• Don’t despair in the midst of challenges –Mark
By our correspondents
Senate President, As Nigerians join Christians all over the world to celebrate Christmas, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has urged Christians to pray for the unity, peace and prosperity of the country.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, yesterday, felicitated with Christians as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
The senate president called on all Nigerians to re-dedicate themselves “to the service of humanity, in line with the true teachings of Jesus Christ, which emphasises tolerance, patience, brotherly kindness, care for the needy and love for one another, among other virtues.”
On his part, Speaker Yakubu Dogara urged Christians to spread love to neighbours and remember the under-privileged as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
The speaker, in a statement to mark Christmas, described Jesus Christ as an embodiment of sacrificial love to the point that He gave His life for the redemption of mankind.
“We should bear in mind that the greatest command Jesus gave to his followers is love one another. Not only does this have spiritual benefits, it will also make Nigeria a better place because love overcomes all things including hatred, violence and other vices,”in a statement from his media aide, Turaki Hassan.
His deputy, Sulaimon Yussuff Lasun also called on Christians to put to practice Christ’s preaching on peace and love.
This was just as he urged Nigerians, irrespective of religious inclinations, to learn how to tolerate each other and live together as one indivisible entity.
But, immediate past Senate President, David Mark, implored Nigerians to see the celebration of Christmas as a period of renewal and urged citizens not to despair in the midst of economic and socio- political challenges facing the country.
Senator Mark, in a goodwill message at Christmas, in Abuja, said the birth of Christ should be the elixir needed to confront challenges and provide a roadmap for economic recovery.
He noted that Nigerians have triumphed over challenges in the past and called for the reinforcement of that indomitable spirit that has seen the country through various travails.
Also, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content, Solomon Adeola, called on Christians in particular, and Nigerians, in general, to seize the Christmas celebration to renew their faith in Jesus Christ and pray for a new and better beginning for the country.
In a Christmas message to felicitate with his constituents and Nigerian Christians, as well, by his Media Adviser, Chief Kayode Odunaro, Senator Adeola said Christmas symbolises the celebration of the birth of a new dawn, for the salvation of souls, for all humanity, especially for the Christians, and should not be used only for just merry-making.
On his part, Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, admonished Christians in the country to remember the less-privileged in the society and extend hands of fellowship and goodwill to them through gifts.
In a goodwill message to felicitate with Christians to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, the monarch also enjoined Christians to use the period to reflect on the teaching of Jesus Christ and endeavour to be Christ-like in words, action and character.
Oba Ewuare II reminded Nigerians of the virtues of Jesus Christ which include love, tolerance, forgiveness and peace, urging to use the period of Christmas to forgive and love “thy neighbour as thyself.”
Christmas: Govs sue for peace, love, forgiveness
By our correspondents
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has urged the Christian faithful to exhibit the spirit of peace, love and forgiveness, all through the Christmas celebrations and beyond.
Amosun said this in his Christmas message, signed by his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adedayo Adeneye, where he noted that “these were the values that Jesus Christ preached and exhibited all through his sojourn on earth. As we celebrate Christmas, all true Christians must remember the reason for the season, as well as the person, whose birth we are celebrating, who is Jesus Christ.
“Jesus Christ went about preaching peace, love and need for us to forgive those who trespass against us. If this is not evident in our lives, as we mark the Christmas and thereafter, then, we have only embarked on a jamboree.”
From Benue, Governor Samuel Ortom expressed his administration’s commitment to the overall development of the state.
“As a government, we will continue to demonstrate commitment to the overall development of the state. Our determination is anchored on the conviction that our people deserve nothing less than the best of service delivery that any responsible government can give to its people.”
Governor Ortom, who stated this in his Christmas message to the people of the state, urged them to embrace peace, harmony, tolerance and show love to one another as Christ taught His followers. He maintained that his administration would continue to guarantee safety of lives and property of every resident even as he appealed to the people to go about their normal activities without the fear of molestation.
