Essay by manymanCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2005

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An endtime can be sudden, installmental or incremental. But on every occasion when it came upon the world it was always after a series of prophetic warnings had been ignored. But fortunately, attached to every endtime tale are choices of human development, choices between the right development priorities and poor development priorities. The outcome is that the world can decide to pull back from the brink or go under.

It is natural to sound apocalyptical during dangerous times. Already, it is alarming enough that the world is experiencing together an explosion of the global trade and extreme poverty.

It was at the point when the wise thought that they could snatch human dignity back for man, as defined by the UN Milllennium Goals, an articulation of the most urgent human needs, that the Human Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV) and the Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), burst on the world.

But today, the world is once again at the crossroads and no thanks to the malevolent and mutant virus, which is causing devastation in its wake.

This is the focus of the Human Development Report (HDR) for 2004 on Nigeria, which was released last week by the United Nations Development Programme in Abuja. Early warnings of HIV/AIDS had been ignored in the past. But according to the new report, the world can continue to do so at great peril to humanity.

Presented to the public by Vice President Atiku Abubakar, HDR Nigeria 2004 follows in the best tradition of the prophetic warnings of endtime. Incrementally, HIV/AID is like an eclipse on the sun of the 21st century.

Two decades after it was first reported in 1981, 40 million people have been infected worldwide.

For Africa in particular, and more especially Nigeria, because of her unenviable situation of extreme wealth and extreme...