By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye (Abuja), Laide Raheem (Abeokuta), Olanrewaju Lawal (Birnin Kebbi), Okey Sampson (Umuahia), Ndubuisi Orji (Abuja), Joe Effiong (Uyo), Gyang Bere (Jos), Lukman Olabiyi (Lagos)


In the face of the security and other challenges confronting the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has urged Nigerians not to lose hope, assuring that God is with the country, adding that the citizenry irrespective of their different backgrounds will prosper, experience peace, and be blessed in everything that they do.

He gave assurance in a brief chat with journalists shortly after the Christmas Day service at the Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja, where he preached a sermon entitled “Why the Angels Rejoiced.”

“My message for Christmas is that God himself is with us, and that is very important because it means that we will prosper in everything that we do, and we will be blessed in everything that we do. God does not discriminate in his blessings. The Bible says that he causes the rain to fall and the sun to shine on the good and the evil alike. He makes sure that He blesses everyone. And on this special occasion, I believe that every Nigerian should receive this great blessing that God has for us,” Osinbajo said, adding, “I believe that we are entering into a season of God’s great blessings of peace and prosperity and all shall be well with our country, in Jesus name.”

Similarly sounding upbeat in his Christmas message, Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun urged Nigerians to remain prayerful as the current challenges facing the nation would soon be a thing of the past.

Governor Abiodun made the call at a church service held at the St. James’ Anglican Church, Iperu-Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area yesterday. Noting that the country’s present challenges were surmountable, he said: “God has kept us alive despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic. We should continue to celebrate and be thankful despite our challenges. It will make us resolve to press forward in the coming year.

“Please let us be prayerful; all hope is not lost. Yes, the country is going through challenges in the areas of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism and the likes. With God nothing shall be impossible,” Abiodun said.

Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has felicitated with Christians as they celebrate this year’s Christmas and urged them the period to continue to live in peace with each other irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic differences.

With Christian faithful marking the birth of Jesus Christ, Kebbi State governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has called for peaceful coexistence, unity, and patriotism.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mallam Yahyah Sarki, Governor Bagudu said: “With unity, Nigeria will continue to grow from strength to strength. This means that the country would be at par with its contemporaries. Our diversity and population should be an advantage, more opportunities, and not problems. There is the need for the citizens to also exhibit more love and patriotism in favour of the nation.”

Leading aspirant in the contest for the governorship seat of Cross River State and senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Prof Sandy Onor, urged the people of the state to ignore individuals preaching the message of division under the guise of zoning politics. Instead, he advised “the people to follow the path of love, forgiveness and selflessness as they celebrate this year’s Christmas, saying that love remained the foundation of everything good.”

Onor said there are strong indications that 2022 would be the best in the history of the state, as it would afford members of the various political parties the opportunity to choose the right person to fly their party’s flag for the 2023 election.

He said: “God has been very faithful to us as a people during the outgoing year, despite the oddities some of us may have faced. I see a new day ahead of us as Cross Riverians. Events of the past and the failure of the present government in our state to put smiles on your faces may have dampened your spirit. But I implore you to forgive the system and the people at the helm of affairs and show love at all times, especially at this time of Christmas. Next year will be very critical for us a people. It is that year when you will have the opportunity, as member of a political party, to choose who the entire state will support, to take Cross River from the woods.

“In taking this decision, I enjoin you to have the interest of our state at heart. This state has been messed up in the last six years. We cannot, therefore, afford to sacrifice competence, character, integrity and genuine love for our state on the altar of zoning brouhaha and ethnic jingoism.”

Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu while felicitating the people of the state and other Nigerians, urged them to celebrate the season with full understanding of its significance in the life of the average Christian.

“The birth of Christ is about the most important event in Christianity, since it was the beginning of the redemption of mankind,” the governor said, and assured the people of the state that his administration had taken critical steps to ensure that they were able to take part in the celebrations through the release of about N3.5bn to deal with the issue of salaries of some ailing parastatals and pensioners.

In her message, immediate past senator who represented Abia Central, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu prayed that the year would end on a cheerful note while thanking God for His kindness, protection, and guidance.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives has charged Nigerians to remain resilient. The leader of the caucus, Kingsley Chinda, in a statement, yesterday to mark the Christmas said in spite of the economic and security challenges in the country, the citizens must remain hopeful for a better Nigeria.

His words: “Clearly, Christmas comes with bliss, fanfare and happy moments. But what bliss, fanfare and happy moments can we truly say Nigerians are having in the face of glaring hunger, economic hardship, rising cost/standard of living, kidnappings, killings and general insecurity across the country, occasioned by a clueless, inept and incompetent APC led Federal Government? This question clearly leaves us with the reality that as we mark this year’s Christmas, we must remain positive and resilient in the face of these challenges and hope for a better and greater Nigeria.”

Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has reiterated that the the purpose of the yuletide, saying, “This is a season where we should banish all ancient animosities and celebrate our oneness and unity, our development and the strides we are collectively making as a state and as a people.

“It is a season of joy and thankfulness to God for holding us together as a people and as a state, in spite of the economic difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which unfortunately has now mutated to the Delta and Omicron variants respectively.”

In his Christmas message, Chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial District, Sen. Hezekiah Ayuba Dimka Nigerians to emulate Christ and show love, pursue peace and exhibit selfless sacrifice.

Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State Chapter, Rt. Rev. Stephen Adegbite, called on Christians to celebrate Christmas by helping the less fortunate and also go for COVID-19 vaccination.

Adegbite, yesterday in a statement that read in part, said: “The message of Christmas is a reminder that love is an essential ingredient and a key tool for peaceful communal coexistence and relationship with one another not minding creed, race, tribe, religious beliefs and other factors that are today promoting hatred, discord, disunity and self centeredness.

“It is a principle of love your neighbour as yourself. In loving your neighbour, protecting yourself from being a potential spreader of the virus is a responsible thing to do. Do not hesitate or delay in going for the vaccination so that we can reduce and gradually eradicate the spread and keep our world safe.”

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Source: news