• Pray for Leah Sharibu’s freedom –CAN
Segun Adio; Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari and Senate President, Bukola Saraki, have urged Christians to emulate the virtues of Jesus Christ, as epitomised by his passion, persecution, death and resurrection, during Easter.
The president, on his part, thanked God for the safe return of the Dapchi schoolgirls after they were abducted by Boko Haram.
He also expressed optimism that those still in captivity, including the Chibok girls, will be safely released unconditionally to their families, and called on Nigerians to continue to pray for their safe return.
Buhari said this in his 2018 Easter message to the nation, where he urged Nigerians to seize the opportunity of the season to deeply reflect on how every one can imbibe the profound teachings of Jesus Christ with renewed vigour.
“Let us use the opportunity of this special season to deeply reflect on how every one of us can imbibe the profound teachings of Jesus Christ with renewed vigour.
“In so doing and by placing the joy, comfort and happiness of others above ours, we will make a statement that vices such as, hate speech, bigotry, corruption, banditry and terrorism have no place in our nation.
“We must do all it takes to love our neighbours and display increased spirit of tolerance and accommodation…
“In the meantime, I have given clear instructions to our security agencies to prioritise safety in schools, in areas where the humanitarian and security situation are still dire, in addition to ensuring adequate protection of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).”
In a message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, the Senate President also urged Nigerians to promote unity across all lines.
Saraki said: “This weekend, we join our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria and across the world to celebrate the Easter festivities.
“This commemoration is a time for deep reflection as it marks the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his victory over death. It is a time to reach out to our brothers and sisters in need.
“It is also a time for all of us, regardless of faith or ethnicity, to come together and pray for the peace of our nation.
“We must all remain constant in our efforts to promote unity, across all lines, because united, our nation remains stronger and we thrive as a people. As we do this, we must all collectively work towards playing our part in the development of our nation and its economy.”
From Abuja, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), called on all churches in the country to pray for Leah Sharibu’s freedom, today.
CAN conveyed the message thgouh its President, Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, in a statement by his Special Assistant, (Media & Communications), Pastor Adebayo Oladeji,.
“The leadership of CAN is calling on every Christian, nationwide, to stand in the gap for that innocent girl, Leah Sharibu, at 12 noon, today, asking God to send His Angels to deliver her from the captivity as He did for Apostle Peter who was jailed unjustly.
“CAN is also reminding the Federal Government and the security agencies the need to free Leah and other captives from the captivity of Boko Haram.
“It is time our security operatives lived up to the expectations of the people.”
Also, the Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria has urged Christians to always work towards emulating the meekness and spirit of forgiveness exhibited by Jesus Christ as espoused by his persecution, death and resurrection on the cross of Calvary.
Prophet Solomon Adegboyega Alao said this in his message to mark Easter.
Supreme Head of the Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria, Adegboyega also urged Christians to continue to live in harmony with their non-Christian neighbours “for this is what the death of Christ stood for.”
In a statement released to newsmen in Lagos, yesterday, the cleric advised Christians to “always allow the lessons of alms giving, prayer, good-neighbourliness and righteousness, as exhibited by Jesus continue to resonate in their lives after the 40 days Lenten period.
“This is always a time for deep reflection, particularly for Nigerian Christians, at a time when the children of God are faced with a lot of challenges.
“It is a time to make peace with all our neighbours, irrespective of their faiths and beliefs, as taught by Jesus Christ.”
He noted that rather than continue to complain about the myriad challenges in the country, Christians should effect the change they want by collecting their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) and perform their civic responsibilities in the forthcoming 2019 general election.