Yuletide amid insecurity, recession and COVID-19
Nigerians and indeed, the world are again in that special yuletide season, a season of joy, peace, and great tidings.
However, in Nigeria, the joy of this festive period is being punctured by a myriad of problems including insecurity, second wave of both economic recession and Covid-19 and high inflation which peaked at 14.89% last month. Others are hunger, poverty, unemployment, food scarcity and poor power supply.
In the last two weeks, no less than 15 cases of kidnapping, banditry, outright killing of innocent souls and armed robbery were reported across the country. Katsina, Kogi and Edo states were worst hit.
Covid-19 has resurfaced this time on a more dangerous trend. On Thursday, December 24, 2020 (Christmas eve), a staggering 1,041 figure was reported, one of the highest recorded in a single day in Nigeria since its outbreak.
Added to these disturbing statistics are the biting effects of both inflation and recession. Unlike 2019 yuletide, prices of commodities this season are above the reach of the common man. Across the country, the cry is the same; making 2020 a year hard to forget.
Notwithstanding the daunting challenges confronting the country, Nigerians should not lose sight of the meaning and essence of Christmas.
As J. C Penney wrote, ‘Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry making. It is more than that. It is a time for the contemplation of eternal things”.
By implication, the Christmas spirit is one of giving and forgiving. In a thought provoking statement, George F. McDougall said that ‘Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God’.
The above comments say it all. Christmas is not all about merry making. We must spare time to reflect on the essence of the period, which is the love of God for humanity.
When we ponder on God’s love for us, we too are encouraged to share love with others, to embrace peace and be our brother’s keeper.
When we are imbued with this love of God, we will be always willing to give a helping hand to those in need, to give succour and comfort to the vulnerable ones among us.
So many people that started the year 2020 are not around to finish it. Like every other person, they commenced the New Year with hopes and aspirations. The spirit behind Christmas is that of giving and sharing.
The three wise men, on learning about the new born child came calling with gifts of gold, Frankinscense and myrrh. Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide-open heart that thinks of others first.
In this spirit therefore, we urge all those involved in all forms of criminality to have a change of heart- embrace peace and dialogue for the sake of our country.
The people have suffered same for the economy. We equally urge those in authority at all levels to devise means of bringing an end to the high level of insecurity in this country.
We would not want the mayhem witnessed this year to reoccur in 2021. All dilapidated roads and other infrastructure should be fixed while security surveillance should be increased especially in the crime prone areas of the country.
In the same vein, economic managers should put in place adequate measures to boost the economy, raise the value of the Naira and ensure Nigeria’s early exit from recession, while all COVID -19 protocols should be strictly enforced and observed. It is everybody’s responsibility to live well and healthy.