For many days preceding the day, 12th December 2012, text messages, Blackberry messages, e-mails and online interactions via tweeter and facebook flew from one source to another detailing the uniqueness of the day and how significantly it would impact on human lives.
While many waited with baited breadth for the day to come expecting something significant to happen, others simply viewed it as another figment of someone's imagination.
The number, 12 holds a unique position in human existence all through the ages. Apart from having a total of 12 hours of day and that of night we also have 12 months in the year in the Roman calendar.
There are 12 signs of the Zodiac, 12 Apostles, 12 days of Christmas, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 Old Testament prophets in the Scriptures and other unique uses of the number 12.
While for some, the number illustrates love, others say prosperity, completeness or fulfilment is embedded fully in the number.
12/12/12 heralds the end of the world - Doomsday sayers
For the doomsday portrayers, the day is also significant but on a negative side: They believe the date 12/12/12 heralds the end of the world, mainly owing to an interpretation gotten basically from the Mayan calendar.
Number manipulators also put a significant slant to the number, ostensibly because of its unique divisibility capabilities. It can be divided into halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and twelfths. It is to be expected that they would find the number appearing thrice on a particular day exciting.
In many parts of the world particularly in Europe and America, many intending couples rush to the registry to apply for that day for their nuptials as they view it as portending prosperity, fruitfulness and harmony.
To the Chinese the number 12 brings harmony
In Chinese numerology, the number one is a yang number which is ruled by the sun and represents independence and individualism. Two is a yin number which is ruled by the moon and represents symmetry and balance. When placed together, the number 12 brings harmony to the yin and yang, balancing the feminine energy of the moon with the masculine energy of the sun.
The Ancient Mayan calendar speaks of 12-12-2012 as the end of humanity as we know it and the beginning of a new cycle of evolution for planet earth, man and the cosmos
'So much hype had been attributed to the day'
In Nigeria, the day is viewed on a much lower lethargic level. Apart from the younger generation who appear to link it with any significance, there is little in terms of celebration.
Hameed Adio, a business man in the FCT, who spoke to Daily Trust, says he got messages on his Blackberry from friends who told him to pray intensely on that day as all his prayers will be answered. 'I was told that anything I asked for would be achieved by me. I immediately forwarded the text to others and forgot about it. I pray every day so that was not a problem for me. But the number is very unique if you look at it,' he says
Another respondent, Chuks Eze, says he got a similar message which he forwarded. 'Mine was unique as I was told to make some mind boggling calculations using the number 12-12-12 and the end result was my birth date. It was so amazing. The text also said I should wish for anything as it would be granted to me.'
Chinwe Ugborgu, vice principal Ladela Secondary School, notes that so much hype had been attributed to the day. 'It was in the morning when I was about teaching my students and I wrote the date on the chalkboard that I even noticed the unique combination of the numbers. To me apart from that uniqueness there is nothing special about the day, she told Daily Trust.
Also, another resident, Obinna Henry, said the day is like any normal day. 'Every day the Lord has made is unique. There is nothing to it for me. I got text messages which I was told to resend to get luck but I said no. I don't believe in luck, I believe in divine blessings. It's like any other day for me apart from its lovely numerical sequence
A recharge card vendor who simply gave her name as Blessing said she was aware of the day, but it did not mean anything to her, adding that she went on with her normal life during the day.
"The day doesn't mean anything special to me. We had the same thing in 2009, 2010 and 2011. People just talk about the dates because we won't have any other 12/12/12, that's all I think; if not, there's nothing special in it. I didn't plan anything for the day, but I know in some churches, prayers were organized for the day," she said.
Joseph Samuel, a taxi driver, said the date was of no importance to him as he only heard it over the radio but did not give it a thought. "Actually, it was yesterday that I heard it. As you can see, I'm out for my business. This date is nothing to me at all," he said.
On his part, Elvis Daniel said the date 12:12:12 was a unique date that would not come up again and the number 12 signifies authority and urged everyone to celebrate God for the opportunity to witness the day.
