As the world celebrates Christmas Day today which showcases the birth of Jesus Christ, Nigerians have been urged to embrace peace and unity at this period, and to love one another for the sake of the country’s progress and growth.
In a press statement on the celebration of Christmas titled ‘Love is the gift of the season’ former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said “Year after year, we join our Christian brothers and sisters around the world to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus and the beginning of what was to be an exemplary life. But, this year, more than ever, Nigerians must pay keen attention to the message of love, peace and sacrifice, which Jesus preached during his time on earth.
The Turakin Adamawa said “Over the past months, a number of dark forces have combined to accentuate divisions in our country. In the areas of politics, religion and tribe, there seem to have been constant fractiousness and restiveness, with people of different groups exchanging threats or actual harm.
“That is why we need to remember the love that Jesus taught. We must love our neighbors as ourselves, do good to them and mean them well, whether or not they belong to our group. Nigeria cannot move forward as a country until each and every one of us realise that what is good for one should also be good for the other. In the same vein, we must seek peace with all mankind, as Jesus taught. We must be our brothers’ keeper”, he added.
In his own message, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Stalwart and Jagaban Borgu, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, called on Nigeria and Nigerians to become shining examples and beacons of hope to other nations.
Tinubu, in his message titled, ‘Let’s Become Example, Beacon to Other Nations’, said “Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, which makes it one of the most precious days of the year. Yet, Christmas is also what we make of it. Too often we are directed to focusing on the superficial and material aspects of what has become the modern celebration of this revered day. This season, we have a choice to make: we can continue to celebrate the commercial Christmas that has been given us or we can return to the wellspring and the true meaning of this special day.”
“At this moment, it is time for all Nigerians, Christians and non-Christians alike, to set aside the artificial differences that too often divide us and pit brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour. We must dedicate ourselves to focusing on our common humanity because we all seek much the same thing for ourselves and loved ones.
“Thus, may we all embrace and spread the gospel of love, tolerance and forgiveness this season and into the New Year. We must commit ourselves to peace and unity. Let us eschew all bitterness and bigotry. The challenges that face the country are difficult ones. But we keep up the hope. We must learn from the example of Jesus who faced and overcame the greatest evil. We also can overcome what now faces us, and do so in a manner that elevates the nations to become its better self. We can do so in a way that, how we overcome, becomes an example and a beacon to other nations. This is what Jesus would want of us. This is what we must do!”, Tinubu added
Immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has again canvassed for religious tolerance between and among different faithful in the country, saying that it will be the antidote to the occasional conflicts.
Senator Mark in his goodwill message to Nigerians to commemorate this year’s Christmas celebration, stressed that religious harmony, peace and unity are the needed ingredients for development to thrive. To this end, he told religious leaders across board to preach the message of peace, unity and good neighborliness to make the society a better and safer place for all, in a statement issued and signed by his media assistant, Mr. Paul Mumeh.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has enjoined Nigerians to embrace the virtues of love and peaceful coexistence that the season symbolises.
The Governor, in his Christmas goodwill message, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, urged Nigerians to also seize the moment to reach out to fellow Nigerians who are in distress at this period of the nation’s history. He said despite the economic challenges, Nigeria was still making steady progress, urging Nigerians not to lose faith in their belief that the nation would experience better days ahead.
Also, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has called on Christians and indeed all Nigerians to embrace peace and love in all their dealings. The governor stated this yesterday in a Christmas message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Adejuwon Soyinka.
The Governor urged all Nigerians to reflect on the life and times of Jesus Christ and emulate his lifestyle and teachings. “With love and understanding, we can overcome the challenges of today and build a united, prosperous nation where all Nigerians can live in peace and harmony regardless of their ethnic, political or religious differences,” Amosun said.
Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade, enjoined Christians not to despair in the face of the current recession, but rather should look to the future with renewed hope. Ayade urged the Christian faithful to reflect on the import of Christmas brought about by the birth of the saviour, Jesus Christ and its redemptive hope to billions of Christians around the world.
In a goodwill message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, Ayade urged Christians to use the opportunity of the celebration to rededicate themselves to the values of love, peace, sacrifice and tolerance as embodied in the birth of the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has felicitated with the people of the state on the peaceful and joyful celebration of Christmas, assuring them that the success story of the state would continue unhindered.
In a Christmas Message, Wike urged the people of the state and other Nigerians to imbibe the values of Christmas by promoting peace, love, friendship and unity. He assured the residents of the state of adequate security before, during and after the season’s celebrations. He said the State Government has put in place the right security architecture to protect the people of the state.
