CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Security for all dear to my heart — BUHARI - The Gallant News


Friday, 25 December 2020

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Security for all dear to my heart — BUHARI


 …Cancels Christmas homage

…As Senate President, govs, Atiku, Tinubu, others greet Nigerians

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, urged Nigerians to trust his administration in its efforts to “restore peace, security and prosperity” across Nigeria.

He also said that Nigeria requires the Christmas values of joy, peace, hope, love, goodwill and imminent salvation to stem the rising insecurity in the country, economic recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similarly, the President cancelled his hosting of the usual Christmas homage by religious and community leaders in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

This came on a day the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan; Governors Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the All Progressives Congress, APC; National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus; National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

urged Christians to remember the country in their prayers, especially for divine guidance for the government in its efforts to improve national security and strengthen the economy.

Nigeria needs Christlike values

President Buhari, who stated this in the Christmas message he personally issued in Abuja on Thursday, felicitated with Christians in particular and Nigerians in general on the joyous occasion of Christmas 2020, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.

The President said in line with his campaign promise, he would continue to do his best to ensure the safety of Nigerians where ever they live in the country.

His words: “In Christendom, Christmas season represents joy, peace, hope, love, goodwill and imminent salvation. These worthy values which Jesus’ Advent symbolize, are very much needed in our country at this time when we are confronted with diverse challenges like the rising spate of armed banditry, kidnappings, insurgency, economic recession and upsurge of COVID-19 infections.

“I wish to, therefore, enjoin fellow compatriots to appropriate the hope that comes with Christmas and reinvest trust in this Administration’s determination and unwavering commitment to restore peace, security and prosperity to our dear country.

“Under my watch, the Federal Government will continue to provide the needed support within available resources to the gallant members of our armed forces and security agencies as they confront threats to our citizens.

“For me, providing security for all residents in the country remains an article of faith. It formed a vital segment of this Administration’s three-point agenda right from inception, and we must follow through with it.

“I cannot in good conscience shirk this cardinal responsibility to secure lives and property. I feel pained each time a breach of peace and security occurs in any part of the nation. I am even more distressed when our youths, especially school children, are the targets and victims of mindless and malevolent elements in society.

“As a parent, I share the emotional torture and agony parents and guardians go through whenever their children and wards fall into the cruel hands of these enemies of decency and good society.

“Let me reiterate that while the right to peaceful association and protest is guaranteed under our laws, this administration will not fold its arms and watch protests however well-intended, degenerate into wanton killings of law enforcement and other security personnel as well as the destruction of private and national assets.

“We are optimistic that all things being equal, we should be able to exit a recession at the shortest possible time.

“There is every indication that our country is already experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infection. As we celebrate Christmas with families and friends, I urge all citizens and residents to adhere strictly to the non-pharmaceutical prevention guidelines of regular hand-washing, wearing masks and social/physical distancing with a view to mitigating the spread of this devastating virus.

“While national and state institutions are trying their best, we must take individual responsibility and resist the strong temptation of compliance-fatigue by following the recommended protocols put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and beat the ravaging pandemic.”

Buhari cancels Christmas homage

Meanwhile, the Presidency explained that the cancellation was in line with the prevailing protocol put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and restricting large gatherings.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari urged all citizens to, in line with the prescribed protocol, observe social distancing, use face masks, wash hands frequently and avoid overcrowding of public spaces, markets, shopping centres, offices and places of worship.

Let’s be tolerant—Senate President

In his address, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who felicitated with the Christian faithful and Nigerians generally as they celebrate Christmas, however, called for love, tolerance and sacrifice.

In a message by his Special Adviser, Media, Ola Awoniyi, the Senate President said: “In the true spirit of the season, let’s show love to our neighbours, kindness to the less-privileged and vulnerable, and tolerance to one another across the lines of faith, politics and ethnicity; in the spirit of the unique sacrifice and teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Remain steadfast in prayer —Atiku

In his goodwill message, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged Christians and all Nigerians to seize the opportunity of another Christmas celebration to rededicate themselves and remain steadfast in prayers, which he said have an immense impact on the peace, security, unity and stability of the nation.

In a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku said: “On this significant occasion of Christmas, I felicitate with all Nigerians, particularly the Christian faithful on the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

“Christmas is a time of love, therefore, I call on all Nigerians to emulate the essence of this season and unite for the greater good of our dear country.”

On his part, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State urged the people of the state to celebrate the Christmas and New Year celebrations safely and responsibly so as not to further increase the spread of the COVID-19 infection in the state.

The governor said: “This year’s Christmas is a peculiar one when considered from the background of the global experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. We have every reason to thank God for bringing us safe thus far. We, however, cannot and must not forget in a hurry our beloved brothers and sisters, who unfortunately lost their lives to the COVID-19 infection this year.”

