President Muhammad Buhari has felicitated with Christians on the occasion of this year’s Christmas celebrations, urging them to continue to work for the peace and prosperity of the nation.
In a goodwill message Satuday, the president said the yearly celebration of the virtues of Jesus Christ was another opportunity for Nigerians to show love to one another and also live exemplary lives.
The message read in part:
“The commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ is an important opportunity for us to show love to one another and encourage unity by spending quality time with our friends, families and the less-privileged.
“It is also an occasion to draw inspiration from the exemplary lifestyle and teachings of Jesus Christ, who constantly stood for what is right, true and honest.
“The Holy Book describes Christmas as a festival of peace, joy, healing, hope and fulfilment. It kindles great expectations in the heart, irrespective of the challenges of the moment.
“As we celebrate this Yuletide season, let us devote some time to pray and appreciate the sacrifices of members of our armed services to keep our nation safe and secure.
“By the same token, and keeping with the spirit of the season, our gallant troops serving in the frontlines in the fight against insurgency; those wounded, lying in the hospital, as well as civilians who have suffered the brunt of evil and wicked elements these past years, deserve our fervent goodwill and sustained prayers.”
The president also urged Nigerians to remember the needy even as they celebrate.
“In this season of hope, let us remember to provide refuge to those who cannot enjoy Christmas at home with their families, or have been driven from their homes by insurgency or violence, particularly the Internally Displaced Persons.
“Lately, we have witnessed an upsurge in the activities of trans-border syndicates who lure our youths to modern slavery through irregular migration. While we have stepped up our efforts to halt this wickedness against the upwardly mobile generation, and have evacuated some of our compatriots stranded abroad, we appeal to them to shun the allure of embarking on such perilous journeys.
“I am deeply convinced that better days lie ahead for us as a nation as we make progress on all the major fronts where we have set our energies to surmount the challenges.”