Also, Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has urged Christians to use this remarkable period of Christmas to pray for divine guidance, favour and protection for the country.
In a Christmas message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, the Governor admonished Christians to imbibe the lessons of the birth of Jesus Christ, submit themselves to righteousness and allow the doctrines of the holy book direct their course.
Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has called on Nigerian Christians to open their minds and allow the love of Jesus Christ renew their faith in Nigeria this Yuletide season and beyond.
In a Christmas Message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, James Eze, Governor Obiano observed that Nigerian Christians should always remember that having Jesus Christ as “the author and finisher of their faith” is a guarantee of victory over all trials and tribulations in all seasons.
Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in his Christmas message, assured the people of the state of a crime-free yuletide celebration as he urged Christians to always be their brothers’ keeper.
In a message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Petra Akinti Onyegbule in Lokoja, the governor called on Christians in the state to always abide to the word of God adding that as a good Christian it is always important to follow the word of God according to the Bible. He also called on motorists to always drive carefully during and after Christmas celebration by observing traffic regulations while on the road in order to avoid accident and loss of lives.
Ondo State Governor elect, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN yesterday prayed for God’s immeasurable blessings in Nigeria and Ondo State in particular. Akeredolu in his Christmas message signed by his Media Adviser Yemi Olowolabi, enjoined the people of the state to live in peace at all times in obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ whose exemplary life and redemptive ministry continue to inspire millions of people all over the world.
While wishing the people merry Christmas and a blessed new year in advance, Akeredolu thanked them once again for voting massively for him in last month’s governorship election and reassured them of palpable positive change as soon he is sworn in as Governor of Ondo State.
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has urged Nigerlites to remain hopeful for a better tomorrow. The governor also asked the people of the state to live peacefully in love and harmony with one another especially with adherents of other religions.
The governor’s advice was contained in a Christmas message signed on his behalf by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Jonathan Tsado Vatsa. He called on Christians to use the festive period to show love, adding that “all Nigerlites and indeed all Nigerians, irrespective of our religious differences should share, show love, be our brothers’ keeper and be security conscious during this festive period”.
Meanwhile, Chairman, Governing Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, has urged Nigerians to have abiding hope of prosperity and good tiding in the Yuletide season and in the in-coming New Year.
In a press statement released by his media office yesterday the former Senate Leader noted that the Christmas season is a time for reflection, and thus Nigerians need to stand united in spite of the challenges of the out-going year.
Also, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has congratulated Christian faithful across the country, particularly those resident in FCT, on the occasion of Christmas celebration and advised them to pray for peace and continued unity of Nigeria.
The Minister, in his Christmas message, also urged Christians to use the occasion to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ and imbibe his teachings. He reminded Christians that the life of Jesus Christ is primarily premised on selflessness, sacrifice, patience, modesty as well as spirituality, and should be the focal point on this auspicious day.
The Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Kola Oluwawole, also charged Christians in the country, particularly in Ekiti State, to imbibe virtues of love and ‘giving out,’ especially at the Yuletide period.
According to a Christmas message through his Special Assistant (Media), Stephen Gbadamosi, Oluwawole noted that all Christians needed to emulate such love and be ready to give to those who are not as blessed as they are, especially at Christmas and New Year periods.
Also, the trio of Senator Gbenga Aluko, and two members of the seventh House of Representatives, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele and Bamidele Faparusi respectively, have rejoiced with Christians on the celebration of annual celebration.
Meanwhile, as people travel massively across the country for Christians and New Year celebrations, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi has enjoined them to show peace and love to one another while using the road, saying consideration for others in the use of the road is the true demonstration of the spirits of the season.
According to the Head, Media Relations and Strategy, FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Marshal stated this in his Christmas and New Year message in which he restated the commitment of the FRSC to ensuring safer road environments during the festive period and beyond. He called on road users to support the road safety campaigns by the FRSC in the collective determination to address road carnage during the festivities, noting that adequate arrangements have been made by the FRSC to address the challenges of road obstruction and preventable crashes during the period of celebration.
Also, the Director General, Dr. Sani Aliyu, has called on Nigerians to avoid risky behaviours that can propel the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country, as she joins the rest of the world today to celebrate Christmas,
He said while it was important to share and show love during the season, it would be very important Nigerians do this responsibly, as it is often a period for sharing quality time with loved ones, adding that, doing so will help the nation halt the spread of HIV/AIDS.