'Dates recognized in Islam are those of the Islamic calendar'
An Islamic cleric, Malam Ma'aruf Sa'ad Onimagun, a member of the National Da'awa Board of Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria, Abuja, said Islam does not recognize the Gregorian calendar, so Muslims do not attach any importance to dates like 12/12/12, adding that the only dates recognized in Islam are those of the Islamic calendar months.
"Basically Islam does not recognize the Gregorian calendar, because we have our own calendar where Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur'an that the months of Islamic Calendar are 12, since He created the heaven and earth. That means Allah has laid down our own months ever since, that's why we have Muharram, Safar, Rabiul Awwal etcetera," he said.
Malam Ma'aruf added that the issue of 12/12/12 should not concern any Muslim as all the important dates in Islam have been categorically stated in the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith of the Holy Prophet, saying that it is a non-issue to Muslims.
"The issue of 12/12/12 is not applicable in Islam, because every day of each month has its significance to us Muslims. And certainly every day, as the Holy Prophet Muhammad told us, is significant in our lives, because what we do are being recorded by the Angels of the Almighty Allah. Once you're alive, you must know that all what you do on any day must be accounted for. That means we must try every day and every minute to do the right thing," he added.
On the significance of the number '12' in Islam, Malam Ma'aruf said, "the number that is so significant in Islam is an odd number. Allah lays emphasis on odd numbers like 1, 3, 7, 9, 11, 13 and so on. Those are the numbers that Allah loves, but for '12,' it's nothing special to us. There is nothing like special prayer for 12/12/12 in Islam; we've not seen it in the Holy Qur'an or the Hadith of the Prophet; that means for someone to take today as a special day is Haram."
Christians shouldn't take 12:12:12 for granted - Cleric
The date 12:12:12 is not a day Christians all over the world should take for granted as it connotes a lot, a Dunamis Pastor, Pastor Fredrick Igene has said.
Speaking with Daily Trust yesterday, he said the date is a date that would never come again thereby urging that it was a day of sober reflection and thanksgiving to God for Christians.
Igene said the number 12 represents the 12 tribes of Israel; it also represents the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ and the 12 thrones in heaven, adding that God was concerned with seasons.
Another pastor with the Shepherds Flock Christian Church, Ndubisi Francis, says the number 12 is very significant in Christendom. 'Israel as a nation was formed from 12 tribes. That is in the Old Testament. Coming down to Christ we know he had 12 Apostles who helped him in his work here on earth. There is no doubt about something special about the number 12 not only in the Old but the New Testament. There are also of course the 12 Old Testament prophets we read about in the scriptures. But we must be wary of attaching myths to the number in our everyday life. Whatever the significance we attach to the number must be attached to scriptural values and backing.
Some Christian researchers have even said the number is unique in some respects like if you split it into two you have two 'six' signifying the finished work of God in Creation when he finished all the work on the sixth day and rested on the seventh. But a true servant of God tries not to bring theology into his work but works according to the inspiration of God and what the Bible says. My submission is whatever the number means to you, if it means prosperity, wealth or even the end of the world let us try to bring it in consonance with what the word of God actually says...'
12-12-12: Women's views on the significance of the date
Juliana Omonigho, a sports woman said " For me it stands as a day of unique grace of God because we will not see this day in our life time againâ€?. As a matter of fact not even in this millennium will a day like this come by."
Mrs Omolola Ayodeji, a civil servant said she doesn't know there was anything special about the date so it means nothing to her.
Another respondent, Mrs Bukola Amusan , a journalist said " I see it as a normal day but I thank God for giving me the grace to see the day"
Zulaihat Ibrahim, a civil servant, said the date means nothing to her. "It is just a co-incidence of similar numbers in month, day and year. Nothing special about it." She said
Miss Quennet Adaji , a student said " I am happy to be alive and opportuned to witness this unique date on our calendar."
Mrs Safiya Uthman on her part said, "It is just a normal date , so it means nothing to me whatsoever."
Mrs Nkrika. Udemezue, a business woman said it is a day that will never come again. "And being such a day, God the maker of times and seasons must have destined the day to have its own special blessings. So being among the people alive to witness the unique day, it is my earnest prayer to benefit the blessings of the day."
Tosin Omoniyi, Musa Abdullahi Krishi, Ojoma Akor and Maureen Onochie