As I pondered over the incessant darkness cast upon the people of Nigeria for close to a month now, the only question that has continued to flash through my mind is “Is Darkness A Christmas Gift?” The question, without doubt, is not out of place considering the fact that electricity distribution companies across the country, particularly the Eko Electricity Distribution Company in Lagos where I resides have seemingly decided that Nigerians would celebrate the Yuletide in darkness.
Despite the fact that the electricity distribution companies, right from the time they were collectively known as National Electricity Power Authority, NEPA and later Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, were wont to throw the entire nation into darkness, one can say without mincing words that doing so at this time of the year is a disservice to all Nigerians.
Given the fact that many Nigerians are Christians, and that light is symbolically of great importance in the Christendom, it would have been nice for workers in electricity generating and distribution companies to be considerate enough in ensuring that Nigerians celebrate the festive period under the presence of light, and not in darkness. The reason for this view cannot be farfetched given the fact that Jesus himself, being the reason for the season, is light.
Right from the time of NEPA and PHCN, electricity generation and distribution have never been satisfactory. It has for long remained in a state of fits and starts. If I may still ask, “Is darkness a Christmas gift?” We all know that darkness cannot be offered to anyone as a Christmas gift because it has no value and does not satisfy needs since nobody needs it. Ironically, darkness is what electricity generating and distribution companies are literarily offering their consumers in the last few weeks contrary to the bags of rice, calendars, almanacs and diaries that other service providers in the country are offering their bill-paying consumers.
For many Christians and non Christians alike, Christmas is not solely celebrated as a time of spiritual reflections, it is equally a time to engage in social activities of travelling to the villages, going to the beaches to catch fun and throwing parties. In all these activities, light is indispensably needed to make them successful.
In the Christendom, darkness is an anathema, a taboo and a sacrilege. Given the foregoing ignominious adjectives that were used in qualifying darkness, it is expedient to ask, “Why then are electricity generating and distributing companies having delight in throwing the entire nation into darkness, particularly in this few days to Christmas?”
Without any iota of exaggeration, charitable giving is the essence of Christmas and does not have to put us in darkness. God gave us his only begotten Son at this season of the year over 2,000 years ago. Jesus in His own words in John chapter 8 verse 12 says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” But given the unbearable rate at which electricity generating and distribution companies are throwing people into darkness, especially at this Christmas season, one can categorically say that their acts are unarguably sacrilegious.
During the Yuletide season, a high premium is placed on electricity as it is indispensably needed to power musical equipments required to play Christmas carols, to illuminate the churches during carol nights and to power refrigerators for the preservation of foods and drinks. But all these expectations are already being cut short by electricity generating companies that have a collective tradition of giving spurious excuses to Nigerians. Without saying much in this context, suffice it to say that light in the form of electricity is highly needed by Nigerians during the festive period that traditionally extends up to early January of the following year. If I may ask again, “Why are the various electricity distribution companies distributing darkness as Christmas gift at this time of the year?”
Considering the abysmal performance of NEPA (as the electricity generating and distribution companies were popularly called before they were privatized), particularly during the Yuletide season, one may conjecture that our elders may have had electricity companies in mind when they conceived the adage that says, “A Leopard would never change its spot.” Succinctly put, the adage means that whatever is incorrigible would forever remain so.”
However, I am using this medium to appeal to members of the high decision making body of the electricity generating and distributing companies to improve on their performances throughout the Yuletide season as no reasonable Nigerian would accept darkness as a Christmas gift.
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