Holidays coming up on Monday are few and far between. You barely wake up on a Monday morning, and the next thing you know, you are thinking of sleeping in because the day is a public holiday. It’s rare!
But Easter Monday offers us this opportunity, and has many Nigerians confined to their homes rather than their offices on a day that has been colloquially termed “Money-day.”
A typical Monday in Ikorodu is symbolic, if not a model, of what a Monday is like in any city in the mainland part of Lagos. Your eyes, ears, and entire body will be awakened to the city’s busy and varied variations.The buzzing of cars, the howlers of conductors, the neatly dressed LASTMA official barking orders at notorious drivers, the rush to beat the inevitable BRT long queue, the sights of schoolchildren taking quick steps to school, the woman at the roadside frying flaming “puff-puff” for people who have never had the comfort of preparing breakfast at home, the clusters of market women taking their accustomed place by the roadside to brandish their goods with optimism in their faces for a good market day, the brash and spirited tones of the “agberos” with their uniformed face caps on, all these and a few more are what you would be familiar with as an everyday commuter in Ikorodu.
But being a public holiday, one would expect that these trappings would at least take the day off, but to the utter surprise of this reporter, he was met today with the same trappings that make one wonder if the Federal Government never declared today a public holiday.
What is my business? It is what my children and I will eat. I am here for it. “The people that have money should stay in their homes and celebrate Easter Monday,” said indifferently a middle-aged woman, whom this reporter quizzed if she was not observing the holiday.
Walking down to a light-skinned man, sitting in front of his shop where he sells phone accessories, Chinonso, the name he goes by, said that for him, Easter Monday is being marked in his shop.
“This is where I am doing my own Good Monday,” he said, giggling.
Emmanuel Richard operates a cybercafé in the popular Ikorodu market, and when quizzed on what a holiday like this meant for him, he said, “There are bills to be paid. If I am at home, I won’t be able to rest. I would have thoughts on how to pay these bills, and being at home does not pay these bills; being right here in my shop does.
Different strokes for different folks, they say, as evinced by Dolapo Adedolapo, a student for whom the holiday is in chilling mode.
“Easter Monday is just a holiday for me to rest very well. I will just be at home throughout, chilling, “she enthused.
Wale Ahmed is a Muslim, a father and a teacher at one of the schools in Ikorodu. He explained that for him, the holiday is a time to be at home with his family and host friends for some barbecue and roasted meat.
However, Olumide Adebayo, a communication specialist, works on the mainland but resides in Ikorodu, and for him, holidays like Easter Monday are a chance to add to himself.
“I am actually celebrating Easter Monday by watching movies and reading books. I believe watching educative movies and reading books will benefit me, “he said.
In a chat with Olalekan Elijah, the Head Pastor of Kings Tabernacle in Agric, the cleric said that for him, Easter Monday is yet another time to spend in the presence of God and get more grace to fulfill his assignment.
“For me, holidays like Easter Monday are a time to spend in the presence of God to get more grace to fulfill my assignment,” were his words.
Unlike in the U.S. and a few other countries, in Nigeria, Easter Monday is always declared a public holiday that tends to be an extension of the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.