Christmas: Obasanjo, Atiku, Saraki, APC, others felicitate with Nigerians, call for peace

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo [Photo credit: Ventures Africa]

A former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed concern about the worsening insecurity in the country, including during the Christmas season.

Mr Obasanjo stated this at the 2018 Christmas Carol Service of Six Lessons of the Chapel of Christ the Glorious King (CCKG) of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL).

“The situation is getting worrisome by the day. I was in Kaduna and I thought that the story would be different. The people there said insecurity, kidnapping and killings are happening. If peace eludes us, it is not an act of God, but, our making.”

He called for peace across the country.

Also, Nigeria’s former vice president and the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated Christians and all Nigerians as they celebrate the Christmas and New Year festivals.

In his Christmas message, Mr Abubakar said it is important for Nigerians to inject the healing and unifying serum of love for our neighbour into the nation’s consciousness, this season.

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Mr Abubakar urged all Nigerians to spare a thought for the military and security forces, who are on the frontlines in the war on terror.

“Nigeria owes so much to the gallant officers and the men and women of our armed forces,” he said.

In a similar message, the national chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, congratulated Christians while charging Nigerians to use the occasion to offer special prayers for good leaders with love of the people to emerge.

In a statement from his special adviser on media and publicity, Ike Abonyi, Mr Secondus said the 2019 general election provides the people with the opportunity to rescue democracy and the country.

“The indignation in our faces across board shows it all that the people are sad and disappointed, let us, therefore, pray for a peaceful election to usher in joy in the land.

The deputy chairman, PDP Presidential Campaign Council (South), Gbenga Daniel, rejoiced with Christians on the lessons taught by the life and times of Jesus Christ, urging them to reflect on the basic tenets of Christianity which harkened on perseverance, faithfulness, determination and peace.

“Irrespective of our religious affiliations, we can draw immense strength and inspiration from the enduring legacies of the life of Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for the redemption of our souls,” he said.

In his message, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in a statement by his special adviser, media and publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, congratulated Nigerians for their resilience in the face of the challenges facing the nation. He urged them to pray for improvement in the social, political and economic condition of the country, in the New Year.

He urged Nigerians to make it part of their New Year resolution that they will play their constitutional roles to ensure that the country has a peaceful, credible, free and transparent election in February and March 2019.

“I wish all Nigerians a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I want to call on Christians, in particular, and Nigerians, in general, to emulate the virtues of Christ, who through self-sacrifice brought salvation to humanity.

While praying for journey mercies for as many Nigerians that would have to travel during the period, he urged the police and other security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities and ensure that the lives and property of Nigerians are fully secured at all times.

In a goodwill message, the All Progressives Congress (APC) also rejoiced with Christians and Nigerians on the joyous occasion of Christmas which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.

In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party urged Nigerians to use the joyous occasion to pray for our leaders and the peace, progress and socio-economic development of our dear country.

Also, former senate president, David Mark, congratulated Nigerians on this year’s Christmas celebration while stressing the need for peaceful coexistence between and among Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic or religious leanings.

He said there is the need for authorities to review the nation’s security arrangement for an improved performance saying that “the unabating security situation in the country unarguably calls for self-examination.

In a statement signed by his special adviser on media and publicity, Paul Mumeh, he urged citizens to be guided by the lessons of the Christmas season, which is anchored on love, forgiveness and peaceful coexistence.

“Security operatives need to do more to restore hope and confidence amongst the citizens that they can be protected in any part of the country.

“We have no other country to call our home, other than Nigeria”.

Also, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) headed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, felicitates with the Christian compatriots on the occasion of 2018 Christmas.

In a statement by its Deputy Secretary-General, Salisu Shehu, the council said it wishes Christians God’s guidance and abundant blessings embedded in the festive season as they celebrate an important milestone of high spiritual import.

“As you pray and celebrate, we join you in prayers as we beseech the Almighty God to make Nigeria overcome her current challenges and grant us peaceful, successful, fair and credible elections in the coming months.”

“Prophet ‘Isa (PBUH) or Jesus is one of the top-ranking Prophets of God that all Muslims venerate. In fact, the Qur’an mentions his name more than 25 times. Though his personality or divinity may be viewed differently by the teeming adherents of Christianity and Islam, the fact remains that in Jesus Christ, all of us, Christians and Muslims alike, have a role model, an exemplar and a symbol of our commonality as a people of faith.

The NSCIA urged Nigerians to emulate him and other true Prophets of God.

In his message, Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, admonished Christians to imbibe the spirit of love, peace and perseverance and to also exhibit the virtues of faithfulness, honesty and kindness, which Jesus Christ manifest.

“As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ today, there is no conceivable alternative for our Christian brothers and sisters, other than renew their minds towards living the life Jesus Christ lived, while on earth.”

The governor said as the 2019 general election is fast approaching, all Christians must continue to pray for peaceful polls and the emergence of God-fearing leaders.

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