Buhari, Ademowo, PFN urge peace, unity, sacrifice at Good Friday
As Christians in Nigeria join their counterparts around the world to mark Good Friday today, leaders from across the country, including the President–elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, have urged them to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and forgiveness exhibited by Jesus Christ to be able to take the country to higher heights.
They admonished fellow citizens to be united, selfless and supportive of government to make life more meaningful to them.
Others who made the appeal were the Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Re. Adebola Ademowo and the National President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev Felix Omobude.
Buhari, in an Easter message to Nigerians and the Christian world, personally signed by him, urged “all citizens of our great nation to unite and use the season of Easter to celebrate both the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the rebirth of the Nigerian nation.
“Having overcome the anxiety and fear that tended to overshadow our efforts and commitments towards free and peaceful presidential and National Assembly elections, let us move forward in the spirit of the resurrection to rebuild our nation with the values of peace and love for one another.
“Our country depends on you – the Nigerian people– to make Nigeria safe for all citizens and foreigners alike. I pledge that our administration shall strengthen all national institutions that promote harmony and national unity. As we do our best to heal our land, God, the most powerful will be on our side to rescue Nigeria from corruption, evil and anti-democratic forces that are pulling the country down.”
In his Easter message, Ademowo said: “The crucifixion produced the dynamics and Jesus’ sacrifice empowers us to re-orientate our lives towards selfless living, caring and serving instead of self-dominance or self-protection. So as we celebrate Good Friday, we have a duty to allow these virtues which the death of Christ secured for us to grow in us.
“I call on our government on the infrastructure challenge. Despite the huge investment on roads in the past decade, the impact is not felt and the situation seems to be getting worse, with huge losses to life and property recorded every year. Despite the relative improvement in power supply in the immediate past, stable power supply which is very critical to a conducive investment climate is still elusive and a great cause of concern to the society. Government needs to explore oil avenues to radically improve the supply and stability of infrastructure.
“One of the lessons we can derive from the cross is unity. The cross ultimately unites us as a body and member of Christ irrespective of our former religious faith and background before coming to the Lord. I enjoin all Nigerians to be united particularly as we write and experience another political history in the life of our dear country.”
The PFN President and General Superintendent of Gospel Light International Ministries, Omobude, said Easter celebration re-enacts the suffering, death, burial and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We must learn from Easter forgiveness. Offences will come, people will hurt one another but at Easter, we must learn to forgive ourselves, whether between husband and wife or between children and parent or between political opponents. Sacrifice is what brings the blossoming, if we are going to live in harmony and peace, if we are going to live prosperously as a nation we must learn to sacrifice, everybody may not see things from your own point of view, everybody may not imbibe your religion, everybody may not be member of your political party, but our ability to be able to open our hands is what makes for greatness.”
According to Omobude, ‘Forgiveness is one of the things we need in this country. It is not the only thing we need, there are other things we must do after forgiving one another, but we must know that this nation belongs to all of us and we must contribute to build it. We must ensure that the rights of others are also respected, among other indices that lead to nation building. Every Nigerian must be a part to it, we must not destroy our nation, even if you do not seem to be in the mainstream politically today, tomorrow you might be. We must allow our nation to come first before individual aspirations.”
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