BY Akpekwu IMBUFE
Expectedly, the year 2020 would come to an end on December thirty-first, pointedly, eight days from now. What this means is that folks would want to mark the end of what was a difficult year following the outbreak of COVID 19; with family and friends. This is not surprising because, the period since the advent of the modern era, has seen Nigerians become habitual migrants of fun seekers in want of celebrating Christmas and the Yuletide.
The tradition is so steeped that in some communities, the dead are not buried for most of the twelve calendar months until the twilight of the year when the community would have their sons and daughters back home. For this types, Funeral Parlour Carnival and Wake Keeping is too attractive to miss. These spared no expense, brood no brouhaha and dares many demons to travel rough or cosy back home to be reckoned with. It is on record that these dare devil revelers of Funeral Parlour Carnival are responsible for blood littered accident on the highway during the Ember Months and mostly from rash theatrics aimed at sending the dead forth.
On the rollercoaster with revelers of Funeral Parlour Carnival are Pilgrims of Faith, who it is a must to make a journey to attend the end of year Anointing and Holy Ghost fire pack impartation by powerful Preacher Men. For these types, the Christmas and Yuletide season provides an opportunity for spiritual rejuvenation, reawakening and reconnect with the elevating inflow of the highest state of consciousness and missing same is anathema to the goal of Christianity.
Largely or inadvertently, Pilgrims of Faith are the onerous cause of holdups during Christmas and Yuletide season and to non adherents to the Christian Faith, a pain in the neck and a quick foot forward to early sojourn to heaven.
Close on the heel of the Pilgrims of Faith are the Emergency Entrepreneurs who see the Christmas and Yuletide season as an opportunity to make brisk business and profit.
Because the window is short, Emergency Entrepreneurs risk all to achieve profitability and in the process endangered the season more than revelers of Funeral Parlour Carnival
and Pilgrims of Faith combined.
The problem with Emergency Entrepreneurs is not in the way and manner they conduct themselves but in looking to cash in on the festivities and at the same time be a partaker in the celebration. This dual interest brings inattentiveness and often times carelessness which in the process endangered the next person. Domestic accident and other infractions during this period lies in people angling to cash in on the Christmas and Yuletide season and at the same time enjoy themselves.
Follow in the lineup of celebrants of the Christmas and Yuletide season are Soldiers of Fortune. It is difficult to understand the thinking of people with the Soldiers of Fortune’s mentality at Christmas or New Year. One cannot pick cherries without dirtying the hands. But these go pick, forage and burgle to eat Christmas and the Yuletide. The menace of Soldiers of Fortune is already prevelling and the Police Stations are keeping the apprehended as guest of the state.
Perhaps, the secret of Father Christmas was to keep the fingers of Soldiers of Fortune away from the pie at Christmas and New Year. Whatever, the tradition of Father Christmas is well meant. But the anger to guide against is mob action or lynching, jungle justice and self appointed guardian of the realm. All infractions against the state must be reported to the authorities for the Judicial process to take its course.
No doubt, the Christmas and Yuletide season present the opportunity for merriment after a hard and difficult year like 2020 with the Lockdown and restrictions, but being a Merry go rounder with a vengeance to be hard on alcohol and drugs is an absurdity in the celebration of Christmas and Yuletide season. The period call for decorum and moderation in all we do. The breaking of bottles and burning of tyres on the streets, sidewalks and Round Abouts in a rowdy and callous manner is unchristian and uncivilized. Those who do this do so as Merry Go Rounders.
Therefore, Merry Go Rounders must refrain from intimidation, harassment and bullying when on Traditional display such as masquerades and stunts. This becomes more pertinent in a COVID 19 era. Much as one is on a masquerade, he or she must be guided by the rules of engagement on COVID 19. Maintain two meters apart when in contact with anyone.
The prevelling of COVID 19 is still subsisting and the world is edging towards a second Lockdown. The world is already carrying the human race on its shoulders by the ravaging negative impact of human activity on the environment. We cannot use our own hands to destroy ourselves.
Perhaps the last celebrants of the Yuletide season are people who are indifferent to whatever is going on within the period. They are not partakers in the Funeral Parlour Carnival or Pilgrims of Faith. Neither are they Emergency Entrepreneurs or Soldiers of Fortune and even worse, Merry Go Rounders. These often than not by their indifference, allow themselves to be stranded on the road side becoming a nuisance to themselves and the community. The simplest applicable word of advice to this group is don’t stand on the way. If you are driving, give way to traffic on the road and don’t drink when you are driving. The life you save may be yours.
in conclusion, it would suffice to remind revelers of the Yuletide season that the National Council for Disease Control, NCDC says crowded places are centers for the spiking of the spread of COVID 19. Wear a mask during socialization and maintain social distance from the closest person to you. Wash You hands regularly for as long as it takes you to sing ‘He is a Jolly Good Fellow’ and stay away from any that sneezes but seek medical help where you suspect your health condition is related to COVID 19.
Above all, heed the advice that for this festive season, it would be better to stay at home and not to travel. Whatever you do, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.