When we were young, we had a yearly ritual of sending forth any outgoing year with stones, palm fronds, and songs telling it to go away
In our innocence, we thought the outgoing year was a harbinger of sad news, especially when there were some calamities our parents witnessed in the year.
We would wait for the 31st of December when, at exactly 12 midnight, we would scream at the top of our voices, wishing the year to go out as fast as it could. In our innocence, we felt by doing so, the next year would take a cue from the way its predecessor was disgraced out.
Now that we are all grown up, it is the same feeling that we have for the outgoing year 2016 and it is our hope we would not witness such a calamitous year in a long time to come, especially as Nigerians.
The year began on a very positive note and for the first time in 16 years of our democracy, Nigerians began the year with a new government, a new regime, new faces and renewed hopes of better things to come.
We had just inaugurated a new president and a new era some six months earlier and with the new government, there was a new way of thinking, a new hope that the wrongs of the past government would be corrected.
Everyone knew that the task ahead was not an easy pie but with the zeal the new regime set about its campaign and with all the promises they had made, Nigerians felt that within a short while, the government would set right the wrongs and the calamitous government the country had.
But almost two years into the life of this regime, Nigerians have now seen that making promises are one thing while actualizing them is a different ball game entirely.
But instead of the optimism Nigerians heralded the new government when it rode into power, it has been gloom, hardship, hunger and despondency that became the daily plight of Nigerians.
While the government wobbled and fumbled to have a hang on the situation, Nigerians became the worst hit. Millions of Nigerians lost their jobs due to the harsh economic policies that became quite unfavorable to businesses to thrive.
The Naira took a downward spiral and with foreign currencies hard to get, many companies folded up and moved out of the country en masse because they could not continue running at a loss.
Hunger became the daily cries of Nigerian while the government went on a long-winded blame game, attributing every of their failure on past governments. At a point, it was like playing a cracked record on a repeat mode as all their failed promises were put at the feet of the past government.
The ministers the president spent a whole six months to put I place turned out to be the worse set the country has ever noticed as they were mere compensations for political favours.
Square pegs were put in round holes with many of them not up to scratch at the very least. There were incongruous and discordant voices within the government with the presidency saying something different from the president would say, while policies kept changing with no one knowing the directions they were going.
The president himself did not help matters as he only filled up his kitchen cabinet with his relatives, political friends and those who worked for his emergence. Many would argue that it was better to surround himself with people he could trust but the question many asked was if the interest of the president superseded that of the nation.
Insecurity became the order of the day as Fulani herdsmen became the Lords of the Manor with the government not able to put a reign on them. It was as if they were given a license to kill as they raided communities in Enugu, Kaduna, Benue, Kogi, Ogun, Plateau, Taraba and Adamawa States with reckless abandon.
At such times, the silence in the presidency would be defeaning while the government would be quick to send condolence messages to other countries whenever there was a slight mishap.
The excuses for the failures of the present government was always placed at the feet of corrupt politicians who had looted the country to no end, a war they have been able to fight admirably but on a broader look, it feels like the war has only been targeted at the opposition.
Any indicted politician who felt the government was coming for him, would take the sharp decision of decamping to the ruling All Progressives Congress and in a jiffy, he would become a patriot and his slate would be wiped clean.
The fanfare with which these politicians were accepted into the party and celebrated was so shameful that many felt the war against corruption was nothing but a charade.
Nigeria has gone into the worse recession it has ever witnessed in many years and from the look of things, it seems the government is bereft of ideas on how to pull the country out of its present state.
This is becoming more worrisome as the body language of the government does not give any hope at all. All they keep saying is that Nigerians should continue to pray but the question is: how long will Nigerians keep praying before things turn out for the best?
It is on this premise that Nigerians hope the year 2016, with all its calamities, never come back to visit us again.