From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Federal Government has declared Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 December 2022 as public holidays to mark the Christmas and boxing days.
Also, Monday, January 2, 2023 has been declared a public holiday to mark the New Year’s Day.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government. He felicitates with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on these Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Ogbeni enjoins Christians to emulate Jesus Christ in deeds and follow his teachings, especially on faith, hope and love.
“We must imbibe the life of Jesus Christ in His practice and teachings on Humility, Service, Compassion, Patience, Peace and Righteousness, that His birth signifies. This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate His birth”, he noted.
He emphasised that peace and security are two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity. He urged Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of this festive period to pray for the total eradication of any vestige of insecurity in our dear nation.
The Minister reminded Nigerians that the coming year, 2023, is an election and political transition year and Nigerians should prepare to make it a huge success by voting peacefully and avoiding anything capable of marring the exercise in any way.
The Minister also assured that the government has put in place effective measures for the security of lives and property and expects Nigerians to support the efforts of security agencies by providing useful information that will assist them in the performance of their duties.
The Minister urged Nigerians to be security conscious, asking them to report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency and through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS, saying “when you see something, do N-Alert, as this would elicit prompt response from security agents”.
Speaking further, the Minister said the Yuletide calls for spartan discipline in order to protect lives and property of everyone in our community and the nation as a whole.
“Moderately celebrate the festival and act responsibly by refraining from spreading fake news on the country, the government and our neighbours”he advised, adding that
all citizens should remain focused while expressing confidence that the year 2023 would be a better year for us all.
In a statement, the Minister wished Christians a happy Christmas and all Nigerians a peaceful and prosperous New Year celebration.