Likewise, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, wished Nigerians a memorable Christmas, with a call on residents to seize the religious festival in renewing kindness to victims of Boko Haram insurgency, particularly displaced civilians and families of the Armed Forces and volunteers who sacrificed their lives fighting insurgents to regain peace in the state and other parts of the North East. Governor Shettima’s Christmas message was emailed to newsmen by his spokesman, Isa Gusau.
Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, urged Christians to reach out and touch their neighbours with love, as they commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
In a special Christmas message issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media in Awka, James Eze, Obiano described Christmas as the season of love when Christians are expected to rise above all inhibitions to show love to their neighbours.
From Delta, Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa congratulated Nigerians at Christmas and said it is a season to celebrate peaceful co-existence and show love to one another.
The governor’s message was contained in a statement released in Asaba by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, yesterday, wherein he tasked Christians to offer special prayers during the yuletide for greater peace, love, unity, peaceful co-existence and progress of Nigeria.
… Let’s support Buhari –Tinubu
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has called for support for President Muhammadu Buhari, so that the country can overcome its current challenges.
He urged Nigerians to learn from the example of Jesus Christ “who faced and overcame the greatest evil” by uniting to overcome our challenges. Asiwaju Tinubu’s Christmas message was released by his Media Office in Lagos, yesterday.
“Christmas Day is one of the most precious days of the year for it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Be you Christian, Muslim or just a human being with a soul that yearns for peace, compassion and hope, Jesus Christ belongs to all of us. His teachings are universal in application and speak of truths eternal. The challenges that face the country are difficult ones. But, we keep the hope. We must learn from the example of Jesus who faced and overcame the greatest evil. So let us unite to overcome our challenges. We must support president Buhari and complement his efforts in his resolve to stimulate the economy and reposition the country. The president needs our support, understanding and prayers. We must fully break the terrorism of Boko Haram and completely put down the last vestiges of the terrorists…”
•Obasa tasks Nigerians on Christ’s spirit of love
Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, has urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, tolerance and sacrifice as preached and put into practice by Jesus Christ during his life time. Obasa, who gave this advice, yesterday, said Nigeria will continue to achieve growth, development and economic revival if the people continue to live in peace, tolerate one another and imbibe the spirit of personal sacrifice for the benefit of their brothers and sisters.
…Wike, Ambode preach love, kindness
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged Nigerians to use this year’s Christmas to promote love, friendship, peace and reconciliation.
Wike, in his Christmas message, yesterday, said the season exemplifies love and advised Nigerians to always love one another.
He particularly urged Rivers people to use this year’s Christmas to erect platforms of love, peace and reconciliation, for the greater development of the state.
The governor further advised Rivers people to pray for the state to enjoy greater peace, so as to consolidate on developmental programmes that have made the state first among equals.
Wike assured the people of the state that he would remain focused on his delivery of people-oriented projects and programmes, to improve their standard of living.
He noted that his administration has used the Christmas season to flag off execution of key projects in different parts of the state for the good of the people.
Wike wished Rivers people a merry Christmas and assured them of their security all through the season, as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
His colleague in Lagos State, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, urged Nigerians to see the period of Christmas as an opportunity to rekindle acts of love and kindness to one another and especially to the vulnerable in the society.
Governor Ambode, in his Christmas message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said the season symbolises love, care and compassion for persons, especially the weak, vulnerable and less-privileged, and added that his message to everyone at this period is to put a smile on the face of persons who may not necessarily be able to pay them back.
He said: “Christmas is a season that explains the depth of God’s love for mankind and exemplary sacrifice that we should emulate in our relationship with our neighbours irrespective of status and creed.
“This season is another opportunity to increase our acts of kindness and touch the less privileged in our society.”
“Therefore, this Christmas means so much more than just mere merriment.
“It is a veritable avenue to extend love to the less-privileged who are disadvantaged in several ways.
“In this special season, therefore, I urge you all to spread love and be our brother’s keeper. Let us reach out to those who struggle to provide for their families.
“Let us put smiles on the faces of the weak and vulnerable. This is the real essence of Christmas.”