The Ember Months

There is a unique Nigerian-ness in the restiveness associated with the last quarter of any passing year. Some call it the ember- months-something that conjures imageries of accidents and avoidable mishaps.

The months of September through December comes racy among others in the calendar. It is the period when the social barometer is at its highest point on the measuring scale. The countless festivities it stokes make it a unique experience for the common folk as families look forward to re-union with long-separated members.

Needlessly too, it can come at great cost to many families.

Whether at home or abroad, our people surely know how to relive the pleasures the season brings. Osun people, being a hardworking lot, are entitled to their rest after months of enterprise. That is why long travels are planned to reunite with folks. Elaborate preparations are made for social events that take a huge chunk of savings, and commitments which task men’s souls are entered into. More than anything, the period affords the opportunity to bond with the community. It is what makes living in our part of the world truly interesting.

We hardly need to warn that it is a period that requires great care and caution. Caution, not necessarily because there is anything mystical about the ember months, but more on the simple score of our penchant as a people to overdo things, and our singular characteristic to misplace our priorities, when what is called for is sobriety and reason. Care because of the usual tendencies, to lower our guards in moments of excitement and celebration.

For our readers, we owe a duty to warn early, and to plead that we make this year’s celebrations different, if not entirely low-key. We say this because this is hardly the time to be careless about anything. Carelessness, of course, comes in various forms. It could be in needless and avoidable trips undertaken. Oftentimes, it manifests in mindless revelries that end up in avoidable tragedies with tears and sorrows in tow. They could come in commitments that do not add value to our lives and the lives of those who are close to us. Or, in wastefulness, through profligate spendings in loud announcement of some new-found wealth, with endings in denial of responsibility for actions or even failure to plan adequately for the next day. The issue is that they come in various shades and colours.

The essence of our message is to call for moderation as the season berths in earnest. It is a timely message as Year 2008 slowly makes its exit. Our people have made great sacrifices in the current year and they deserve no less than the bounties that the season can bring in the fullness of time. Having waited faithfully, bearing the brunt in the hand of the insensitive government-which they did not vote for and yet pretends to be calling the shots-they must wait to partake in the unfolding dawn of a purposeful government that will capture their dreams and aspirations. Living purposeful lives and staying the course seems therefore an imperative.

We, of course, owe a duty to watch and pray in the tumultuous times ahead. Prayers for the state to be rid of vampires-those who claim to be leaders but are sucking the blood of the people for a fresh gale of public-spirited leadership, to usher an era of peace and prosperity.

As the season comes, our people must learn to think safety at all times. They must also show demonstrable responsibility in their choices. Being our allies in the struggle to rid the state of the pollution of misbegotten leadership, we cannot but wish our people well.

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