Today is the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the year, 2012 – the much anticipated 12-12-12. It is a special date that occurs only once in a century. The last one was in 1912 and the next one will be in 2112. In other words, none of us reading this piece today is likely to be around to witness the next 12/12/12. Curiously, everyone (chief among them, Sina, my graphic artist colleague on the Sports Desk) tells me there is something special about today.
Not being someone given to the spiritism (or is it spirituality?) of numbers, I have failed to see anything special in today. I have therefore yielded my space to a guest columnist, Apana Huntas, who seems to know. Enjoy his take on the issue (below) However, for a non-initiate like me, I am unable to see beyond my nose, and beyond the fact that today is the birthday of my sister and friend, Hon Uche Ekwunife. Incidentally, as I remember the woman we fondly call Iyom today, I remember what today’s guest columnist privately told me about people born on the 12th December.
He said they are very cerebral, they are born leaders (whether in the church, government or even in the underworld). They are often persecuted for no just cause and they are always ready to serve and even die for others. I won’t dwell on the negative traits – I’ll rather leave that to the expert. Of course, today would go down as even more special if, by some twist of fate, we wake up to the news that we have been able to secure the release of Prof. Kaneme Okonjo, the mother of another woman I respect a great deal (Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala), who was kidnapped from the Delta State palace of her monarch husband, Obi (Prof.) Chukwuka Okonjo three days ago. It would be an added bonus if, today, we are able to find the freshly minted N1000 notes that suddenly disappeared from the security and minting company.
Of course, I am reluctant to say exact missing amount. Everyone else say the total is N2 billion, but the mint people say the figure is wrong. In fact, they took a full page advert in the newspapers to tell us that the missing money is far less than the N2 billion we are bandying about. They even warned us against peddling wrong figures. Painfully, they wasted a whole page saying what we already know, without telling us the amount involved. They even introduced a new angle: the money was not fully minted, whatever that means. Maybe, the NNPC would use the opportunity offered by a day like this to tell us how many stations they actually intend to build in the 2013 budget.
Does the corporation want buy, lease or build? Is it 10, 20, 30 or 50 stations? Do we need all of N4 billion for 10 petrol stations? How much would it cost a private businessman to put up a petrol station as modern and as equipped as an NNPC mega station, N300 million? Maybe, 12/12/12 would provide answers to these. Let’s wait and see. As for me, the only other thing special about today’s date is that in another three days, it would be the birthday of my dear wife – who is my boss, my love, my protector, my conscience and my mother all rolled into one. Happy birthday, girlfriend!