Soothsayers and augurers have a way with the arcane world. Like the famed Nostradamus, they tell us they have the power of life and death by their ability to predict tomorrow. And they hypnotize us by such spell because man, by nature, is afraid, terribly afraid. Sir Isaac Newton, for instance, came up with his prediction which he claimed was based on biblical calculations that the world will end in 2060. Of cause, there have been many of such predictions before which never came to pass. I am not a seer; I don’t claim to be one. But sometimes you have that burden in your heart which you must “unburden” to be free.
Nostradamus, the French 16th century world renowned soothsayer, herbalist, mystic and seer seem to have seen it all. He knew centuries upon centuries to come what would be and what wouldn’t, even up to year 3797 which some claim may be the end of the world.
While starring into water and flame late at night sitting on a brass tripod, Nostradamus used various mediums including astrological configurations to predict the French Revolution of 1791, the Iraq war, the end of the papacy with the election of Pope Francis 1.
Nostradamus whom many see as the “Celestial Scientist” even predicted the First and Second World War, the Third World War which he said may be prevented, the shooting of the American President J.F Kennedy, the invention of airplane and ships and submarine. He described his own death and what would happen to anyone that may attempt to exhume his corpse. This French seer of Jewish origin used puns, imageries and anagrams in his quatrains to describe in graphical terms the September 11, 2001 attack on New York and the World Trade Centre.
He put it this way:
“The sky will burn at forty-five degrees. Fire approaches the great new city.
Immediately a huge scattered flame leaps up when they want verification from the French.
Garden of the world near the new city, in the path of the hollow mountains;
It will be seized and plunged into the boiling cauldron.”
John Hogue in his book: Nostradamus, The New Millennium, revealed that “A day before the attack on New York, on 10 September, French intelligence began looking into troubling indications that Al-Qaeda operatives were about to attack America. French officials did contact their American counterparts who waited for verification too late to stop the fire falling out of the skies over New York with the roar of jet engines.”
However, if most of Nostradamus’ 1,104 prophecies contained in his book—Les Propheties—beginning from 1503 when he was born, to the present, have come to pass as many scholars and historians believe, I am inclined to believe too that his prophecies for the future which refer to horrendous global crises, terrorism, famine, adverse weather and planetary changes, earthquake and the dawn of the golden age of peace, will also come to pass.
But this peace is not about Nostradamus. It is about our expectations, about the arc and contours our lives may take in 2014. It is about the events and circumstances that may make or mar us as a nation.
For centuries, it has become the fad or custom for individuals, companies and nations to place great hopes in the future. That is why, on the individual plane, we make New Year resolutions. We look back in retrospect on the year that is just rolling by. We open the ledger of life in our mental imaginations to check what we did or failed to do; what we did well or where we fumbled and resolve in the coming year to do better. This hope for a better future culminating in a resurrection was the thrust of Job’s longing for renewal when he said in Job 19:25-26:
“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He will stand in the end on the earth. And that even after my skin is destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God”.
And as a nation, we look back to see where we messed things up and how to avoid such in the coming year. We check whether our policies in the year impacted positively on the majority and what to do to win the acclaim of those left behind. That is the essence of drawing budgets each year.
The best time of the year to begin this self-examination is January. In Roman mythology and Gregorian calendar, January is named after Janus, the Roman god of gates and doors and new beginnings. It is believed to have two faces that goes back and forth observing everything, so it is the gateway month to the new year.
I am not a seer like Nostradamus. I can’t even see beyond my nose. When a journalist takes leave of his profession and delves into futurology deemed to be the preserves of Pastors, General Overseers and the mystic, he takes a gamble and is purely on his own. But in 1998 when we went to print our newspaper at Sunray Publications in Port Harcourt, I did not know what came over me like King Saul. Remember that King Saul in the bible suddenly began to prophesy which made those that came across to him ask in bewilderment: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” I am not a prophet, but when I told my colleague of blessed memory, Mr Sun Umahi, pioneer editor of Nigerian Patriot newspapers, that Sani Abacha was dead, a day to Abacha’s death, he did not believe me. But the following day Abacha died.
But looking at my crystal ball, I can see that the thing that came over me in 1998 when I predicted Abacha’s death has come over me again today. I see 2014 to be a defining year for us, at individual, state and national levels. Indeed, 2014 promises to be a year like no other in our astrological calendar.
At the state level, I see frenzy of activities in Ebonyi. The governor, Chief Martin Elechi will work the hardest this year, with prudent management of our meagre resources to complete most of the humongous and colossal projects that litter the state. Besides, I foresee a harmonious working relationship between the government and civil servants. This will lead to a marginal increase of salaries of civil servants in the state.
At the political scene, my Ouija board tells me there will be intense power struggle among the three senatorial districts in the state on who or which zone succeeds the governor. There will be serious opposition against power going to south. There will be initial disagreement between the governor and Chief Anyim Pius Anyim on which candidate will fly the party flag. This disagreement will be sorted out amicably and maturely. But the People Democratic Party (PDP) will field a candidate from a minority area in the South senatorial district. This will not go down well with some power brokers from the Abakaliki bloc comprising also the Ezzas. The dissatisfaction may lead to the bloc coming together to sponsor a candidate on the ticket of All Progressives Congress (APC). But that candidate that will emerge from the APC platform will not win the election which may end up in litigation.
On the senatorial election, I see Chief Elechi winning the senatorial election for Ebonyi Central Zone if he indicates interest. Former governor of Ebonyi state, Dr Sam Ominyi Egwu will indicate interest for the North senatorial seat, but the incumbent for Ebonyi North, Chief Nwankwo will retain his seat. For that of Ebonyi South, it will be an intense power struggle among political gladiators in the zone. The senatorial seat will shift to Ohaozara axis and a prominent politician from that zone whose eye is fixed on the governorship slot will win the ticket as consolation prize.
At the national level, my Ouija board tells me that 2014 is the foundation upon which the structure that will emerge in 2015 will be built. There will be much dust everywhere that will make it difficult to see, to the extent that the country will gravitate to the edge of doom, but it will not come apart. Boko Haram insurgency in the North East will increase more than what we have witnessed before. The aim will be to make the zone ungovernable so that no election will be held there or in the country. But they will fail in their scheme. The President will contain them and he will contest the 2015 presidential election. He will declare his intention to that effect before May.
After all the schemings and vendetta of APC, President Goodluck Jonathan will emerge as the presidential flag bearer of PDP. Many more Northern politicians in PDP will switch base to APC, but Jonathan will still win the election, but by a hair’s breath. Chances of APC sweeping the votes in the areas they consider their strongholds will be wishful thinking. In South-East and South-South geopolitical zones, PDP will win all the states and Middle Belt. But what I see on my Ouija board is not clear on who will run with Mr President as Vice. His victory will polarize the country, but not to the point of civil war.
CAVEAT: After all their tricks and magic and “abracadabra” on their wrestling channel, the ETV Network television will warn you: “Don’t try this at home”. And I’m saying to you too: “Don’t believe this at all.”
But if you trust my guts and believe in my Ouija board, then you can, like the Swedish musicians ABBA would say, “Take a chance on me.” Happy New Year!