The thing about Christmas is that it almost doesn’t matter what mood you’re in or what kind of a year you’ve had – it’s a fresh start
Just reminding you in case the ‘wahala’ of bad governance in the country and the COVID-19 issue have caused you to forget the birthday anniversary of Emmanuel, the man who brought God closer to humanity. The date is unchangeable.
The festival easily the biggest in the global calendar came because of the wonderful submission over 2000 years ago, of a young teenage Jewish girl Mary by name, a virgin betrothed to another Jewish man of the house of David called Joseph. The duo resolved to agree willingly to the strange message of Angel Gabriel that Mary will be pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. Imagine what the World would have been if this girl had said like most Nigeria girls, ‘I beg, comot here, carry your confusion and your Holy Spirit and leave me alone, I will be pregnant without knowing man, how’? If she had rejected that divine message who knows what the Angel would have done, look for another girl or return to God? If the Angel in such circumstance goes for the later maybe our salvation would not have come and we would have been wallowing in our sins. The elastic mercy and grace which we now enjoy abundantly as a result of his coming and dying for our sake would not have been possible.
The strangeness of the birth of Jesus Christ makes the feast of Christmas unique and phenomenal. Throughout the Christendom it has become a season of joy and merriments. This period is usually time for peace, history has it that on Christmas Days soldiers in war fronts observe cease fire in honour of the special day.
On December 7, 1914 during the First World War, Pope Benedict XV proposed a temporary cease fire for the celebration of Christmas. The warring countries refused, but on Christmas Day the soldiers at the theater of war right in the trenches on their own declared their own unofficial truce. It’s called till date the First World War Christmas truce.
When Angel Gabriel announced the birth of this unique man he told Mary, that for God nothing is impossible, meaning that anything positive can come along with Christ but we as human beings must dispose ourselves wholly to it.
Abraham disposed himself wholly and became the father of all nations, Isaac obeyed and followed the father to be sacrificed, he survived and progressed, Mary obeyed and became the mother of God and Queen of angels and saints in heaven.
What it all means is that the reason for this season is joy, merriments and sacrifice.
For us in Nigeria it’s a difficult situation being asked to smile and make merry even when there is nothing to warrant that. Christmas after Christmas it has been tales of woes of suffering and smiling.
The last five and half years of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration have been the worst of all notwithstanding the fact that he came to power brandishing the magic wand.
In December 2014, the last Christmas before Buhari came to office, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC while in opposition wrote a Christmas message through its spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to Nigerians titled, “Your last Christmas in bondage” In the message he said,” Many cannot travel home due to fears of kidnapping, ethno-religious crisis and insurgency, depending on which part of the country they are from. Many cannot celebrate due to the effects of the economic downturn, as manifested in weakening Naira and falling oil prices, both exacerbated by widespread corruption.”
The statement further assured Nigerians that there is hope in the horizon for the millions of Nigerians who could not celebrate that year due to the prevailing gloomy atmosphere across the land. Mohammed ended the reassuring statement with a huge promise that an APC government will begin to positively impact on the citizenry within its first few months at the helm, to such an extent that Nigerians will have a better Christmas celebration in 2015.”
That was just few of the many sweet dispatches that APC took to the Nigerian electorates upon which it was able to sway the March 28, 2015 Presidential votes in its favor ahead of the then ruling PDP.
But in 2015 I wrote in this space a discourse titled, Buhari’s first Christmas and in it I recall saying:
“As you read this piece, tomorrow will be the first Christmas under the absolute watch of President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Federal Government and seven months in the saddle.
Not to be accused of being subjective, I intend to leave readers to assess the situation themselves and muse if this year’s Christmas has been able to measure up in any way to the boast of APC last year in all the issues highlighted above by them.
Lai Mohammed is still holding the microphone now as Minister of Information and the official spokesman of the federal Government so it is not unexpected that he is going to come up with yet another reassuring message but this time, he is most likely going to still blame the prevailing none rosy 2015 Christmas on the person he blamed it on last year, former President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP.
He is not going to in anyway acknowledge the fact that both APC and President Muhammadu Buhari appear confused on how to tackle the heap of socio political and economic problems in the county today.
If the national currency exchanged for less than 200 Naira for an American dollar last Christmas and goes to as high as 280 today seven months after APC took control, it is still not unlikely that former President Jonathan and PDP should be held responsible for the historic free fall of our currency.
If Jonathan’s government was almost brought down with massive protests engineered by APC members then in opposition and led by the former governor of Lagos state, Bola Ahmad Tinubu when that government attempted to remove the subsidy on fuel during one of the Christmas celebrations, its impious that on the eve of this year’s Christmas, APC egg heads led by the same Tinubu assembled in Kaduna state urging President Buhari to remove fuel subsidy now”.
If by December 25, 2015, seven months was too short a time to correctly and judiciously assess the government, but tomorrow Friday December 25, 2020 is the sixth Christmas under President Buhari regime and I leave you dear readers to sincerely muse over the situation and compare.
But as a teaser you need to know this, in 2015 Christmas they heaped all blames of the mess they met on President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, but in 2020, 67 months of holding sway, they are not only apologizing to Jonathan but luring him to come back to power and pick the ticket of their party in 2023. What other evidence do you need to show the acknowledgement of their inferiority to Jonathan and the PDP in area of governance.
In 2014 when Lai Mohammad promised us of a last Christmas in bondage, one dollar was equals to less than N200 Naira, today at 2020 Christmas, one dollar equals N485 Naira. At 2015 Christmas it was at one dollar to N280.
Today, twenty-four hours to Christmas, fuel price stood at N166 per liter but the ruling gladiators now in Nigeria while in opposition used the #occupiedNigeria protests to frustrate the price increase to N141 forcing the listening government then to return to N97 a price that it was when they took over in 2015. You already know their reaction to protests, how they reacted when Nigeria youths started the #Endsars protests last October, how military operatives were unleashed on them resulting in many deaths and injuries.
The feeling of uncertainties in our land as we celebrate this great feast tomorrow is enormous. The story is scary and worrisome; the expectations are almost hopeless. Authoritative Financial Times of London in editorial last Tuesday, is saying that all indicators point to the hard fact that Nigeria is headed to being failed state.
But with Christmas, the reason for this season, the inspiration for joy and happiness comes naturally. There is something about Christmas that converts problems into joy.
In the midst of all the uneasiness, anguish and apprehension across our land today which Christmas counteracts, I wish all readers of this piece a merry Christmas while also reminding them of Steve Maraboli’s injunction at a time like this, that we should; “Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.” When you have done these, then open your eyes and hearts to the prized gift of Christmas.