“My avowed commitment to free, fair, credible and violence-free polls is not a ruse or yet another vain political promise.”
Juliana Taiwo- Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to believe his promise of credible elections in 2019. The president also said while the lives of those lost to floods, fire disasters, road accidents, farmers/herders clashes and insurgency can not be brought back at Christmas, smiles can be put on the faces of their grieving families.
While describing it as a downside of 2018, he noted that Nigerians in the outgoing year “have seen so many unnecessary deaths caused by violent clashes between neighbours who, ordinarily, should complement and support one another.”
The president said this in his 2018 Christmas message to Nigerians and urged Nigerians to exchange gifts, pray and visit loved ones and remember many others who cannot be with their families at this time.
“My avowed commitment to free, fair, credible and violence-free polls is not a ruse or yet another vain political promise. My word is my bond. It is a sworn declaration on the advance- ment of Nigeria, the future and safety of our young and unborn generations. Let us tell the world that, indeed, ‘‘something good’’ can come out from Nigeria. And, it will happen, as we all team up to make it happen. Merry Christmas!” We can- not bring back the lives lost to floods, unfortunate fire disasters, road accidents, farmers/herders clashes and insurgency. But, we can put back smiles on the faces of the grieving, the displaced and the troubled, if we show a little love and recommit ourselves to building relationships with those outside our ethnic, religious and socio-political divides.
“As we celebrate Christmas, exchange gifts, pray and visit loved ones, let us remember many others who cannot be with their families at this time.”
He maintained that the season is another opportunity to reflect on the imagery of the humble, symbolic and divine birth of a young child thousands of years ago in Bethlehem, Judea, and the message of hope, compassion, salvation, reconciliation, forgiveness and peace that Jesus Christ embodies and conveys.
Similarly, Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, felicitated with Christians, as they celebrate the Christmas and New Year.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, congratulated Nigerians for their resilience in the face of the challenges facing the nation.
“I wish all Nigerians a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I want to call on Christians, in particular, and Nigerians, in general, to emulate the virtues of Christ, who through self-sacrifice brought salvation to humanity.
On his part, Dogara, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Has- san, said it was because of His love for humanity that made God send His son, Jesus Christ, to the world to redeem humanity.
He urged Christians to reflect such selfless love in their dealings with others, noting that “embracing God’s Love will put an end to wanton killings, ethnic and religious clashes and other evils that retard the growth and development of the country.” harped on the need for peaceful co-existence between and among Nigerians; irrespective of ethnic or religious leanings.
He urged Nigerians to make it part of their New Year resolution that they will play their constitutional roles to ensure that the country has a peaceful, credible, free and transparent elections in February and March 2019.