We felicitate with Christians in Nigeria and the world over as they celebrate this year’s Christmas in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The birth of Jesus Christ symbolises joy and peace. It is also the greatest demonstration of God’s love to humanity.
Christmas, an annual festival celebrated in honour of the birth of Jesus Christ, is observed mainly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. It is characterised by the exchange of gifts, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decorations and feasting.
The Christmas season offers many Nigerians the opportunity to travel to their villages and mark the occasion with loved ones and relations. As the coming of Christ brought hope, joy and happiness to humanity, we urge the Christian faithful to use the occasion to pray for peace and happiness in our country. Christmas is a season of love, charity and merriment.
In Nigeria, it is usually marked with prayers and worship in churches. Let the Christian faithful pray for a peaceful, free, fair and transparent election in Nigeria next year. The occasion is also celebrated with local dances and visit to parks. As Christians mark the occasion with fanfare and merriment, they should not lose sight of its spiritual significance.
In the spirit of the season, they should show love and charity to their neighbours and the less privileged in the society. It is important that they remember the widows, the elderly and the aged and attend to their basic needs.
Similarly, our politicians should use the season to bring dividends of democracy to the people. The political leaders should serve the people that elected them into offices and not the other way round. They should attend to the needs of Nigerians and embrace the peace proclaimed by Jesus Christ. They should also embrace the humility of Jesus Christ in their service to the nation.
It is interesting that the Nigeria Police Force has assured Nigerians of adequate security throughout the country during and after the yuletide festivities. They should just do that and en- sure that the country is secured at all times. This is particularly important as we approach another election sea- son.
We call on the police and indeed other security agencies to ensure that places of worship are adequately secured throughout the yuletide season. All attempts to attack churches and worship centres must be warded off. Officers and men of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have also resolved to ensure that the highways are safe for all road users during and after the season.
However, it is sad that this year’s Christmas is coming at a time of economic difficulties and the nation’s poverty level has increased so much. Many Nigerians are also jobless. There is, indeed, no doubt that the state of the economy will not permit a buoyant celebration of the occasion. In spite of these shortcomings, we urge the Christian faithful to make the best of the season and celebrate it with joy and happiness bearing in mind its spiritual significance.
Beyond the merriment associated with the feast, the Christian adherents should imbibe the peace and love of the season and eschew bitterness in their relations with other Nigerians. They should use the occasion to reach out to their neighbours and the needy in the society.
We call on the government to use this occasion to address some of the socioeconomic problems affecting Nigerians. Our leaders should use the event to improve the living conditions of Nigerians. Government must ensure that there is adequate security, food, water, shelter, and electricity in the country.
Let the police and other security agencies ensure that this Christmas is peaceful. We wish the Christian faithful, Nigerians and all our readers a peaceful Christmas celebration.