July 14, 2024

Pathfinder News

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Christmas: For Whom And For What?

Ik.Muo

The 2021 Christmas season is here at last! Some people had earnestly wanted it to be postponed but it had come to be. This is despite the grand entry of Omicron, which threw raised the global panic index by more than 1000% and increased new cases of coro in Nigeria by 500% in 2 weeks. This is also despite the multiple afflictions of Santa Claus, who is a key player in this Christmas business.  Yes; Christmas has transfigured from a spiritual affair to a business, with several legal and illegal participants and stakeholders. Back to the fate of  Fada Christmas.   First, he( well, there are now some ‘she’ Fada Christmases) tested positive for Omicron and was compulsorily quarantined! A replacement was arrested by our ever-vigilant police for not having the National Identity Number and was thus suspected to be an illegal immigrant.

As I write, the Police authorities and Immigration Services are fighting over the custody of the suspect. Another one boarded an okada with her family( Santa Claus family? Wonders will never end in Nigeria) and was arrested by FRSC special seasonal enforcers for not wearing a crash helmet. The other wanted to evade our policemen and boarded a boat but unfortunately fell inside the dirty waters of Lagos.  one has been so battered by our economic realities and is so distressed that rather than extending gifts , people are  rather contribu ting anything  for him-agege bread ati ewa, pure water and roasted plantain . The fifth abandoned his mission when a curvaceous seductionist flaunted some unmentionable things at him at Oshodi Bus-Stop and beckoned on him to ‘taste and see’.
 Another unsavoury development this season is that the National Chickens’ Guild has formed a self-defense vigilante group, which will be in operation from December 20, 2021 to January 20, 2022 to ward off the human invaders, both dealers and consumers.

We are all aware that the exchange rate has gone mad and that despite celebrated decline in official rate of  inflation, the general level of prices has also gone mad, even madder than the exchange rate.

However,  despite the evil machinations of Mazi Omicron,( some people call it Omnicron). the  multiple afflictions of Fada Christmas, which is of particular concern to children, the key consumption stakeholders of this season and the revolt of the chicken( and rather than admit that they can’t afford it, some of us  have already announced a 1-month boycott of cow-meat), and the madness of prices, increasing spine-chilling blood-letting by our harmless bandits, who are just looking for what to eat, the increasing viciousness,  B’haram and its variants, the 10th wave of kidnapping  (while coro is just on the 4th wave), the  activities known and unknown gunmen, the fact that at least 50 of ASUUists have not been paid salaries at UI in the past 1 year, and the fact that Andy Uba still has enough money for the legal boys, I want to affirm authoritatively ( by the powers conferred on me as a SPIRIT) that  the date for 2021 Christmas still remains 25th December; it has not been shifted.

Christmas feast is in remembrance of the birth of Christ, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and the Ogidgboligbo of the universe. Unfortunately, its spiritual significance has taken a backseat and there are 1001  reasons for this. It is the season when the mostly Christian  business community makes a kill( mostly against fellow Christians) and  this is worsened in 2021 by the fate and shape of the bruised Naira.  This kill is most pronounced in the transport sector where prices rise by 200-500% and most of the owners, drivers and passengers are Christians.  Of course the seats in all the aircrafts have been sold-out at prices that are simply insane. And in the peculiar airline pricing model (but in tune with simple economics), the routes that have more patrons are charged more. Yes now; it is your punishment for deciding to fly!

 It is a season when the Dotmen will squander all the money they made in one year within two weeks and that is why traffic madness, seasonal inflation unauthorised siren  with policemen on AWOL as escorts, fill everywhere in the east. Because of the seasonal reverse-exodus of the wisemen from the east (who behave unwisely during Christmas), the desperate determination of the policemen et al to  forcefully get their own share, some new car owners who insist on driving down east( so that their people will see that they have hammered) the traffic madness increases several notches higher and people at times have to turn the NigerBridge into a vigil ground every Christmas. It is a time of weddings, meetings, launchings, house dedications and chieftaincy titles. The various witches and wizards, assisted by assorted nDrs( native doctors) also try to feast on nataad people( returnees) by subterfuge, claiming powers that they, most often, do not possess. Meanwhile most urban centers will remain cool and calm with scanty traffic. It is also a season when police hypocrisy is at its height as they would ban knockouts, even though container loads of them have been landing since August while new improved ones that sound like bombs would be exploding in the neighbourhood of various police formations. Christmas is also a season for new businesses as in the case of a company currently offering escort services exclusively to the East at the cost of N3.3m for 10 days. Who supplies them with the policemen or are they using imitation policemen?

It is the season of Christmas messages, including those that are sent to curry favours and to fulfil all righteousness. Of course most of them are CAP(copy and paste!). It is also the time for hampers, most of which are lean as the dealers fill half of the basket with papers and all sorts while the few miserable contents dangle atop the baskets. Nobody gives me hamper or else, I would have demanded for monetisation! It is the time for crusades ( mostly down East) at which pick-pockets do their own business and where some Christians refuse to exchange ekene nke udo(greetings of peace) with their enemies( within the church and despite the admonitions of Mt,6:14-15…). It is a time for riotous domestic warfare as happening women would hold their husbands by the ‘blokos’  (  an emergent common form of GBV-gender-based violence!) and demand for money for Brazilian hair et al., and in multiple colours to suit the various clothes, shoes, bags  that would be worn for each specific day of the holidays.  Why won’t they demand Nigerian hair or have they not heard-of local content policy? Some women are worth more than N1m on the road per day! I  don’t know why the demand for my own hair has been  negative despite all the resources I have invested in advertising. I am willing to scrape my head FULLY to satisfy discerning fashionistas. Criminals would also have their own field day, including those who sell the rave of the moment-nkpulu-waters (methamphetamine, crystal Meth) while some communities will also  make a show of exorcising the spirit of meth  by severe flogging.

So, the question is Christmas: for whom and for what?  We spend at least a month, planning for the Christmas, spend another month doing the Christmas and spend another month returning( November, December January) with all our attention focused on the parties and events. Even those who did not travel are fully on ground in the market up to the Christmas day proper. In which of these realities do we show Christ or do we realise that we are remembering the birth of the saviour, the ultimate light of the world? I bet that if not to show off recent designer clothes bodies and cars (everything is now designer), many of us will not attend Christmas Masses. Designer bodies? When you attach artificial nails, eyelashes, hairs, breasts and buttocks, and make over your face so that even your parents will not recognise you again, that is grade 2 designer body. When you undertake  plastic surgery to restructure yourself, that is Grade1 designer body! Anyway, Happy Christmas for all men of good will and may we all have a fruitful 2022

 Meanwhile,  I have two  post-approval comments; they are not original  to me. First is this set of ‘3 commandments’ for this season which  I FULLY endorse; I will KISS it. ‘If you can’t afford  NEW clothes, wear the ones you have;  it is  not your birthday; it is Jesus’ birth day and even if He invited you to the party, it is not good to outdress  the birthday ‘boy’. If you can’t afford the kind of food you want, eat the one you have. Nobody knows what you have eaten unless you  do kiss and tell. If you can’t afford to travel, stay where you are. Jesus was not born in your village. And in any case, your village people will miss the opportunity to deal with you. KISS? Keep it simple and short!
 Secondly as you spoil your families, major and side chicks, and spend money as if it would be banned in January 2022, remember those who do not have anybody to spoil them. It is not their choice; it is just circumstances; na condition make crayfish bend

 Ik Muo, PhD. Department of Business Administration, OOU, Ago-Iwoye. 08033026624