- Seek tolerance, love, end to wanton killings
Abimbola Akosile, Senator Iroegbu and Ogheneuvede Ohwovoriole in Abuja, John Shiklam in Kaduna, David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka, and Laleye Dipo in Minna
As the country joins the rest of the world to mark Easter sunday, Nigerians have been urged to embrace peace, tolerance and promote unity among all, as signs of emulation of Jesus Christ, the reason for the season.
They were also urged to imbibe the spirit of tolerance, peaceful co-existence and sacrifice for one another, and to pray for divine intervention against the wanton killing of innocent Nigerians across the country.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode called on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of tolerance, peaceful co-existence and sacrifice for one another, stating that development and growth can only occur in the nation when all tribes and tongue unite and speak with one voice.
Ambode, in his Easter message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said such fundamental values would go a long way in promoting and strengthening the foundation of love, peace and harmony in the country, adding that the season should serve as a reminder to the selflessness, love, sacrifice and tolerance of Jesus Christ throughout His earthly sojourn, his death and his resurrection.The Governor urged Christians to use the season as a period to reflect on their individual and collective roles towards promoting and sustaining the foundation of love, peace and harmony in the nation.
He said there was no better time for the country to unite together and eschew bitterness along ethnic and religious lines, adding that no challenge is insurmountable where unity of purpose thrives.
Ambode commended Lagosians for their continued demonstration and promotion of mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence in spite of existing ethnic, cultural and religious diversities, saying that the cooperation of residents for government programmes and policies was responsible for the massive development across the State in the last 34 months.
While wishing all Lagosians a happy Easter celebration, he enjoined them to continue to support his administration to deliver more developmental projects that would make life more comfortable for them.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State also felicitates with the Christian faithful in his state and indeed all Nigerians for their abiding faith in God and commitment to peace, unity and progress of the country, in line with the spirit of the occasion. In his Easter message, Ugwuanyi noted that â€œthe 40 days of fasting, praying and charity, which reinvigorated the spiritual strength of Christians to gain salvation and receive the amazing grace of God, call for celebration and sustained faith in Godâ€.
While wishing the people of Enugu State and Nigerians a happy Easter celebration, the governor urged them to remain committed to virtues that promote peace, unity and progress, reiterating his resolve to continue to serve with the fear of God, in keeping with his firm belief that â€œEnugu State is in the hands of Godâ€.
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, on his part emphasised the need for followers of Christ to remain hopeful for a glorious future.
The governor, in his Easter festivity message signed by the state Commissioner for information and Strategy, Otunba Adedayo Adeneye, said the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ essentially symbolises the redemptive heritage of all Christians.
Besides, Amosun enjoined all Nigerians to see the Easter festivity beyond merriment and holiday, but rather, reflect on the essence of the celebration, which is predicated on hope, sacrifice and love.
He wished Christians a happy Easter celebration and urged them, not to relent in their prayers for the nation and government at all levels.
Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano noted that Nigeria is currently simmering with bitter politics, calling on Christians to use the power of love to heal her.
Obiano in an Easter message signed on his behalf by his Chief Press secretary, James Eze, said, â€œtrue national integration is never forced upon the people by the political leadership but mostly by the little acts of love and kindness that are freely exchanged between the ordinary citizens of the country.â€
He called on Nigerian Christians to heal the country with love this Easter in commemoration of the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ to mankind.
Obiano said as true followers of Christ, Nigerian Christians should provide leadership in our countryâ€™s quest for peace; turning their swords into ploughshares in the truest traditions of Christianity.
He assured Ndi Anambra of a peaceful Easter celebration, pointing out that he had just donated 40 utility trucks to the security agencies in the state as part of the elaborate plans by his administration to tighten the screws on security across Anambra State.
Niger state governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello also charged Nigerians to â€œremain hopefulâ€ that â€œa new and greater Nigeria will soon emergeâ€.
In his Easter message to the people, signed on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary Jibrin Ndace, Bello said the present pains being experienced by the people would soon give way to happiness, joy and satisfaction saying however that â€œwe should still have patienceâ€.
Governor Bello charged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice, love and faith the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ brought to mankind.
In his Easter message yesterday, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, called on Nigerians to pray harder for divine intervention in all areas of the nationâ€™s life, and assured that no matter how troubling the future currently appeared, the resurrection power of the risen Christ could turn around the fortunes of the country.
â€œOn the occasion of this Easter celebration, I call for deeper reflections over the affairs of the nation. Let us pray as patriots. Importantly, let us invoke the resurrection powers of the risen Christ to intervene in the affairs of this nationâ€, Ekweremadu said.
