Aha! Thank God tomorrow is going to be a business day. Haba! How can one just stay indoors without making money all day? Eh? Can you imagine? The stout looking man queried. Obviously, my brother, said the other slim guy, if you ask me what these people are celebrating now, I can’t just explain it. The third man, obviously sitting parallel to the standing position of both men arguing and cross matching their ideas , left his seat and came to join the committee of the discussants. There, was a minute silence, later they both resumed their discussion.
I positioned myself beside the balcony trying to eavesdrop on some of the moral contents of the citizens, the people who make up the populace of this great country Nigeria. The last man came in with some drinks, obviously some canned alcoholic drinks, said a prayer in Arabic, with some vocal rhetorics in Yoruba and then they all chorused amen. Ehen! Oga Matto, the third man, called out, carefully waiting for Oga Matto, the pot bellied fellow to take a sip from his glass cup, proceeded to remind him of how he has been a two-sided fellow- at one time he was complaining about how he never understood why Eid Mubarak was been celebrated and now, the same person who had been bleating all day about how the holidays has impeded his business transactions was the same person who was carelessly siphoning the drink with all excitement and zest.
The man instantly stood in defence, asserting that he said so because ‘nothing was happening “where he was. The man who has brought the drinks, now had a different look on his face, but at last the matter was quelled down and the quartet no sooner after wards settled to some nice meal.
I stood there wandering how many instances of this action, this melodrama I’d watched right in fron of me must have repeated itself elsewhere ,if not in Abuja here at the moment, but also in Lagos, in Kaduna, in Soba, In Zango, in Zungeru,at Umunze and somewhere at Obinze.
As Nigerians, there is still this line of unconcern for other people’s religion, we only care for what concerns us, we don’t put other peoples feeling in consideration. Why? We only presume that what concerns us is usually the best for everyone, meanwhile that notion is one of the likely possible sparks that could start a war, leading to tribal sentiments against the many tribes and religions in this country and then on Sundays, we would be expecting the good lord to answer vain repetitions offered as prayers in our various churches. In developed climes, respect for one’s religion and thought processes constitutes a major aspect of national life, we may not been Muslims by birth, or Hindu’s but tradition demands that we respect other people’s ideas, their religions and happily join them in celebrating what they cherish and hold sacrosanct. That way, Nigeria would be a better place.
Just like Oga Matto, who claimed not to understand what “the people” were celebrating, so also it is with some people in our various offices, who would have feigned ignorance of what was being celebrated but also used the same holidays to catch up with long nights of lost sleep in traffic, laundry, lunch time-out with families, and friends and even a stroll to the movies. This same people would wake up tomorrow, head to their offices and then demand from their fellow co-workers, what they thought was their rightful share –the meat and goodies from the Sallah celebration.-What a shame!
Nigeria’s progress rests on the shoulders of every one of us, to either be patriotic, love one another as Christ had loved the church and then respect each individual’s preference and cherish what our past leaders had once asked us, at one time to ‘tolerate.”.
Whether you’re a Muslim or Christian, one thing remains, when you die, what would be said of you? So now that Eid-Mubarak is over, would you still claim ignorance of not knowing what it is? Obviously not! So next time before you join the Osho free parade, try and ask, what Eid-Mubarak means to the Muslims, and join them in ushering a new phase of life into our country. Eid Mubarak should be a time for reconciliation, brotherliness, fraternization, eschewing violence, enthroning, discipline and getting in close touch personally, to God our ultimate creator, and not an extra period of grace from our office schedules to indulge in one more ‘ extra green bottle “ asking friends and neighbour to ‘take one for my head”.
Happy Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends. God bless us all.