Jonathan, Tambuwal, Fashola, Amosun, Preach Peaceful Co-existence, Tolerance At ChristmasFeatured, Latest News, News Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
Ayo Balogun, Lagos
Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan has called on Nigerians to tolerate and live peaceably with one another as the celebrate Christmas, marking the birth of Jesus Christ.
In his Christmas message, the president urged Nigerians to shun evil acts while embracing harmony, love and tolerance.
According to Jonathan, in his Christmas message to the nation, the grace of God has helped the nation to overcome the many challenges it has had since she celebrated Christmas last year, saying that “the annual commemoration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ is a most auspicious time for us, as individuals and as a nation, to rededicate ourselves to the virtues and ideals which the Messiah preached and exemplified during his earthly ministry.”
“Let us all therefore resolve this Christmas to make the ideals of peace, harmony, tolerance, love and goodwill to all even more manifest in our interactions with others. It remains my sincere belief that no height of human accomplishment is beyond us as a nation, if we can overcome our differences, such as they are, and forge a binding national consensus to put the progress and well-being of the country above all other considerations.
“My administration will do all within its powers and abilities to ensure that when representatives of our people assemble for the forthcoming national conference next year, they will have every opportunity and encouragement to make very significant contributions towards forging the required consensus for sustained national peace, unity and progress,” he said.
The president said he expected that the national conference would contribute in no small measure towards the urgent resolution of contentious issues which currently hindered the nation’s progress.
He added that his administration would continue to implement its Agenda for National Transformation in furtherance of its avowed commitment to improving the living conditions of all Nigerians.
“We will continue to count on the prayers, support and cooperation of all patriotic Nigerians in the coming year as we consolidate and build on our achievements in several sectors including national security, power supply, communications, transportation, health and education.
“As we commemorate the birth of the Prince of Peace, let us all strive to honour Him more by living our lives as He taught; by making personal sacrifices for the good of others, by showing greater love for others, by being fairer and more honest in our dealings with others, by being ever-willing to forgive those who offend us and by always extending goodwill towards others,” he stated.
In his Christmas message, Fashola advocated peaceful co-existence and imbibing of the enduring lessons of sacrifice which the season represents, stressing that the promise of the country’s greatness could not be realized without sacrifice on the part of all concerned.
Reiterating the determination of his administration to keep the wheel of progress turning with people focused policies and far reaching infrastructural development projects, the Governor assured that the State is safe adding that the citizenry should continue to live together in peaceful and harmonious co-existence.
“My message to Lagosians is that your State is safe, you should continue to live together in peaceful and harmonious co-existence,” he said.
The Governor also called on Nigerians to unite, both in mind and action, to rescue the nation from its current situation, saying there is need to make the necessary sacrifice and believe again in Nigeria.
According to him, the only way to realize the promise of the country’s greatness and return the country to her past glory was to believe in her and the ability to put her once again on the path of greatness.
Underscoring the need for sacrifice as epitomized in the birth and life of Jesus Christ, he said though Nigerians should accept and not pretend about the current status of the country, they must resolve now and believe that she can “get up and climb back to the top”.
The Governor expressed dismay that while the nation’s population has become bigger, productivity has diminished pointing out that this has happened because the people have abandoned the values that had formed the building blocks of pristine civilizations across the globe.
Such values, the Governor said, include compassion, sanctity of human life, a good name, respect for constituted authority, pursuit of knowledge and high professionalism, hard work and brotherly love, adding, “They have drained from the mainstream of our daily national life”.
Starting from the way many Nigerians drive, with no training and no obedience to traffic rules, through the way they build houses with no permits, no professionals and no standard materials, to how they do business with no records, no plans and no care of the business environment, among others, Governor Fashola said there was a need to retrace the national steps from a culture of shortcuts to the path of hardwork and sacrifice to realize the promise of her greatness.
While wishing all Nigerians a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in advance, the Governor urged Lagosians to continue to live in peaceful and harmonious co-existence as well as utmost tolerance in order to continue to make the State home for all Nigerians and ensure sustained development and prosperity for all.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has enjoined Nigerians to continue to reflect on the positive tenets that unite the nation, strengthen the polity and enhance its stability and prosperity as they celebrate this year’s Christmas.
In a goodwill message to Nigerian Christians signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mallam Imam Imam, Hon Tambuwal also called for sustained prayers for peace, unity and stability in the country, even as he admonished persons of all faith to be their brother’s keepers and shun all vices and negative acts that can jeopardize the efforts of government in providing democracy dividends to the citizens.
“This period calls for sober reflection and continued prayers for our dear nation. We must replicate on the teachings and lessons of Christmas and continue to exhibit good character as well as extend hands of fellowship and build blocks of unity and understanding to all irrespective of our percieved differences”, the Speaker stated.
“On our part”, the Speaker assured, “we are committed to providing legislative measures and interventions that will support government’s effort at guaranteeing peace, welfare and security of Nigerians and the greater development of our dear country in line with our legislative agenda.
“On behalf of the House of Representatives, I wish all Nigerians a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Governor Amosun Preaches Love
Also, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has asked Christians to use the occasion of Christmas to renew love and affection to one another.
Amosun, in his Christmas message, said this is the essence of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, whose life epitomised peace, sacrifice, tolerance and mercy.
The governor in a Christmas message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs. Funmi Wakama said “it is hoped that the gift of love and great joy which are the hallmark of Christmas, will envelope our hearts this season and in years to come.
“Jesus Christ was a gift to show God’s exceeding love for mankind and we must reciprocate this gesture by imbibing the virtues and ideals of forgiveness, justice, fairness, understanding and meekness, all of which he exemplified.
“With this, we will end 2013 with a renewed mind that will ultimately usher us into a new dawn of unending tranquillity and true brotherhood which Jesus Christ taught and lived for”, he added.
Amosun wished the Christian faithful a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.
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