CHRISTIAN faithful throughout the world are today celebrating Easter, an important annual event in Christendom which commemorates the resurrection of the progenitor of the faith, Jesus Christ, from the dead.
The celebration of Easter is a very important activity which Jesus Christ enjoined his disciples to observe in his memory. Since his death over two thousand years ago, Christians have celebrated the death and resurrection of Jesus every year with great pomp and festivity.
In Nigeria, the event will be marked with activities such as church services, prayers and giving of alms to the sick, the aged and the less privileged. It is also often associated with eating, drinking and family reunions.
Beyond the religious rites and the reveling associated with Easter, it is quite important that Christians do not lose sight of its spiritual significance. Essentially, Easter symbolises the redemption of mankind from sin and the reconciliation of man to God, his creator.
It should, therefore, be a season of prayers, love, sacrifice and humility, as portrayed in the life of Jesus. Jesus exhibited an uncommon degree of love, compassion, sacrifice and humility in his decision to die, to save mankind from sin.
He came to the world to serve and not to be served. He loved mankind unconditionally. Jesus was a servant-leader. He fed his disciples and washed their feet. He taught them how to pray. He led by example and commanded high respect from his disciples. He also laid down his life for their sake and for all mankind. Christians are expected to follow his footsteps in their everyday lives.
We, therefore, use this occasion to call on Christians throughout the world to emulate the shining example of Jesus Christ. They should forsake sin and give a wide berth to evil. They also ought to show love to their fellow human beings and relate with them in love, charity and humility.
We urge all Christians to live in peace with their neighbours and be ever willing to help those in need. They should exhibit Christ-like qualities in their private and public lives.
Christians should also use this occasion to pray for peace and prosperity in Nigeria. This is a good time for them to entreat God for an end to all forms of violence in the country. Let them shun violence, and set a good example for all Nigerians on the spirit of give and take.
Our political leaders should emulate Jesus Christ by demonstrating servant-leadership that is unfortunately lacking in our shores. If our political leaders can rule the country on this principle, Nigeria will perform better in all indices of human and economic development.
We need leaders who will be willing to die in the bid to do their best for the country. We need leaders who can sacrifice their personal comfort for the good of the people. Nigeria is in dire need of patriotic and selfless leaders who can improve the welfare of the people, instead of focusing only on their families, friends and acolytes.
It is sad that most of our politicians lack these Christ-like qualities in their relationship with the people. Our politicians have not been magnanimous in their service to the citizens. Many of them are preoccupied with themselves and how to satisfy the needs of their immediate communities. They are yet to see public office as a calling to serve, and not to be served.
As we celebrate Easter today, we call for an attitudinal change among our political office holders. They should draw lessons from the life of Jesus and apply them in the discharge of their constitutional duties. The level of corruption in the land is a pointer to the selfishness of the political class and its disdain for the welfare of the people.
We urge all Christians and, indeed, all well meaning Nigerians to pattern their private and public conduct after the selfless and timeless values of Easter. We wish all Christian faithful a wonderful Easter celebration.