The two major political parties in Nigeria, the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have felicitated with Nigerians on the Easter celebrations and called on citizens to use the occasion to renew the bond of love, forgiveness and peaceful co-existence, irrespective of religious, ethnic and political beliefs.
In an Easter message by its National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, the APC urged Nigerians to imbibe the humility, tolerance, selflessness and sacrifice exhibited by Jesus Christ when he gave his life to save mankind.
The APC National Chairman urged the Christian community especially religious leaders to always promote religious harmony among various religious groups.
He assured that the APC-led administration of President Muhammed Buhari is committed to delivering on the change agenda promised Nigerians.
”The 2016 National Budget recently passed by the National Assembly provides ample framework to deliver on these promises,” he said.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun called for greater international cooperation to effectively combat global terrorism.
“In the wake of the recent gruesome March 22 Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek Metro Station terror attacks in the Belgian capital, Brussels and the March 25 stadium suicide attack in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, the need for greater international cooperation in the fight against global terrorism is reinforced.
“No country is insulated from the global terrorism threat. Our best chance is to come together as a unified front to defeat this global threat.
“I call on all Nigerians irrespective of religious, ethnic and political affiliation to support government in the fight against violent extremism, abductions, mass killings, politically-motivated killings and other criminal activities. Also, the public should remain vigilant and cooperate with security agencies in the fight against all criminal activities.
“While we salute and pray for our armed forces, police and other security agencies fighting to restore peace and normalcy in Nigeria’s North East, let us be rest assured that the end to the Boko Haram-led insurgency and other forms of terrorism by the extremist sect is near,” he said.
On his part, the National Chairman of the PDP, Ali Modu-Sheriff, also called on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of peace and forgiveness.
The PDP chairman said “just as Easter represents the triumph of life over death, Nigerians can draw strength and inspiration to overcome the division, disagreements and bitterness that now threaten the unity and corporate existence of our dear nation.”
The party, in a message issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, on Saturday said such devotion to national unity and harmony is paramount to overcoming the economic, social and security challenges presently confronting the nation.
“Indeed, the occasion of Easter presents us a great lesson in faith in the Almighty God and the triumph of good over evil, the very reason we must humble ourselves and seek divine intervention for our dear country.
“Our unity is our strongest source of strength as a nation. We must therefore collectively determine to end the bitterness, hostilities and division that keep us apart and seek only the virtues of love, forgiveness, charity and such others that unite us as a people.
“In the same vein, duty beckons on all of us to imbibe a life of constant prayers for our leaders at all levels to be divinely guided against actions and inactions that tend to polarize the people and create tension in the land.
“We must all continue to see ourselves as brothers and sisters and work together towards fulfilling the mind of God who, in His infinite wisdom destined us to live together as a united and prosperous nation, where nobody is molested and where fairness and the wellbeing of all citizens are paramount as guaranteed within the laws.
“On this note the PDP joins in praying for the nation and wishing all citizens happy Easter celebrations,” the statement said.