Today is Christmas Day.
It is another opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. As expected, the atmosphere is electric. The mad rush is noticeable everywhere. Human and vehicular movement is unprecedented in Port Harcourt.There are desperate attempts by residents to meet the expectations of family members and loved ones. This is because love is in the air. In the midst of all these, our correspondent combed the Garden City to find out how the residents feel about today.
Mrs Chibuzor Martins, food stuff dealer
This year’s Christmas, it’s well oh! I don’t see anything serious about the Christmas this year. People have been complaining, even workers, they say no money is flowing in the system. Workers are lamenting that even the salary when paid is not enough because they have incurred debts that need to be settled before the salary arrives.
There is very low patronage this year than other years. This year what I experienced instead of sales is people coming to ask about the price of things, but they don’t come back to buy them again. Look at it now, today is December 24th and yet no sales.
I wonder when we are going to sell out all these goods we have bought and hoping to sell them this Christmas. There is really nothing to show about this year’s Christmas, but we have hope for a better tomorrow.
We would still celebrate Christ’s birth as it remains the reason for the season, so whether sales, or no sales we would still celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ because His coming is the reason why we are alive.
Mrs Doris David, business woman
Christmas is a season to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, so whether there is money, or no money, we must thank God for life because there are many people in the hospital who have money, but cannot celebrate the Christmas.
As the Federal Government has declared Tuesday, 25th, Wednesday, 26th December, 2018 and Tuesday, 1st January, 2019 as public holidays to mark the Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year celebrations respectively, we must take advantage of these public holidays to enjoy ourselves while we are alive.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, had made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement signed by the ministry’s Director of Press, Mohammed Manga last Wednesday evening.
This is a period when Christians should think and reflect on God’s gift for us and so I want all Christian faithful in Nigeria to use this period in praying earnestly for the betterment and development of our country, Nigeria.
While I also expect that the Federal Government make life comfortable for Nigerians because there is serious hunger in the country and almost all businesses in Nigeria can no longer thrive with the harsh economic system in the country.
Mrs Amaka Shefiu, provision dealer
This Christmas, there is nothing to show for it because up to this time, there is no customer to buy our goods. We are just managing by the grace of God. There is no money, people are complaining of no money.
By this time last year, we sold reasonably although it cannot be compared to sales we made last three years. If it were during the Jonathan administration, by this time, we would have packaged goods for customers to use as souvenirs but this year, not even one person has asked that we wrap gifts for them to use as souvenirs.
This year is the worst year I have ever witnessed in my Christmas sales as there is a very high decline in our sales.
Augustine Eze, mason worker Christmas is very hard to me as there was no money anywhere despite the hard labour I am doing. My family has no food and we cannot travel home for Christmas like we did last year.
During the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, there was enough money in my hand and me and my family members travelled home on time for Christmas and New Year, but this year, it’s very difficult for me to see food to put on the table for my family members.
I am very hard working and ready to do any menial jobs, but I will work and no money to pay me for it.
I am not happy at all because I have never celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ without money. I cannot buy Christmas clothes for my children and wife and they are not happy too.
Pastor Kingsley Munachim
This Christmas is very good because it brings life to me, my family and the entire world. This is why I said the Christmas is very good whether there is money or not.
I am grateful that I am alive because there are many people who are on the hospital bed now and they cannot see the brightness of the day, but I am sound and healthy enjoying this Christmas harmattan, so I give God all the glory.
Nwibari Dick, newspaper vendor
There is nothing to celebrate about this Christmas. All I am looking for is money to settle some outstanding demands confronting my family this season. I am struggling to make ends meet, yet, it is as if I am doing nothing. I want the local, state and the Federal Governments to find a way to provide jobs for the people, so that it would go a long way in ameliorating the suffering of the people.