“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”
― Steve Maraboli

I consider it appropriate to begin this piece with a sincere appreciation to Almighty God, the one who never fails, for His protection, love and unquantifiable mercies. To all of us alive at this moment, I believe this period and season is another time to reflect, reminisce and take a look backward to where we started from and then draw a new plan for the time ahead.

No doubt, 2016 was really the toughest year for some homes. It was the year we experienced much more failed political promises with no deep sense of remorsefulness from the government. It was a year that took us through different roads of difficulties, political anxieties coupled with economic recession that took a more prominent turn in the third quarter of the year. Many, who couldn’t cope, gave up. Well over 1.7 million jobs were lost, according to National Bureau of Statistics; among other monsters that terrorized our collective happiness in the year past.

 Today, some old married men cannot even boost of a thousand naira in their accounts. Several children are out there with torn clothes tied around their bodies. I see your discomfort and I share your pain but I know at the end, there will a great joy. There will be light at the end of tunnel. A moment of happiness is closer and we shall all have reasons to rejoice.

 To my colleagues in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, I’m glad to see you celebrate this New Year in soundness of health and peacefulness of heart. 2016 was indeed a year a lot would pray never to witness anymore due to umpteenth unpleasant occurrences that bedecked the year. Incessant industrial actions, power tussle from within the university management; lose of students to the cold hands of death, and many more. We saw so much and we heard so much. The rivalry between the left and the right that nearly drove us into anarchy was another case; the allegations, blames, faculty elections, and most especially the leadership election that nearly caused a break-apart in our union almost disintegrate our brotherhood. But thank God for the altruistic attitude of our leaders who maintained that no personal interests superseded our collective interest and common goal. These men and women of valor stood strong and resolute to protect our union despite the obvious false- start and seemingly unreconcilable political imbroglio. Thanks to our leaders!

 However, this year can be much better and more profitable than the previous when we all do the right thing. The right thing is to obey the law of common sense and embrace handwork. The right thing is to pursue your goals with no harm intended for your fellow human being. It is the right thing for our leaders to make sound decisions without any disregard to our sacrosanct constitution.

Effort should be made by all relevant stakeholders in the forth-coming election to ensure sanity is restored to our polity. Rigging or any form of electoral malpractices should be vehemently discouraged. We shouldn’t compromise standard for either pay or praise.

In conclusion, it must be reiterated at this juncture that utopia we seek from others can be created by us. As youths and students, we are the hope of this nation. We are the ones the world awaits for the emancipation of the chained, the freedom of the voiceless and libration of the oppressed. We must begin to practice the principles of ideal governance. We must allow the newness of the year to inject us with fresh insights to nascent opportunities around. Let us preach love, practice it and bequeath it to our generations to come.

I wish you a Happy New Year!
 you enjoy the blessings inherent in the new season, I love you all.

Okediji Simon (ZUMA)

Okediji Simon is a public speaker, certified human resource manager, avid researcher in areas of journalism and public relations and accomplished freelancer.  You can reach him on 09080424239 or you simply mail him using okedijisimon@gmail.com

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