My New Year Resolutions for 2008

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do… Sail away from the safe harbor” (Mark Twain).

In the first week of January 2007 more than a dozen friends asked what my New Year resolutions were going to be. I had none. A few were surprised that I had none; others thought I was being secretive and just didn’t want to tell. Truly, I had none. The irony is that year after year after year for the past dozen or so years, most have asked the same questions, and I have basically given the same answer. None! I don’t have yearly resolutions. I don’t have them because I don’t find them useful or necessary.

Oh come on, why should I bother with such things? Most people reel off resolutions just to give the impression that they are determined to make changes in their lives or that they have their sights set on some goals. And then there are those who don’t even know what resolutions are. And even if they did, they’d just as soon violate or dismiss them. There was this really ugly girl who said her resolution for the year was to become beautiful. I laughed. If you are ugly, you are ugly; nature has left you behind.

Let me tell you something: there was this dude who said his father’s resolution for the year 2007 was to become a loving father and husband. Also, he wanted to be close to God. I advised my pal to counsel his father to undertake three measures: (1) confess and give back to Nigeria all the petro-dollars he stole; (2) to stop preying on his house girls and other teenage girls; and (3) confess his sins and to at once shoot himself in the heart. My pal didn’t take kindly to my advice. Foolishly, he told his father what I had said.

I don’t do Roses and Flowers. And I also don’t do resolutions. On my own, I know what I don’t have. I know my limitations. I know my failings and shortcomings. I know the part of my character that pisses my friends and enemies and critics off. I know what baffles and aggravate my women. I know what my dreams — the small, the big and the really big ones — are. For instance when I was a little boy I wanted to join the Army so I could plan coups and counter coups. I enjoyed those coup-music and the coup-speeches they gave.

More than a few people have told me that to succeed in life one must have daily, weekly and yearly resolutions. An old friend even sent me a card with this inscription: “Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self-assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility” (Eric Zorn). Good for him. I do what I have to do when I want to do it. Look at me: no career, no graduate education, no material possession of any importance, no investment portfolios, nothing! I couldn’t even crook my way into becoming a commissioner or chair of local government in my state.

In spite of all the aforesaid, I started making a list of the things I’d like to do this year. Not only do I have a list, I also listed how I am going to go about achieving them. I am hoping that the year 2008 will be fruitful, fulfilling and joyous. Whether you care to know or not, here are my goals and resolutions; I am ramming them down your throat. One other thing: to be sure of my chances, I have engaged the services of four people: a marabout, a pastor, a babalawo, and a godfather.

First, I resolve not to be critical of my state governor (Chief Timipre Sam Sylva), and the vice president (Chief Jonathan Goodluck). All the movers and shakers from my state are also exempt from my lashing. I am making this move out of strategic necessity especially since I am hoping for a political appointment, or at least, plump and juicy contracts.

Second, I am determined to loose weight. Before embarking on a three weeks vacation to Massachusetts to visit with my paddies I weighed 375 pounds; sadly I have gained an extra 25 pounds. The extra weight is adversely affecting my wallet and my wardrobes. For one, I’ve had to change my wardrobes; and two, I no longer have staying power.

Third, should Senator Barak Obama win the Primaries, I shall defect; I shall cross-carpet: abandon the Democratic Party in favor of the Republican Party. In Nigeria I was an Awolowo-UPN man; in America, I am a Kennedy-Clinton-Democrat. Should Senator Clinton loose the primaries or the election, I will have no reason to remain in the party.

Fourth, I have made up my mind to be a better human being. I henceforth revoke, condemn and forsake the following personality traits: arrogance; obstinacy; greed and selfishness; self-centeredness and superciliousness. Come to think of it, these are the same traits that have brought me this far. I may have to reconsider this move.

Fifth, I promise to leave Reuben Abati and the Guardian alone. Truth be told, I have been pointlessly attacking Abati and the Guardian because I want him and his Oga Patapata to take note of me. You see, I desperately want to become relevant. It is a good thing that Abati has not responded to my vituperations. Why should he? After all, he is Mr. Guardian, the doyen of Nigerian media. Or is it the doyen of African Media?

Sixth, ever since I declared there is no God, a lot of people have written to me privately to offer their curses, condemnations, prayers, solidarity and goodwill. The vast majority wrote to tell me they have been praying for my condemned soul, and wish for me to know God. I now know God (as a Muslim and not as a Christian). God is great!

Seventh, I promise to give up writing about sex. There are four different groups on this matter: the first (mostly African men) thinks I am obsessed with sex; the second thinks I don’t go far enough (mostly African and white women); the third (religious zealots) thinks I am liable for the moral depravity of their lovers. The fourth is the siddon-read-and-laugh group.

Eighth, I apologize to all those Naijas (Houston and Austin) who were offended I spoilt the composition of their parties. Their complaint: “na only oyinbo women you dey date and yanch?” I will change my ways if and when our own stop waiting for me to make the moves. Ok, ok, henceforth I will honestly and strongly do the chase and propositions.

Ninth, every so often I get mail from readers who complain I don’t get involve in the board discussions, and also complain that I write too many rejoinders. Ok, I promise to fully participate and pen fewer rejoinders. Oh, why is no one accusing Abati, Olumhense, and Ndibe for avoiding public debates. Ok, I see; they are the Stars, I am a mere candle.

And finally, in case Jonathan Goodluck, Timipre Sylva, and Desmond Daukoru won’t play ball, I am determined, very determined, and greatly determined to cash my political and social capital in Abuja, Kano, Minna and Kaduna. I am willing to do anything illegal. Please don’t blame me as I have credit card, school loan, and other mounting debts to service. Nna, my economic poverty is beginning to get to me.

Written by
Sabella Ogbobode Abidde
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2 comments
  • I can’t wait for you to defect and I know it will happen.I support you 100% on losing weight.I’m not sure you can ever stop writing about sex,so don’t even make any rash resolutions on that issue.

    Happy New Year and don’t ever stop writing!

  • A little extreme on theObama issue huh? anyhue, like you, I like Hillary. also I hate resolutions…if i want to change anything in my life, I don’t wait until January 1. That is a recipe for failure.