By Rev. S. M. Williams.
The news that masked devil masquerades along the streets of the capital are to resume after a refreshing interlude is rather foreboding to patriots. Some were even thinking that the custom has lapsed into desuetude. It is not known whether the proposed resumption is due to a positive change of attitude by former miscreants or undue pressure on a consenting Head of State.
Carnivals are held in other parts of the world but they are not occasions for vandalism and other criminal activities as we have been experiencing in this country in recent years.
Year in year out there has been no improvement in the attitudes of perpetrators who turn these occasions that are expected to be festive into horrendous ones to the unwary. For the latter it is hell breaking loose.
Stores and homes are broken into and bags and other personal belongings are snatched. Could this be a new direction? It can only be if it is winding into the old. The scenario is different in the provinces where indigenous masked devils entertain in a peaceful manner almost in contrast with the city where foreign masked devils attract insecurity and crime.
The whole rationale about the masquerades is entertainment on a grand scale. But if a faction of the citizenry for whom the entertainment is carried out ends up in sorrow it can no longer be termed entertainment. In order not to create a vacuum the government should think of other forms of entertainment like dance troupe performances, sports and games to fill their leisure hours.
There are lots of other righteous activities that can occupy the leisure hours of the people other than armed masquerades. Proverbs 14:34 states: “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Let me add here that devilry demeans a nation.
When you remove the letter “d” from devil you are left with evil and that is what the people of Freetown have been left with all along.
In this regard do the officials of the Body of Christ need to be proded to intervene in this
matter in which the nation is to go astray once more? There is no room for a hypocritical stance of not belonging to or sympathizing with the party in power. It is a national stance in which the Body of Christ should always be involved without leanings.
As a former disciplinarian it looks like President Bio is beginning to succumb to negative influences which can only be nipped in the bud by a martinet. One may wonder whether in the past months when there were no masked devil masquerades the state collapsed. Those masquerades do not add value to the state even in entertainment. They only result in spreading sorrow around.
Some citizens have been wondering whether masked devil masquerades in Freetown are a sine qua non for popularity. If they were the APC would not have lost the last elections. Rather it is the raising of the living standards of the people that does the trick.
Like the vandalism after sports that continues unabated government has to be sure that similar habits do not persist. The New Direction has to be revolutionary and unwinding and not to be meandering into the Old Direction.