of time. Within three months, most economics of the world began to shut down due to the rapid spread of the virus. Worship centers, viewing centers. Recreational centers, major world sporting events for 2020, conferences seminars, crusades etc were all postponed due to this corona virus. Most countries around the world went on a complete lockdown to curb the surge of the virus. England, China, Spain, Italy, Russia France and almost 95% of the entire nations around the world went on a total lockdown. Flight were completely grounded, borders closed, international trading activities among nations around the globe were all put on hold for many months due to covid 19. Even Nigeria my dear country with a mono economy that solely depends on oil revenue observed the lockdown caused by covid. Schools were all shut down, worship center too were closed. Flights, both international and local were banned completely. We can go on and on enumerating the various ways covid has dealt and is still dealing with the entire countries of the world despite the discovery of a vaccine for it. Just this morning, it was in the news that South Africa has hit the one million mark of people infected with the virus. America which is the epicenter of the virus now has over two hundred thousand people who have died of the virus, with over seven million confirmed cases of covid 19 in the country. We bless the heavens that Nigeria as a country currently has less than eighty thousand confirmed cases with more than seventy thousand been discharged and less than two thousand deaths. COVID-19 stands in the number one position as the most trending issue in the year 2020.
2. BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST
This also would be one of those events in the year 2020 that shook the world as a whole. This protest started as a result of the gruesome killing of George Floyd in the hands of some careless white racist police officers. His death sparked off a nation wide protest all across many states in the united state of America. Not long after, many countries all around the world in show of solidarity to the movement, joined the protest. Right here in Nigeria, alot of youths in Abuja joined the black live matter protest to show their support The black live matters did not only become a black American struggling over racial discrimination , it became a world wide protest that aimed at ending the marginalization of the black all around the world. Many believed the black live protest was one of the major decider of the November US presidential election that will see Trump leaving the white house come January 2021.
3. THE ENDSARS PROTEST; The year 2020 can not go down without me mentioning the endsars movement that nearly set an entire country of over two hundred million people ablaze. Many believe that the black lives matter protest was one of the events that gave birth to the endsars protest here in Nigeria. They said the endsars protest was an offspring of the black lives matter -somewhat like a Nigerian original version of the protest. While others are of the school of thought that it was the adverse effect of the total lockdown caused by covid 19 that sparked off the endsars protest. I kind of align my thought with the latter because, if we take a good look at the pattern of the protest itself, it shows that we have alot of idle hands who lost their means of livelihood before or during the covid 19 lockdown. Because many youths were idle during the LOCKDOWN period, they had time to organize themselves for the endsars movement using the Internet to communicate to each other. The endsars protest was not only aimed at ending police brutality, it was also geared toward fighting the unjust political structure that continues to impoverish the poor while at the same time making the wealthy even more wealthier at the detriment of the Nigerian population.
4.LOOTING OF GOVERNMENT PALLIATIVES
As disgraceful as this may sound to the ear of a sane person, the year 2020 came with the wanton looting of government palliative in this country. For the first time in the history of Nigeria, we saw thousands of people looting government PALLIATIVES in different warehouses of different states here in Nigeria. Funny though, but very painful to know that the palliatives there were meant to be shared to hungry Nigerians during the lockdown period were hoarded by our wicked politicians for several months in several warehouses of different states. It was disheartening to know that many heartless, godless and senseless politicians intentionally decided to make the people suffer for no reason whatsoever. The federal government played its part by releasing food items to citizens during the period they were forced to stay at home. But many state Governors apart from the Maiduguri Governor in person of Baba Gana Zulum did not distribute these food items. The looting started in Logos as usual and it spread across several states of the federation. It became a trending issue as the whole world watched with shame how millions of hungry and angry Nigerians stampede each other while jostling to loot food items from the warehouses.
5. THE KIDNAPPINGS AND RELEASE OF KANKARA STUDENTS
This also was another trending issue in the year 2020. Surrounded by many drama, the KIDNAPPING took place in a secondary school right there in KANKARA. some said there were ten, some said total number three hundred and thirty three student have been kidnapped while when they were released, other said they were about three hundred and forty four students. Whatever the true numbers may be, we are not concerned. What matters to us is that this issue of kidnappings of KANKARA student became a trending issue that caught the attention of the entire world. What made this issue more interesting was that it happened in the birth State of the president and the president was present right there in Daura, Kastina state when the KIDNAPPINGS took place. Another drama surrounding the KANKARA KIDNAPPINGS was different stories coming from different angles about the payment of ransom before they were released. Some said ransom was paid to the kidnappers, some said nothing was paid. Others claimed that it was the miyatti Allah that helped to negotiate the safe release of the student without a kobo paid to the abductors.. To me, I care less if money exchanged hands or not. My joy still remains that this students returned back to their parents safe and sound within a short period of time. Unlike the Dapchi or the Chibok scenario that took months and years before they were released.
6. ASUU STRIKE
If you happen to be a university student in Nigerian or a would-be university student, I would advise you to add an extra one year to your four or five years degree program. The extra one year you are adding is for ASUU strike. This has become a reoccurring decimal in our country. ASUU strike is now an annual event. its no longer a thing of shame for ASUU to go on a nine months strike without blinking an eye for it. The federal government represented by the minister of labour Dr Chris NJAMESkept going back and front, wasting the invaluable time of our students for over nine months – a whole academic year was wasted because some greedy men whom we elected are always after their own personal interest at the detriment of the future of an entire country. Little wonder why we keep on producing job seekers or half barked graduates from our universities.
Even this morning, plastered on the pages of our dailies was professor Ango Abdullahi saying that the North is now ready for RESTRUCTURING. If you ask me, I don’t know who made this religion bigot, who is always fanning the fire of ethnic discrimination the spokes man for the entire nineteen northern states of the federation. But his statements goes to show that restructuring has been in the lips of every Nigerian right from the commencement of the year 2020 down to this very day. Many people believe that the time is ripe for the country to restructure if it must safe itself from self destruction. Many believe that restructuring the country now would be the best thing that could ever happen to the country as a whole. But I bare to differ a little bit. RESTRUCTURING Nigerian without RESTRUCTURING the mindset of an average Nigerian is an exercise in futility – It would be like an old wine in a new skin. The fact that a black Delilah bleaches her skin color from black to white does not stop her from betraying Samson any day any time. A murderer is a murderer it doesn’t matter if he or she wears a texodo suite or a mafia suite. All am saying is that no amount of RESTRUCTURING would do us any good if we refuse to change our minds. If this crop of naferous politicians, with their self centered mindsets would be the same set of people ruling us, no amount of RESTRUCTURING would change anything. We will only keep moving in circles of backwardness and underdevelopment.