Merry Christmas, people! And compliments of the season! People! I hope you had fun .Oh! How I love this time of the year. The dry air that makes me nostalgic about Christmas, the empty streets, at least the traffic that steals your joy for stays away for a few days, the expectation of a brand new year that gives the impression of brand new things coming up, the smiles on people’s faces, friends and even total strangers chorusing “Merry Christmas”. The food and drink-filled fridges, the decorated streets, houses, churches and dressed up people, the touch of red and green, here and there, the food-filled intestines and most importantly the giving of gifts, but the part of staying in a fuel station on long queues for hours isn’t exactly pleasurable,” Nigeria, change your ways ooo,” the fact that some filling stations where closed down while the young boys were all over the streets with big cans of PMS popularly referred to as Fuel, selling to people that were willing, should I say too stranded to even think or wait for a few minutes, at a very ridiculous price. I heard one say , “I go give you 10000 litres of fuel at 4000 naira , Ma my Christmas gift to you be dis oo ,better collect am” while the normal rate was boldly showing on the signboard as 145naira per litre, it was still a gift as the other young boys were stuck on 5000 naira for ten litres, another said “this na our time to enjoy ,better buy, you no fit see am anywhere cheaper than this” and I began to wonder at the system that makes fuel available from January to November and then hoards it in December every year especially when there is a huge need for it, as people need to travel home to see their loved ones and do some holidaying in their villages or in their huts as one president will say. Laughs… This has become an accepted yearly nuisance, some are so comfortable calling it the pecks that come with Christmas for the boys to enjoy from the Black market. What else in the system, are will disrupting to create an opening for the bigger or smaller boys to benefit from? Besides the epileptic power supply, does it help someone’s Power Generator business to thrive? Questions like this started popping out and I agreed even more with what I already know that, some people’s job is to try and make the system look like it is not meant to work, if it works, some people will not have a career. It’s from the broken pipes that some earn their living, from the little drops so they stay at the broken spot guiding against the enemy who comes to fix the leaking pipes, the reason while party affiliations in and out, with different individuals in power, the rut to an extent still stinks. So should we let our sentimental reasoning blur out the difference between the society’s Right and Wrong?
On Christmas morning, miraculously, we were able to drive into stations without queues and buy, easily and life went on, till another Christmas, social media insults will stop for now and we will forget the travail. The question “How long can we continue like this?” has being a common question over the years, that to an extent gives the asker some form of reverence, due to the fact that he can at least notice the corruption and has an idea of a system that works, some don’t even know its dysfunctional, some think that’s how it should be and no one should try shaking things up.
On Christmas day, my neighbour showed up with a large dish of fried rice and some pieces of chicken, she also brought along two bottles of Pepsi, another neighbour knocked with a middle sized cup of Chin-chin …as for me, I cooked for twenty people and it felt really good watching people show kindness to one another in spite of all.
If every day were Christmas, besides the Nigerian issue with fuel scarcity, it would have been so cool but it’s not so, still, can we at least be kind to one another?
Knock on each other’s doors, Smile generously and greet strangers, give cheerfully, visit and check up on one another, call relatives, laugh with parents over lunch and watch them beam, forgive easily and reconcile with that annoying person planted in your life to make you a better person by pruning, over and over….and of course, give a lot of us peppered chicken too.
With this, every day will be Christmas!!