I love this Covid tranquility

The article is inspired by the lockdown which has imposed a cessation of most activities across the world. At one time, it seemed as though weekends were incomplete without the European football leagues and other sporting events.
It seemed it was sacrilegious or heresy to venture to ask an average Nigerian to stay away from the church or mosque; or even to contemplate that Lagosian celebrities could be arrested for throwing parties.
Coronavirus has radically changed all these and more. With reflection, we can see that life can go on without many a slavish and slothful indulgence and the heavens will not fall.
As a country, Nigeria has taken a heavy blow. We strode into the 2020 decade with hope — workers’ wages had been reviewed upwards, so were corps members’ allowances; the government had ambitious infrastructure development outlays, businesses and individuals were positioning strategically before a virus came with its blanket. Oil prices took a nose dive as patronage crashed due to the global lockdown. And everyone knows that without oil, Nigeria does not drive.
With hindsight, one cannot but commend the Buhari administration for the very stubborn resolution to close Nigeria’s borders and stop both the legal and illegal importation of rice and other consumables in 2019. Without that much condemned but heroic decision, where would Nigeria be sourcing rice from with the world on a lockdown? And without petro-dollars, where would the foreign exchange to pay for the rice and other items have been sourced? Add to this the fact that the price of foreign rice would, no doubt, have tripled or quadrupled as a consequence of the circumstances.

The lockdown has forced into being conditions that normalcy or common sense would never have brought about — a particular one which is of interest to yours sincerely. —
Dusk brings with it a natural symbolism that it is time to retire the plough, pull off shoes and hang up the gloves. By nature’s wise ordering of the universe, darkness comes with visual and other limitations to compel man to close shop for the day.
Night invites rest, sleep and recuperation. The body and the brain go into a quiet repose that they may thus, relax, refresh and regain strength. With the body and brain at rest, the mind is eased to travel through dreamland and bring us tidings, visions, warnings or even fantasies by way of dreams.
But this sublime order is often rudely disturbed. And who are those who dare to deprive us of much needed rest and recuperation in our own abodes. Who are those who arrogate to themselves the liberty to constitute a public nuisance and circumvent the peace of the night?
It is not so much the armed robber, the night marauder or the petty thief and burglar. For these are unpretentious bad guys who operate more or less in silence. In their trade, these lay no claim to righteousness and can be excused of any charges of hypocrisy.

Definitely, not the creatures of the night, the bats, the owls, and the night birds. These are only living their lives as wisely ordained. Nor the witches and wizards, for these may be concerned with only their kindred and patrons and no one is troubled who has no dealings with them.
Alas, it is those who know the golden rule, who know of the doctrines of love and peace, who usually opt to unsettle the serenity and tranquility of the night and deprive people of their legitimate right to a sound sleep in their own homes.

The culprits are pentecostal churches who turn the sacredness of the night into a headache-inducing insomnia and restlessness. They hold vigils, retreats, and other programmes not with quiet reflection but with a go-to-hell kind of gusto and carefree abandon. With microphones and loudspeakers turned on at full blast, bands playing at the same octave, they spare no thought and show no consideration for that sick child or adult in the neighbourhood who may require sleep to recover. They thus turn the night time to a nightmare for many a person struggling to catch some sleep after a tiresome day.

This mental and emotional assault is inflicted on Nigerians in almost every town and city and the victims are afraid to complain for fear of being branded as the devil or being stigmatized as “faithless”. Even the government itself has abandoned the poor citizens at the mercy of the terror of religious houses and clerics and this emboldens more investors to found churches and continue the mischief.

However, with Covid-19 and the ban on mass gatherings, this oppression from religious houses has been curtailed. How long this would last, is not known. I have silently wiahed that such brazen insolence never returns again. But I am aware that wishes are not horses.
Retreats, revivals or whatever should not be a problem if they take into consideration the rights of none church members or adherents of other faiths. If only clerics would obey the golden rule and respect the fact that their religion ought to enhance but not disturb the peace and well-being of their neighbours, the value of their sermons would turn our society into a much better place.
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