A clergyman, Pastor Jonathan Olaoye, has described the throwing of firecrackers by youths during Christmas festival as mere fun rather than being scriptural.
Olaoye of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Ijomimo Oluwa, Isolo in Lagos told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that firecracker “is just for fun.”
According to him, it does not have anything to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Christmas is a season of celebration and there is nowhere in the Bible where it is stated that firework is for Christmas.
“It is just for fun and not for Christ,” Olaoye told NAN.
He, therefore, cautioned the youths, playing with the fireworks to be careful because of the lethal nature of some of the explosives.
NAN reports that annually as the yuletide approaches, some people, especially the youths usually engage in throwing all kinds of fireworks, especially at night.
The throwing of fireworks also known as “banger” often starts as early as November.
Some youths, who spoke with NAN in Lagos, said without fireworks there could be no Christmas.
Opeyemi Olanrele, a 10-year-old boy in Mushin area of Lagos State told NAN that he and his friends derive pleasure in throwing firecrackers.
“We catch fun with it. My friends and I enjoy playing with fireworks because we catch fun playing it.
“We are always happy because we know whenever there is banger Christmas day is close,” he said.
Opeyemi told NAN that he usually got money from his father to buy the firecracker.
“My daddy brings banger home for us and he said he gets it from his Policeman friend whose wife deals in firecrackers.’’
Also, Oladimeji Ayomide, a student of the Lagos State University (LASU) said that “there is no Xmas without fireworks.”
He, however, acknowledged that firecrackers could be dangerous.
“Fireworks can be dangerous because a friend of mine got blind from playing with the explosive device last year.
“Everyone has to be careful while using it,” Ayomide said.
Mrs Amina Gafar, who sells firecrackers at Ojuwoye Area of Mushin Lagos, lamented the rising cost of the crackers.
“The price of banger this year is more expensive than last year but we thank God we still sell even with the price increase.
“Children are the ones buying lighter crackers but adults too, buy the bigger ones from us,” Gafar told NAN.
Mrs Ngozi Okebia, a mother said she encouraged her children to play with firecrackers “because it is fun and they only get to play with it during Christmas and New Year.
“I allow my children to play with the banger and I even give them money to buy it.
“It is only during December they have an opportunity to play with firecrackers,” Okebia said.
Another clergyman, Pastor Duke Edoho of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), told NAN that “fireworks are man-made.
“Fireworks or banger as they call it represent human celebration in most cases,” Edoho said.
The clergyman said there were many things people do in the name of Christianity these days that had no basis in the scripture.
He said firecracker could be a danger if handled carelessly.
He called on government and security operatives to control the use of firecrackers by young ones in the society.
NAN recalls that in 2012 and 2014, a warehouse of firecrackers in Balogun market, Lagos State exploded resulting in the burning down of several buildings.