Let me share this New Year Eve wisdom of Father Lazarus who is my favourite preacher at the moment in Abuja, in the nation’s capital.

This was what he told his congregation on New Year’s Day:

One day in Gboko (Benue State), he began a commercial cyclist (aka achapa) picked up a male passenger. The man wanted to go ”to the next street.”

When they arrived at the first road junction, his passenger ordered the achapaman to, “turn left.” He obeyed and they proceeded to the next street junction where he was now directed to “turn right.”

The commercial cyclist stopped his bike and gave his passenger the score. If they were going to waste that much time trying to figure out where the passenger was going, it would cost him a lot.

How much? the man asked.

“That would be N500 per hour.” This was 2009 and the equivalent of N5,000 per hour on today’s rate.

No problem, let’s go, the passenger told him.

The cyclist couldn’t believe his good fortune. For the next couple of hours, he happily followed his passenger’s unending commands: “turn right,” “go straight,” “turn left.”

After an hour and a half, the okadaman was calculating the thousands of Naira he had made from this “aimless” passenger. “He must be a tourist or something,” he said to himself.

Two hours later, the Okadaman stopped because he wanted to “piss.” He was on the side of the road doing his thing whereupon one of his relations appeared on foot, and was surprised to see the “passenger-tourist” perching on the okadaman’s bike.

“My broda, how you dey?” he asked his kinsman. “Fine,” the okadaman replied.

“How family? How children?” “Dem dey fine, replied the impatient okadaman

“A-beg make I ask you sometin”, the relation said, and drew the Okadaman to a safe corner.

“Dat man wey you dey carry, you no’am?”

“No, why you dey ask?”

“Because na mad man ee be!”

Then Father Lazarus gave us the punch line:

“How many passengers (read baggage) did you pick up last year (2008) who took you on a merry-go-round?

How come some of the things that you did were aimless and unfocussed, following a path charted by others who may not even be as intelligent as you are?

Will there be a change in your life this year, even if it is something as innocuous as changing the way your apartment looks? The things you read, listen to, hear?

How creative and productive are you prepared to be this year, or are you going to graze the same useless and charted territory that made you wish for 2009 when, hopefully “things go beta?”

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