As Nigeria`s annus horibiliscrunches to anuneventful end, the country is gradually shifting into a celebratory gear at that time of the year when families convene with their loved ones to bring another year to a close and exchange best wishes for the upcoming year.
For many Nigerians, their gratitude that another painful year is crawling to an end is palpable.
The end of the year is usually a time for wining, dining, visitations and generally a lot of celebration. Of course, Christmas which is celebrated by Christians comes with a mood that is infectious.
Unfortunately, this time which drags the year to an end also sees a spike in criminal activities.
It is a strong reason Nigerians must watch their backs as it appears that criminals in the country are going into overdrive.
Already, phones, bags, cash,vehicles and jewelry have been snatched. There have been rapes and even homicides.
While security personnel rally to take charge of the situation, Nigerians must show the vigilance which is necessary to close the space available to rampaging criminals.
In Abuja, Nigeria`s porous capital city, and Lagos, Africa`s capital of thuggery and the world`second worst city to live in, security personnel must especially look out for the merchants of death andchaos.
There is no doubt that it has been a really difficult year for Nigerians. The year has been scarred by economic difficulties and marked by insecurity. Many people who had jobs they were doing to keep body and soul together have since slid into unemployment and consequent penury.
Many families have watched in horror as their income has dried out, exposing children to hunger and want.
Against the backdrop of this grim situation, government at all levels have continued to huff and puff with public officers preferring the unsightly pyrotechnics of politics and propaganda to the painstaking business of government.
It explains the compassion Nigerians nurse for those hardened by the backbreaking conditions on their streets.
It explains why many Nigerians feel that tiny twinge of sympathy for those who must collect from others before they can evenharbour hope.
But there can be no excuses.
There can be no excuses that it is innocent Nigerians that are caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of bad governance and insecurity.
There can be no excuse that Nigerians do not feel safe in a country they call their own.
There can be no excuse that as another winding year weaves its way to an unceremonious end, many Nigerian communities, devastated by the savagehyenas of Boko Haram and ISWAP, cannot truly feel the spectacular and spontaneousjoys of Christmas.
There can be no justification for the many pangs of nostalgia which will overcome many innocent children this month at anotherlost Christmas.
It is time to take account.
It is time for some introspection that will enable Nigerians see where the wheels so spectacularly went off for Nigeria.
While that exercise is on, Nigerians deserve utmost protection while serious arrangements are made to midwife a country where no one has to rob Peter to pay Paul.