Seek God’s intervention in Nigeria’s affairs —Ortom

Similarly, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has urged Christians to draw closer to God and seek His intervention in the affairs of the nation as they mark the Christmas festivities.

The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase cautioned that the second phase of the pandemic had been confirmed by medical experts to be highly contagious and deadlier than the first phase, making it mandatory for everyone to be more careful.

Abiodun preaches moderation

Similarly, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State enjoined Nigerians to make moderation and thanksgiving their watchwords during and beyond the festive period.

Abiodun said: “The festive season is normally a time to show love, relax and celebrate but the current situation as occasioned by COVID-19 is far from the ideal.

“Christmas is a season of love and giving and I think the best way to show love and the best gift to give this season is the gift of health to ourselves and our loved ones during this Yuletide season and beyond.”

Let’s emulate Christ’s example—El-Rufai

On his part, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, in his message, said: “We can all, as Christians as well as Muslims, emulate the example of Jesus Christ. We can strive to be better than we are today, combining our faith with exemplary conduct.”

Makinde, Oyetola call for more prayers, unity

Also, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State called on Christians to use the opportunity of the season to pray for the state and its leadership.

Makinde, in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said: “I encourage them to emulate Jesus Christ our Lord, whose birthday we are commemorating with the Christmas celebration. They should show love to others, live in harmony and always demonstrate the selfless spirit.”

In his message, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, said: “Christmas is a time for friends, for family and  for giving and sharing. This year’s celebration has presented us an opportunity to once more show love and share.”

Let’s defeat COVID-19 —Tinubu

Similarly, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to defeat the COVID-19 and the other challenges confronting the country.

Tinubu, in his Christmas message, said: “With the emergence of the coronavirus, 2020 has been as a plane flying through turbulent skies, a year that has raised challenges as no other year has. Yet, by the grace of God, we have persevered and shall continue to move forward.

“As we give thanks to God for His mercies, we do not and cannot forget those who we have lost for they were our brothers and sisters, they have been our friends and neighbours, they were important and loved members of our national family.

“In its essence, Christmas is a celebration of life and this year we best celebrate life by doing what we must do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this terrible virus.”

Lawan, Omo-Agege, others preach love, tolerance

Also, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, in his Christmas message, by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, said: “Christmas brings a powerful message: a call for all Christians to reach out to others, be our brothers’ keepers, forgive and let the light of our good deeds shine for all through care for the sick, the hungry, the downtrodden and others at the verge of despair.”

Nigeria to exit recession soon— APC

On its part, the APC, in a statement by the Secretary, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, Sen. John Akpanudoedehe urged Nigerians “to imbue the true essence of Christmas — giving, forgiving, love of God and love of our fellow men. We should give a helping hand to those in need and give succour to the vulnerable ones among us.”

The party said: “In our festivities, we must all stay safe by adhering to official public health directives by avoiding non-essential trips, large gatherings, using facemasks and washing hands regularly to halt the virus spread.

“As every country affected by the economic slowdown caused largely by the severity of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria is poised to exit the current recession within a short time, as several measures lined up by the Federal Government shows. It is worthy of note that the decline in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, came after 12 consecutive quarters of positive growth.”

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State also urged Nigerians to utilise the significance of Christmas to offer sustained prayers for God’s divine intervention and abiding grace for the nation to surmount its various challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the second economic recession in five years.

In his message, Gov. Ugwuanyi urged Nigerians not to lose faith in God in the face of adversity, but to remain committed to the Good News that Jesus Christ was born to bring salvation to mankind.

Let’s seek God’s face, Secondus

Also, National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, in a statement by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, said: “In a Yuletide like Christmas, we are provided the ample opportunity to seek and meet the messiah with our needs and desires,” the statement read in part.”

Give yourselves to God, Archbishop Kaigama counsels Nigerians

Also, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Revd. Ignatius Kaigama, said: “Our beloved country Nigeria very badly needs to hear that Good News again in a year that will soon leave behind deep, ugly scars on the psyche of both citizens and the nation.

“In it, our country quickly transited from one major crisis to another, making 2020 a year never to be forgotten in a hurry.

“The downward slide of the security situation has made life unsafe both at home and on the roads, sending the vast majority of our fearful population into a frantic search for places of refuge.

”In a nutshell, the harvest of sad events and occurrences in the year was so overwhelming that it seemed like the year would never end.

“We Christians are expected to give ourselves totally to Christ. It is a contradiction to retreat to syncretism or idolatry after receiving Christ; appearing on Sundays elegantly dressed, but in the darkness of the night and the quietness surrounding the premises of the village soothsayer/oracle, some go to consult about their future or enemy and how to deal with such an enemy.”

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