Sweet-Sour Taste At Yuletide

Sweet-Sour Taste At Yuletide
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Not a few Nigerians looked up to momentous celebrations as the yuletide approached. However, there are a few things that would be remembered for a long time about the season. They undoubtedly fall within the realm of the good, the bad and the ugly.

 For many travelers, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation in the spirit of Christmas declared passenger trains across the Nigerian Railway Corporation ,NRC, system free of charge during the period.

NRC’s gesture was to enable Nigerians to travel with ease to celebrate Christmas.

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Passenger trains on both standard and narrow gauge lines, which include Abuja to Kaduna, Lagos to Ibadan, Warri to Itakpe, Kano to Lagos, Minna to Kaduna, Aba to Port Harcourt routes were declared free from Friday, December 24, 2021 to Tuesday, January 4, 2022 inclusive. That was a generous disposition that Nigerians would not forget in a hurry, given the prevailing, precarious socio-economic situation.

Perhaps on a conciliatory note Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai approved a Christmas bonus to its civil servants who have had a long-standing standoff with the government of labour matters bordering on down-sizing among other issues.

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The move was largely viewed as unprecedented from a governor who had been perceived by many as anti-labour. It is not known if any other governor did the same for its workers.

In some states, some inmates were said to have gained freedom from amnesty granted by some state governors even as some spirited Nigerians were reported to have offset fines imposed on some prisoners who had that option for them to regain freedom.

Besides the far-between incidents of insecurity across the country which is not unusual in times like these, the season could be said to be relatively peaceful. However, the bombings that hit the city of Maiduguri shortly before President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to commission projects executed by Governor Babagana Zulum almost marred the Yuletide for citizens. It was a bad gift to the President whose government had often noted that the terrorists had been technically defeated. However, that event, if it was a coincidence, came at a time when the people needed some tranquility to welcome Mr. President and afterwards enjoy the season.

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Sadly, a few fire incidents dotted our landscape, depicting sadly our poor response to such instances. The inferno that flattened the prestigious Next Cash and Carry Super Market in Abuja on Boxing Day is suggestive of negligence in some quarters. We would not delve into the circumstances leading to the event as we are not privy to any related information but video footage viewed by our reporters suggested that there was poor response time from fire-fighters. Besides, it would amount to a technical deficiency, if such an imposing edifice did not have a mini-fire-fighting unit.

To pep up the Christmas celebration was the rare spectacle where hundreds of worshippers from a different religion visited a Christian community while their service was in session. It was a clear inclination that religious harmony was achievable if adherents of different faiths imbibe the spirit of mutual tolerance. We urge that more of this type of inter-religious cooperation should continue.

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We appreciate the relative tranquility that pervaded this season and urge all Nigerians to be conscious by being part of the nation’s unofficial intelligence gathering. This is possible through a conscious effort at nosing around their immediate environment and reporting suspicious moves timely.

AljazirahNigeria urges citizens not to be caught off guard by wild celebrations and allowing careless dispositions that would spark fire outbreaks in any form.

While we endorse the FG free train ride at Christmas, we enjoin her to do so when it is celebration time for sister faiths in the country.

Aljazirahnews


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