By Bolanle Bolawole
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This is the period of the year when people make their New Year’s resolution, which is usually a wish list of what they would like to achieve in the New Year. This may also include a list of bad things they want far away from them in the New Year. Usually, people want blessings, breakthroughs, favours, victory, accomplishments, destiny fulfilment and such other positive things to be their portion. Evils such as death, sickness or illness, disasters, misfortunes, defeat, bad or ill-luck, losses and setbacks are sent “back to sender” and must be wished as the portion of one’s enemies. New Year’s resolutions are also one-year Action or Development Plan for many, set out as “must do’s” on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. It will be interesting to know how many people tenaciously follow through with their New Year’s resolution. The success rate must vary from person to person. To follow through on one’s New Year’s resolution demands self-discipline and tenacity of purpose. It also demands some level of flexibility and a realistic appraisal of what is achievable under prevailing circumstances that were unforeseen at the beginning. Making realistic adjustments is vital. There are those who view New Year’s resolutions as mere wishful thinking and do not think it worth their while to waste time on it. They roll with the time and take decisions spur-of-the-moment or as the prevailing circumstances dictate. I dare to say, however, that getting tossed here and there is not the best for, as it is said, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
In this year 2023, there is a sword dangling over humanity. I am not referring to the well-known sword of Damocles but what I have chosen to call the sword of Nostradamus. According to Greek mythology, the sword of Damocles was a real sword hung over the head of Damocles in the palace of King Dionysius II in the city of Syracuse, in Sicily, in the 4th century BC. Nowadays, the phrase is used to depict or refer to life’s unpredictability and the possible existence of imminent danger. So, to say that someone has the sword of Damocles hanging over his head is to say that the person is in a situation in which something bad could happen at any time. What is the sword of Damocles dangling over the head of mankind in this Year 2023? These are the predictions of Nostradamus! Who is Nostradamus? A source described him as follows:
“Michel Nostradame or better known as Michel de Nostradamus, went from being a 16th century French astrologer to 500 years later remaining one of the most recognized fortune tellers in the Western Hemisphere. Shortly before his death, Nostradamus left as a legacy his most recognized book, ‘Les Prophéties’, a collection of 942 poetic quatrains from which his predictions for the future have emanated. Although they were published in 1555, more than a decade before his death, they are still valid and are reviewed year after year to try to guess what the fate of the planet will bring.
In fact, many people believe that many of the major events that have shaped the world were foretold by the Renaissance apothecary, for example, the rise of the most bloodthirsty political regime in history, headed by Adolf Hitler, as well as the Apollo XI moon landing and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although there are specialists who assure that it is impossible that there is any relation between the prophecies and the events that mark the world, every year the name of Nostradamus comes to light because his fame has transcended frontiers and also the passing of the years. Therefore, according to the French soothsayer, these are some of the events that could mark contemporary history in 2023:
The historic mission to Mars: About this event, Nostradamus wrote: “celestial fire when the lights of Mars go out”. At present, tycoon Elon Musk previously said that his company SpaceX could take a manned spacecraft to the neighbouring planet by 2029. However, the French astronomer suggested that this will happen in 2023.
New Pope: Another prophecy points out that a new pope will be elected in the coming months to lead the Catholic Church. Nostradamus points out that Pope Francis will leave his place because of his advanced age and in his place will come an obscure and dangerous person who will cause a scandal.
Change in the social order: A third major prediction for 2023 points out that a man and a woman will work together to create a new society that will result in a common good. However, the prophet indicated that the alliance will be short-lived as well as its positive effects on society. Experts have interpreted this warning of high-impact conflict and instability in the United States.
Third World War: Something more serious that the prophet points out is the beginning of a worrying 7-month conflict, which has been interpreted as the beginning of a Third World War: “Seven months of the Great War, people killed by evil deeds” and could refer to the war in Ukraine or else that a major conflict is unleashed by China’s interests in absorbing Taiwan.
