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[The Concourse] SECURITY CONVENIENCE: Priority Christmas gift to Ndi Enugu

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In accordance with liturgical calendar of the Church, Christmas season spans two weeks from the dusk of 24th December to 6th January or it’s preceding Sunday (the commemoration of the Lord’s baptism).

But prior to that, comes a preparatory period, called the Advent season. It is a of five-week interval to Christmas, from the last Sunday in November to 23rd December. A sober time of anticipation for the coming of the Messiah, akin to what the ancient Hebrews passed through about two millennia ago, before the primordial Christmas in Bethlehem of Judea in 01 AD.

Within Advent, you will hear the secular society play Christmas jingles, mount Christmas trees and lit shops and residents with Christmas lights. In their own way, they help keep the people in the mood for the great feast, long before the season. By this, they act as the forerunner of the church.

One thing that is customary to these period is that while the jingles gives hype to the season, the hearts of men jolt with too many expectations. It is a season of expenses on things that most of the times are unrelated to the salvific dimension of the sacred festivity. Wanton side attractions cascades the time. And because it happens during the twilight period of the year, there is involuntary urge to ‘rush’ and accomplish whatever one need to achieve before the year’s imminent ‘night fall.’

Fr. Emma Onuh captured it well: “…each time, it is advent, and Christmas is at the corner, all the accustomed beats are on: the Church is beginning to oil her machine of the Gospel of hope; the society has begun to rush about in its yearly readiness for the season it sees as nothing more than a period of carnival; the traders and people in businesses are perfecting their wits for telling lies just to deceive their customers and make money.

So they are ready to swear on the very beards of Abraham that their gain in that article they are selling to you is #50, even when they are sure it is #500. So, anyi no na season (We are in season). If the tailors, Seamstresses and hair salon workers make one tenth for God the slavish efforts they make to beat deadlines, their visas to heaven would be pasted on their foreheads for all to see. Even the harmattan-shocked
environment is waiting in baited breath, yes in expectant awe for the great things to come shortly…

The prophets told us what Jesus will do at his first coming, but Jesus himself tells us what will happen at his second coming. He asks all to be ever ready. The paradox of Advent is that people take to all manner of getting ready for the Jesus of Christmas even when the Christ that had been their Emmanuel from January has been totally neglected.” (Rev. Fadimonuh’s reflection: Dec. 01, 2013).

This sort of secularly frenzy creates a utopian sense of urgency! Everyone is on a chase of last minute accomplishment (both real and imaginary) with frightening speed.

At this, social disorder and its attendant hike in crime rate is inevitable. Armed brigandry and other forms of social vices that are seen as shortcut to wealth or can help someone ‘blow’ above his/her level just to ‘meet up’ were patronized.

This was the nucleus of all sort of evil committed at the pre-yuletide and Christmas season. Among them, theft, armed robbery, kidnapping and ritual killings ranked high.

Enugu, like other south East states was once notorious for it.

And this is where His Excellency Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi had distinguished himself among his peers.
Though there were relative tranquility in the preceding regime, but due to absence of the present notoriety of Fulani militia and banditry then, it was not appreciated. But now security has become the heightened priority of any state government.

Since the blood bath at Nimbo in early hours of April 25, 2016, Governor Ugwuanyi had blocked all potential routes of men of the underworld and plucked off their ravenous canines.

However the 2020 yuletide was different. It was just another tranquil, peaceful, and serene season of zero crime in the state under Gov. Ugwuanyi’s watch.

The State Government’s forest Guards (which had apparently reduced unemployment rate in the state appreciably) were common sites in many villages. The neighbourhood watch were empowered too.

Ugwuanyi made the security mesh look so easy as if the people were empowered to protect themselves. This was because the forest Guards were our brothers, same as the neighbourhood watch outfits. Enugu could sleep with both eyes closed in the yuletide because in the Lion Building was truly a”Lion” whose mane guards his people (Ebube Agu na-eche Agu).

That was one christmas gift the governor gave to the people that is somehow undervalued by many.

Don’t get it twisted. Security is a prized gift. Those who could not appreciate this should look at Ondo State with all the overhyped Yoruba Amotekun.

Gov. Akeredolu is crying wolf!

The herders were wrecking acute havoc since the yuletide in the state. And despite being an APC controlled State, they are yet to crystallize out the best approach to stem the insecurity tide in the state. Few days ago, he publicly issued an executive order banning herders from the state. And it has brought untold enmity between him and the FG save for the swift meeting he had with the Sheriff at Villa.

This was something Ugwuanyi masterfully crafted out and executed without people knowing how. Till the end of the world, security of lives and property remains the foremost and paramount, and Gov. Ugwuanyi’s uniqueness in this regard astounds the mind and remains legendary.

Those who have his ears should whisper to him: “we are grateful for the gift of safer Enugu lives.”

✍Eze Jude O.

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