? Travellers during the period Photo: Adewale Ojeleye
Easter is the period when Christians all over the world celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The period which is described as the core of Christianity is usually preceded by 40 days fast by Christian faithful world over. The period is significant in the sense that the death and resurrection of Christ reconciled mankind back to God. And with this, it gives hope of better future and eternal inheritance.
Commemorating the season, Lagos State, the commercial nerve of the country experienced traffic gridlock two days ahead Good Friday. On Wednesday, Thursday March 27, 28 respectively, the Lagos metropolis experienced traffic snarl as motorists and commuters spent hours before they could get to their destinations. This was partly because many people were on the road traveling to their various home towns to celebrate the season with their loved ones. Also, the bad roads in the metropolis added to the traffic coupled with ongoing construction works on some roads in the state.
In celebrating this year Easter festival, the Federal Government had declared Friday, March 29 and Monday, April 1 as public holiday. Lagos State Government also shelved its monthly environmental sanitation exercise to allow free movement during the festive period. As part of activities marking the season, the entertainment industry also organised different showbiz to amuse people. The hospitality industry is not left out as they also have special packages for fun seekers. People equally trooped eateries, parks, beaches to have fun and enjoy the festive period. Food and beverages companies engaged in sales promotion of their products to reward customers during the Easter.
Osun State Government also carried out its annual free Easter train services for Osun indigenes and people in its environs. The free ride started on Thursday, March 28 from Ido Train Terminus Lagos to Osogbo. The free jolly ride continues till Easter Monday when passengers would be taken on the ride from Osogbo to Lagos in the morning.
Churches also used the period to organise events for their members and carried out evangelism to win more souls for Christ. The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) organised the annual ?Let?s Go A Fishing? programme, Deeper Christian Life Ministry and host of other Pentecostal churches organised programmes to mark the period. Children were not left out as programmes were also organised for them in terms of camping where they were taught the love of God and the essence of the season.
Aside the wining and dining that characterised the season, many believe that people have a lot to learn from the lesson of Easter where Christ died for the sin of mankind. They also hold the view that humility and love are what Christ?s taught humanity.
To Mrs. Bola Onifade, a resident, Easter is the period to thank God for sending his son to die for mankind and to share his love abroad. ?Easter is the period when I always thank God for sending Jesus Christ to die for me. His death and resurrection has given me a new life. I wonder what would have happened if Christ has not died for our sin. It is the season to thank God for his love,? she said.
Speaking on the significance of the season, Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion) and the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos, the Most Rev. Dr. Adebola Ademowo, said the resurrection of Christ validates the claim of Christ as the Son of God and validates the hope of believers to eternal inheritance through Christ.
According to him, ?the gospel is good news and the good news is that God?s son died for our sins but the greatest part of the good news is that Christ rose again on the third day to become our loving savior. Resurrection is foundational to historic Christianity?.
He however explained that to commemorate Christ?s resurrection ?is a solemn way of declaring your faith in Christ, belief in his death and that he actually died for you and beyond this is the belief and hope of sharing in his resurrection. ?
In his Easter message to Nigeria, Ademowo said the resurrection of Christ should change our minds and attitudes in despair and hopelessness, sin could be overcome and that transformation has been made possible and made available. ?This transformation must permeate every facet of our lives as a country. A nation where both the leader and the led exhibit greed, uncontrollable passion for power, position and accumulation of wealth, corruption and avarice cannot make a fast progress. Nigeria is still ranked among the 35th most corrupt nations in the world. Let us take to heart the lessons of Christ?s resurrection to our private and national lives, by doing what is right and proper. If we do, our dear nation shall surely move forward,? he said.