Dear Lord, thank you for another New Year.
Thank you for escaping armed robbers, terrorists, kidnappers, rapists, accidental discharge, and sickness.
Also for recession, hunger and poverty that didn’t kill us.
Thanks for our families, and those that matter to us.
For mum and dad, a loving husband, a loving wife, children, siblings, old folks and bosom friends.
Thank you for birthdays, weddings, naming ceremonies, Old Boys, Old Girls, Alumni, and reunions.
Thanks for good tidings and good grades, for good luck and good health.
Thank you for safe delivery, for successful surgeries, for quick recovery, for cancer survivors, for longevity and for small mistakes and big erasers.
Thanks for fried food without getting fat, for wine, without getting drunk, and for candies without tooth decay.
Thank you for stab-in-the-back-gossip, for forgiveness and for restitution.
Thanks for admission letters, for call-up letters, for appointment letters, and for promotion letters.
Thank you for life, without the hard knock, that life is only fair, that the poor have hope, and that the rich also cry.
Thanks for “controllable hypertension” and “uncontrollable laughter”, for hiccoughs that stop and hearts that go on.
Thank you for clones and doubles, for originals and fakes, for “Oluwole” and “wole and wole,” and for the more you look, the less you see.
Thanks for “one” without the “chance”, and for “change” without the “change”.
Thank you for GENCOs, DISCOs, NAPEP, INEC, EFCC, ICPC, SURE-P, PMB, PYO, and NIPOST.
Thanks for Azikiwe, Balewa, Bello, Awolowo, Obasanjo, Abiola, Soyinka, Achebe, Utomi and Adichie.
Also for Okocha, Kanu, Oliseh, Rufai, Ighalo, Iwobi, Mikel, Musa, Oshoala, Oparanozie, Akide, and Dede.
Thank you for Genevieve, Omotola, Aṣa, Davido, D’banj, 2Baba, Banky W, Wiz Kid, Iyanya, Phyno, Flavour, M.I, Skid, Savage, Olamide, Don Jazzy, and Chidinma.
Thanks for Baba Sala, Papi Luwe, Zebrudaya, Samanja, Jagua, Ibu, Osuofia, Ali Baba, Basket Mouth, I go die, AY, Teju Baby face, and Aki and Pawpaw.
Thanks for Nigerian Idol, Project Fame, The Voice Nigeria, Big Brother Naija, and Guilder Ultimate Search.
Also for Channels, AIT, Silverbird, TVC, Galaxy, NTA, Arise, and EbonyLife TV.
Thank you for Olumo Rock, Zuma rock, Gurara Falls, Tinapa Resort, the Yankari Game Reserve, and the Sambisa forest.
Thanks for Argungu Festival, Eyo Festival, and the New Yam Festival.
Thank you for jollof rice, pounded yam, amala, fufu, garri, edika ikong, ofe nsala, banga soup, gbegiri soup, kilishi, suya, isi ewu, cow leg, cow tail, chicken, turkey and nkwobi.
Thanks for “No noise”, “No smoking”, “No loitering”, “No parking”, “No hawking”, “No trading”, “No overspeeding”, and “No farting.”
Thank you for “Post no bill”, “Cars parked at owners’ risk”, and “This house is not for sale. Beware of 419”.
Thanks for “Up-NEPA!”, “It’s a goal for Nigeria!” and “I don get alert!”
Thank you for “shine your eye”, “arrange me”, “settle me”, “I like am die”, “enter with your change,” “nothing spoil,” “dem go hear wen”, “diaris God,” “our mumu don do”, and “enough is enough”.
Thanks for “meaning?” “oya”, “o jare”, “yepa!”, “ẹ gba mi o!”, “shikena”, “lobatan”, “alawada”, “eh ya”, “abeg”, “chei!” “It’s a lie!” and “na true”.
Thank you for “No overtaking,” “Many have gone,” “God dey”, “Make I come dey go,” “Na dem dem, “It’s not my portion”, “I reject it”, and “Back to sender”.
Thanks for questions like “Who born you?” “Which state you come from?” “Which tribe you be?” “Who you go vote for?” “You wan try?” “and “Na only you waka come?”
Thank you for coups that leak, and oil pipelines that don’t, laughter that explodes, and bombs that won’t.
Thanks for Mother Africa without the mosquitoes, for the rains without the flood, and for the Harmattan without the dust.
Thank you for votes that count, for free and fair elections, for restructuring and for the will of the people.
Thanks for freedom of speech, for freedom of choice, for freedom of movement and for freedom to defect.
Thank you for used security votes, for used constituency allowance, for used budgetary allocation and for Treasury Single Account.
Thanks for a just judiciary, for democracy, and for the ghost of June 12 that has been exorcised.
Thank you for 1914, 1960, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1993, 1999, and of course 2019.
Thanks for the Chibok girls, for Leah Sharibu, and for a Nigeria free of terror.
Thank you for knowing that truly, Things fall apart, for knowing The trouble with Nigeria, and for remembering that There was a Country.
Big thanks for an indissoluble Nigeria, for a better tomorrow, and a whole new Nigeria.
Finally, for jeans that fade, and love of Nigeria that doesn’t. For our biggest pain and for our highest hope.
Happy New Year.
Dr. Cosmas Odoemena, a medical practitioner, Lagos