Nuclear bomb explosion: The apothecary spoke of the detonation of a powerful nuclear device that will mainly affect European countries. This would accelerate the phenomenon of climate change and would be the beginning of an environmental catastrophe that would seriously affect the Earth: ‘For 40 years the rainbow will not appear. The dry land will become drier and there will be major floods’, says the text. ‘Like the sun, the head will scorch the shining sea: the living fish in the Black Sea will almost boil’ it adds. ‘When Rhodes and Genoa are half-starved, the local people will strive to cut them off’.
The British Royal Family: In 2022, the British Royal Family convulsed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, one of the most beloved monarchs in history and with the longest rule in the history of the British Crown. Shortly after her death, the book “Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies for the Future” broke sales records.
According to Mario Reading’s interpretation of Nostradamus’ premonitions, ‘Les Propheties’ speaks of the death of Queen Elizabeth. Within Mario Reading’s writing reads, “because they disapproved of her divorce, a man they afterwards deemed unworthy; the People will cast out the King of the Isles; He will be replaced by a Man who never expected to be king.”
This indicates that Prince Harry, who is currently away from the United Kingdom, would be the successor to the current King Charles III. An event not at all expected, since with his resignation from royalty he would not be ready for the throne. In addition, this place is occupied by his brother Prince William”
Intriguing as it is frightening, not so? Some sources say close to 75 percent of Nostradanus’s predictions have come to pass. So, should any of his predictions come true for 2023; our world as we know it today will be profoundly affected, in fact, astoundingly altered. If a mere regional conflict between Russia and Ukraine can reverberate the way it has done, causing so profound a dislocation in many spheres of life, the economy especially, imagine if a world war breaks out in 2023 as predicted by Nostradamus or Europe experiences a nuclear strike, like the two Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did in 1945! Food shortages all over the world have been traced to the Russian/Ukraine war. The hyper-inflation that is whacking the economy of countries all over the world has also been traced to the sanctions imposed on both sides of the divide occasioned by the conflict. The deaths already recorded, the dislocation of normal life and refugee crisis apart, the massive destruction of infrastructure, the humongous amount of funds the war effort has gulped on both sides will take decades to recover from.
You think little or nothing of Nostradamus and his predictions or prophecies? So also did the people of the world pour scorn on Noah as he built his ark! But in the end, we all saw what happened! So, as you make your plans for 2023, spare a thought for Nostradamus and his predictions. What if some or all of them come to pass? Plan your response ahead of time. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. My people have a saying, to wit, a war foretold does not kill the lame that is wise. Why? The moment he hears that war is looming, he begins to pack his things and crawl to safety! He does not wait for war to break out before he begins to run helter-skelter.
And my mind went to this year’s election. Did they not also say that Buhari would conduct a population census before he quits the stage? Nigeria and Buhari may propose but will the predictions of Nostradamus allow? The last time I heard some of the country’s respected men of God speak concerning the 2023 election; it was that God had not yet told them there would be an election this year. Should Nostradamus’s catastrophes begin early in the year, how possible will it be to hold elections? What, also, if our own home-grown security issues get out of hand? As it is, it is doubtful if elections can hold in areas controlled by Boko Haram insurgents and Fulani bandits in the North or in some parts of the East where the resurgent agitation for Biafra and the sit-at-home order imposed by pro-Biafra elements are a potent threat to freedom of movement in the region.
We have complained about insecurity of life and property at the national level; if, this year, our world convulves and witnesses the kind of conflagration Nostradamus has predicted, we must brace up for harsher and harder times. Nigerians are a prayerful people; so, we must pray away Nostradamus and his predictions. Nigerians are also a people who breathe and live hope. So, we must continue to hope for the best. One more thing we must do, however, is factor Nostradamus’s predictions into all our calculations for the Year 2023.
This, then, is the sword of Damocles dangling humanity. Uncertainty rules the waves. To be or not to be: Only time will tell!