Posted by News Express | 25 December 2019 | 1,293 times
Several prominent Nigerian leaders, on Tuesday, sent goodwill messages to Nigerians on the eve of the 2019 Christmas.
Among them was the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 polls, Mr. Peter Obi, who called on Christians to take the opportunity of the Yuletide to reflect on the mystery of our salvation.
According him, this “started with the birth of Christ who paved a new way for us to attain eternity.”
Obi said that the period of the Yuletide called for celebration, but, more importantly, that it offered us the opportunity to live the ideals of charity, love, peace and harmonious co-existence, which Christ preached.
“Let us all reach out and touch somebody else in a positive way. Let us give a hand to the less fortunate, that they may rise and walk with us,” the former Anambra State Governor said in a statement by his Media Office.
He called on all Nigerians to bear in mind, while celebrating, the challenges facing the country, especially the hardship occasioned by cumulative years of bad leadership and prepare adequately to confront them by addressing those issued that got the country where it is today, particularly lack of attention to education, the economy, especially creating employment for the youth and provision of basic infrastructure.
In his own message, All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Bola Ahmed Tinubu said: “On this Christmas Day, people across Nigeria will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. While celebrating this holy day, all of us, whether Christian or of another faith, must also devote this time to reflect on the lessons of peace, truth, kindness and compassion that described the life and teachings of Jesus. He taught that we came into existence to live for a purpose greater than ourselves. He taught that we are to love one another despite any difference between us. That we must eschew hate
“He loved and gave his life to better and save mankind. No matter the faith one may profess, what Jesus taught is universal, for all peoples and for all times. To follow him is to seek the best of our humanity.
“This season is an opportunity for all of us to be thankful for God’s blessings in our lives and to ask for His help that the light of progress and good may forever shine upon, and sustain, our precious nation.
“As we mark this day, let us do so in a way that comports with the spirit of Jesus. Our economy is growing and distributing prosperity and a good livelihood to many. Yet, among us are also those in want. Our nation is strengthening making communities more secure. Yet, among us are those still weak and put upon. Our nation is reforming in ways that give new opportunities to our people. Yet, among us are still those who have been forgotten and feel left behind.
“In the spirit of this day, we must extend ourselves to those who are poor, weak, and feel left behind so that they may not lose hope on this day of eternal hope.
“May the ways and teachings of Jesus guide us to make for a better Nigeria. May we celebrate this day by showing love for our brother as well as extending compassion to a needing stranger. In this way, we best honour and respect this day.”
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, in his message urged Christians, residents of Oyo State and Nigerians in general to ensure that they live in peace and harmony in the spirit of Christmas.
The Governor said that every resident and indigene of Oyo State need to imbibe the lessons of harmonious coexistence to engender development in the state and Nigeria generally.
A statement on behalf of Governor Makinde by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that the Governor asked Nigerians to take appropriate notice of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, whose birth is being celebrated at Christmas.
According to Makinde, the essence of the yuletide should not be lost on all, adding that the celebrations should be to the effect that peaceful coexistence is the key driver of development anywhere in the world anyone.
“Our society cannot be an exemption,” he stated.
The Governor further said: “I want to alert every resident and indigene of Oyo State and Nigerians, in general, to note that Christmas reminds us, especially Christians, that God gave his Son for our redemption. I encourage us to reflect on this message of giving as we celebrate with family, friends and loved ones this season. I wish everyone Merry Christmas and a rewarding 2020.”
He also warned against religious bigotry, declaring that only gullible persons use religion to divide the people.
“I would want our people to live in peace and harmony because development only thrives in an environment where peace reigns.
“Jesus Christ, whom we are celebrating today came to the world and loved his enemies. He preached peace everywhere he went, his lifestyle is worthy of emulation by our people, especially now that certain forces are seeking to divide our people along religious lines.
“I want our people to know that poverty, squalor, and lack know no religion or ethnicity. If those divisive elements come to you, tell them to find other things to do because our unity would remain our source of strength.
“As we look forward to a prosperous 2020, let us all love our neighbours and brothers like ourselves, let us pray that the Almighty would touch the hearts of some persons who take joy in inflicting pains on the hapless common man.
“God urges us to be our brothers’ keeper and the least we are expected to do is to show care, love, and compassion and as we live in peace and harmony, our society would be better for it.”
Greeting Nigerians, especially Christians, on the occasion of the Christmas celebration, Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq urged them to imbibe the spirit of love, God’s omniscience and service to humanity associated with the birth of Christ.
He said: “Notwithstanding our differences, we are all from Adam and one lesson from this season (the birth of Christ) is the need to love and look after one another. We should think always about the legacy of love, mutual respect, and willingness to help one another in good or hard time,” AbdulRazaq said in a Christmas message signed by Chief Press Secretary Rafiu Ajakaye.
“We call on Nigerians, especially Kwarans, to do more to foster love and peace this season and beyond because a major selling point of the state is the calm and peaceful disposition of our people. We also call for continuous mutual respect and understanding within the faith community and not allow anyone to cause disaffection in the state.”
The Governor, meanwhile, urged residents of the state to be modest while the festive session lasts.
“A number of top artistes will perform in various parts of the state this season. While adequate security measures are being taken to ensure that people enjoy themselves in the spirit of the season, we call for restraint and modesty in everything we do,” the statement added.
On his part, National Chairman of the main opposition PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, charged Nigerians to see the birth of Jesus Christ the saviour of mankind as an energiser to resist evil and injustice in Nigeria.
Prince Secondus said that faith teaches us that Christ came to save us but we must do the will of his father in heaven to enjoy the benefit.
He said in a Christmas message to Nigerians that they should use this period to seek God’s face so he can save this country from the hands of evil ones who are insensitive to the plight of the suffering masses.
In a statement from his Media Office signed by media Adviser Ike Abonyi, Prince Secondus noted that the political and economic retrogression currently being faced by this country can only be stemmed by the master Jesus whose birth at Christmas brought hope to humanity.
“A Yuletide occasion like Christmas provides ample opportunity for us to seek the messiah to meet us at the point of our needs and desires,” he said.
He said that the worrisome state of the nation could have been averted if people who govern have the fear of God in them.
The PDP National Chairman then noted that there is no better time than now to seek God’s intervention for a rescuer who would save this country.
“The indignation across the land says it all that the people are sad and disillusioned, this is a fact whether they believe it or not, let us therefore use this period to pray for a peaceful country where leaders fear God and play by the rules.
“Love for one another is the real reason for this season and Christians should do nothing but show love to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe and religion by building on those things that unite rather than what divides us,” he said.
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