He wished Nigerians a happy Easter celebration, assuring that God would never abandon Nigeria as only His will would ultimately prevail in the affairs of the nation.
Immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark again harped on the need for citizens to live in peace and harmony with each other in order to create an enabling environment for development.
Mark, in a goodwill message to Nigerians to commemorate this yearâ€™s Easter celebration, signed by his Media Assistant, Paul Mumeh, expressed worry that the unabating upheavals and violent crimes across the country portends a threat to the future of the country.
In apparent reference to cases of kidnapping, abduction and killings by criminal elements in parts of the country, he said the issues raise serious concern to every right-thinking member of the society.
Mark canvassed that the Federal Government takes a critical look at the clarion calls by Nigerians for the review of security apparatus as well as the restructuring of the polity. Such a review or restructuring, he submitted, should however be anchored on fairness, equity, justice and in a manner that will give every section of the nation a sense of belonging.
Mark urged Christian faithful to use the period of Easter celebration to take the destiny of Nigeria and her people to God in prayer.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has urged Christians to use the occasion of this yearâ€™s Easter to soberly reflect on the essence of love and sacrifice as exemplified in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, describing the lesson as imperative for nation building.
In an Easter goodwill message to Christians yesterday, Ngige said the redemption of mankind through the death and resurrection of Christ is the basis of Christianity, hence sacrifice for common cause should guide the aspiration of all Christians at all times.
He added that the lessons of the forty days penance which Christians observed throughout the Lent, culminating in Easter, should not end with the season but should be internalised as a daily guide for peaceful, progress and prosperity of the nation.
The Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, also appealed to Christians to learn how to forgive one another just as Jesus Christ forgave mankind, advising them to surrender anything in their heart that will prevent God from answering their prayers.
Abe, in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Parry Benson, made the appeal at a special prayer session to mark Easter Good Friday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Capital and maintained that the period should also â€œbe used for sober reflection over our lives as mankind.â€
The senator said, â€œI want to appeal to all of us to use this time to remember our neighbours; sometime the situation they are facing may even be worse than our own. As we were praying today, I was praying to God to answer everyone because different people have different challenges and the one you think is the biggest challenge could actually be a very minor one comparing to the situation that others are facing.
Abe, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on FERMA also appealed to Christians to use the period of the Easter celebration to remember in their prayers, the Dapchi girl who has not been released by her captors because of her refusal to deny Jesus Christ.
Former National Caretaker of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi also said the application of the virtues of Jesus Christ would go a long way in addressing some of the challenges facing the country.
In his Easter message in Kaduna signed by his spokesman, Makarfi noted that if Nigerians embrace the teachings of Jesus, it would solve the problems of poverty, mistrust and suspicion which have crept into the psych of the country.
The former Kaduna state governor said the Easter period should be used by all for meditation and sober reflections on the life and times of Jesus Christ and his sacrifices.
Makarfi urged Nigerians to embrace the virtues of humility, love, forgiveness, tolerance, good neighbourliness, respect and empathy for which Jesus Christ was known for.
Meanwhile, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in her Easter message titled, â€˜A Life of Sacrificeâ€™, rejoiced with the Christian faithful in the Lagos Central Senatorial District, Lagos State, and Nigeria as a whole on the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus.
According to her, â€œthis is a call for only those who mean well for the greater good of our country to aspire to public service. Likewise, we must ensure even as another electioneering season approaches that we only support those whose mandates reflect the greater good of us all. Once again, I felicitate with you all and wish you the blessings of Christâ€™s resurrection. Happy Easter.â€
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has also wished Nigerians a joyful and rewarding season. In a goodwill message by its National Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam, the SDP congratulated Christians for completing the Lenten period that preceded the Easter festivity, and urged them to ruminate on the life and times of Jesus Christ.
Gabam further said: â€œNigerians should use this season to reflect more on the things that bind us together as brothers and sisters, not those that divide us. We must use the concept of religion to strengthen our nationhood and make religion an important vehicle for building and deepening harmony. Our belief in one God should make us embrace the positive richness and beauty in the variety that God, in His infinite wisdom, has bestowed upon Nigeria.â€
Given his commitment to social justice, Gabam said SDP would like to use this Easter season to remind Nigerians that the ultimate purpose of life is salvation and eternal life.
The SDP, Gabam said, encouraged Nigerians to continue to oil the wheel of progress until the country fully realised her full potentials and becomes that great nation it is destined to be.