There was a time when some children, guilty of some minor mischief, would be awaiting Santa Claus anxiously, not knowing if he will judge them deserving enough to receive a gift.
Those times are long gone, as you don’t need to be a good boy or a good girl anymore to get the latest PlayStation, or Smartphone or whatever, in our materialistic society.
It has even come to a point where it seems that the more you misbehave and the more reward you get!
Recently, some prominent members of the society here in Nigeria have been embroiled in a gigantic scandal involving the embezzlement of two billion dollars initially meant for arms purchases to defeat Boko Haram terrorists who are creating havoc in the North of the country.
Many innocent people have died in this raging war partly due to the fact that the army was ill equipped, and it is so disheartening to think that members of the government who are supposed to take care of the citizens of their country shamelessly diverted the money in their own pocket!
And the most disturbing part is when the accused persons are granted bail as a Christmas gift! Their stolen money has secured them a respite and will allow them to spend a merry Christmas. This is what you can call a Christmas gift!
Meanwhile, some 66 soldiers has been sentenced to death by court martials for mutiny, because they refused to fight without the appropriate equipment. The sentences have just been reversed to 10 years imprisonment these last days.
Of course, everybody is presumed innocent until proven guilty but as things go in this country and in most part of the world when big money is involved, nobody is ever proven guilty.
Sometimes, when I see all this lawlessness being rewarded, I loose all hope that Good will ever prevail on Evil and then I look around me and I see that a lot of us are trying to do what is right anyway.
And it is working, some big milestones are achieved in terms of minorities or women rights, as I already stated here, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
Often, I am in the middle of the traffic in Lagos and although a lot of broken glasses and thefts are reported daily on social media by numerous victims, I can’t help but feel that it could have been a lot worse if ultimately people were not more good than bad.
I don’t think it is only from fear of the police that people leaving under very stressful circumstances still adhere to the rule of law. In the traffic, thieves have very little to fear as, usually, the police is nowhere to be found and the common practice is to let go of your smartphone and the small cash you are carrying without arguing, also other drivers will not intervene as staying alive is more important than valuables than can be replaced anyway.
Of course, you will find crooks here as everywhere else but I find the percentage to be quite low given the hardship the average person living in Lagos go through : no fuel which means no electricity as you have to power your own generator most of the time, and the cheapest generators run on fuel. No electricity means no water, as you often have to pump your own water. So imagine how the average Lagosian starts his day: he wakes up in the dark, he can’t have a proper shower or iron his clothes suitably and then he has to face hours of traffic going to work and coming back. And this everyday of the month for such a meagre salary.
No wonder people living in Lagos are so aggressive. But despite all the struggles, people are rather honest.
Can we attribute the general good behaviour of the Nigerian Population to the fear of God, then? Not so sure about that. Although, Nigerians are very religious, a lot of churches nowadays preach more about getting rich than about moral values.
Sometimes, and I am not really proud of this, but due to the fuel scarcity, I have to resort to buying fuel at the black market in order not to get stranded in the street, and even though some people have lost their car engine due to tampered fuel, more often than not, they sell you genuine product, which is a constant surprise for me, as you will probably not see them again and there is little you can do to them if they tamper with the merchandize, but they don’t, at least in my personal experience!
As a new Star Wars movie is being released in cinemas, all I want for Christmas is to believe in love and kindness and that Good will always prevail upon the Dark side!