Preparing for Easter celebration amid recession
For Christians, whether children or adult, Christmas is, and probably will always be a much bigger and more attractive celebration and holiday than Easter. The date of Easter makes it difficult for Christian community to plan for better celebrations.
While Christmas is fixed for December 25, the date for Easter, dependent as it is upon a lunar calendar, falls on different days every year.But in his Christmas message in year 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley made it clear that Easter is more important than Christmas. “There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The baby Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection,” he had said.
Be that as it may, Christians in Nigeria are busy preparing for the Easter celebration that comes up on Sunday and Monday. From banks to the markets and motor parks, Christians are busy preparing for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but not without complaints.
When The Guardian visited some commercial banks along Ago-Palace way, Okota on Thursday morning, there was heavy vehicular and human traffic. It was discovered that the people were in the banks to make some transactions for the Easter celebration.
Speaking, one of the bank customers, Mrs. Chinyere Okagbue said that she was in the bank to cash the cheque issued to her by her husband for the Easter celebration.
“My brother, I am here to cash cheque. My husband managed to issue me cheque for small money to prepare for the Easter. When I cash the money, I will go to market to buy food items only. We supposed to travel to the village for some important functions, but we cannot make it due to lack of money.
“I have to cash the cheque today because tomorrow (Friday) is public holiday. It has not been easy, but as Christians we must celebrate Christ no matter the condition. We keep praying, working and hoping that God will salvage the economic situation in the country,” Okagbue said.
Also at the various motor parks at the popular Cele Bus Stop along Oshodi/ Apapa Expressway, many travelers were seen buying tickets and boarding commercial buses to various destinations outside Lagos.
One of the travelers, Mr. Augustine Aruke, told The Guardian that he was going to his home town for his sister’s wedding ceremony, not for Easter celebration.
Aruke said: “My sister is wedding on Easter Monday in my village. That is why I am travelling. If not, I would not have travelled because I don’t have money to spend at home. The economic recession is hitting people hard. I can’t understand what is happening with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) intervention in the forex crisis. We are not feeling or seeing the impact of the intervention. Why?
“I thought that by now prices of commodities and transport would have reduced. Immediately after my sister’s wedding on Monday, I will come back to Lagos on Tuesday to avoid disturbance from people in the village. There is serious hunger and people are stranded and depressed.”The situation is not much different across the country as Christians make last-minute preparations ahead of the Easter celebration.
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