Nigeria is a dynamic community of different tribes, personalities and beliefs. Nigerians are so dynamic that there are some beliefs that are not negotiable with them. Some Nigerians believe that festivities (in festive seasons) are so important that it is okay to spend whatever amount and then work extra hard in the next season.
Christmas and New Year are the two important festivities most Nigerians look forward to every year. They save heavily throughout the year only to spend their savings on travelling and frivolities. This is partly due to the fact that it is the time of the year where they get to see their loved ones, unwind from the harsh realities of life and enjoy life to the fullest.
Most Nigerians would prefer to either go to their native land and spend time with their extended family and loved ones while others would prefer to visit other states and countries just to well experience other cultures. But the question is “Why”? Why do we feel the need to travel to spend money? Aren’t there fun things to do in the different locations? Aren’t there dangers involved in travelling?
Festive periods are particularly known for unrest in the country as a lot of people travel from one end to another to celebrate with family and friends. However, there has been a massive report of kidnapping activities in the country.
In the first quarter of the year, six hundred and eighty-five kidnapping activities took place nationwide with an average demand of $1000 to $150,000 as ransom. Even though this activity has been attributed to the economic hardship and poverty in the country, it has become clearer than ever that the kidnappers are targeting the general public and not the leaders anymore. It is therefore expedient that Nigerians generally take caution and avoid unnecessary travels that may make them susceptible to kidnaps.
Another issue to consider is the bad road network in the country. The country’s road network is probably still as terrible making it unfit for transportation. There has been news of cars breaking down on the road or passengers suffering from ache due to the road network. Also, given that a lot of people would be travelling at the same time, the road will be extremely busy increasing the chance of road accidents.
The unnecessary expense is another factor to consider. Apart from the fare that will convey most people from one end to another either by air or road or the expense to maintain the car, Nigerians generally spend excessively during the festive period and some of these expenses bring the question ‘Why’?
Is it really necessary to spend that amount conveying a family of eight from one end of the country to another? Why can’t each family spend Christmas in their different locations and send gifts to loved ones? But then, Nigerians hold their belief and values in high esteem. The Igbos particularly schedule their events for the festive period so as to accommodate the busy schedule of their kinsmen. A lot of them start preparations and planning five months prior just to ensure everything is in order for the festive period.
The Yorubas on the other hand travel to the village to reconnect with extended families which is quite understandable but then again, is it worth it? A good number of Nigerian families believe that there are some people in their village responsible for the bad incidents in their lives. If this were true, why then would you go back to the village to seat, dine and wine with the same people responsible for the bad incidents in your life?
Traveling for Christmas is a concept I’m not sure I’d understand. Like why can’t you have a peaceful Christmas with your nuclear family or your friends and live within your means? A lot of people spend rather lavishly during Christmas and exhaust their accounts just to please people only to start the new year with loans to clear school fees, house rents and other necessities? Would the village people help in settling these debts? NO!
It is expedient that humans generally live within their means and maintain an affordable lifestyle. If this means not traveling for the festive season, so be it. Christmas can be enjoyed with friends or even alone. It can be that time to visit new states, make new friends, attend affordable shows, reconnect with old friends, visit attraction sites within your locality, finish a particular novel or book or even acquire new skills.
The festive season is not about emptying accounts, impressing people, risking your life on the road, though it can be the time to reconnect with family but that can be done anytime within the year. The festive season is about showing and expressing love to humanity generally and that should be the goal.