Leaders urge Nigerians to embrace unity, peace
LEADERS from across the country have at Easter , urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of the season and thereby enthrone peace through reconciliation among themselves, their political , religious and ethnic differences notwithstanding. In his message,Osun State Governor , Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday said the Easter season offers Nigerians especially Christians a good opportunity to pray for the take-off of a new beginning that would usher in prosperity in all facets of national life.
The governor also charged Osun people to embrace love and peace and make the necessary sacrifice towards the development of the country.
The governor, in his Easter message which was signed by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, urged Nigerians to use the occasion to pray for the President-elect, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari, to bring the positive change to Nigeria. Aregbesola stated that what the country needs at this time are various intercessory prayers for God to continuously stabilise the country.
He charged Christians and people of other faith to supplicate to assist the in-coming administration on the critical areas of needs in the country such as insecurity, hunger, unemployment, decayed infrastructure, corruption which had all held Nigeria down.
According to him, “Nigerians are tired of mere promises, they want concrete action. They want to see in practical terms that government is committed to fighting insecurity and restoring the country to its past glory. This is what the APC government is committed to and so, Nigerians should pray successes in these areas.
“The season therefore offers us all the opportunity to pray for a proper take-off of that new beginning for our country to regain her lost glory. “Events of the past few years, particularly the spate of insecurity in the land, leave much to be desired. I want to call on Christians and every Nigerian to pray for leaders of the nation, because Easter celebration should be used to renew love for one another”
In Bayelsa state ,Governor,Henry Seriake Dickson has called on Christians to engage in sober reflection on the real import of Easter and the positive virtues Christ stood and died for.
Dickson noted with satisfaction, the high level of religious tolerance in the State and enjoined Christians, Moslems and adherents of other religions across the Country, to see each other as one and the same people, with a common destiny and live peacefully with one another.
He called on Christians to imbibe and propagate the qualities and attributes that made Jesus Christ to attain such massive global acceptance and followership.
The governor pointed out that for the state and country to make any meaningful progress, people from different religious backgrounds must work in one accord for a common goal as well as demonstrate true love and tolerance for each other at all times.
He also called on Christians to see the period as one for stock taking and pray fervently for the peace, stability and development of the State and Country in general.
The governor, who used the opportunity to commend Bayelsans for their peaceful conduct, before, during and after the Presidential and National Assembly elections, urged the people of the State remain peaceful and love one another, as the State and Nation prepare for another round of polls.
He also called for prayers for the peace and unity of the country and a rancor free transition programme at the National and at the various state levels.
In his message, the President-General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar IV who in a letter addressed to the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ayo Oritsejafor, urged Christians to partner with Muslims in addressing issues pertinent to building a strong and vibrant nation.
Also, the Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence , Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche called on Nigerians to embrace the spirit of peace that Easter celebration offers.
“Easter celebration is a celebration of joy, happiness and hope restored and renewed.
“This should affect every phase of our daily living considering the fact that the only way to truly celebrate and show that His sacrifice, love and death on the cross are valued and appreciated is for us to live our lives for others.
“We must be prepared to share all we have and what we are with others because this is what God expects of us as His children who have been bought with the precious blood of the Lamb.
He called on Buhari to key in into the spirit of Easter which is the spirit of sacrifice and do all things to promote peace and prosperity in the nation.
In Lagos, the General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye prayed for the nation in the spirit of Easter that she would continue to experience peace even in the coming governorship election.
On his part, the General Superintendent, Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor William Kumuyi called on Nigerians to appreciate the love of God for the nation and to as well.
He also noted the uniqueness of Easter that centres on God giving peace to mankind through the gift of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ who was offered for sacrifice for the remission of man’s sins.
In a statement signed by the Secretary-General, NSCIA, Is-haq Oloyede, the Sultan said since the Easter festival serves as a springboard for spiritual renewal, religious re-awakening and general rebirth, the NSCIA believes that the spirit of re-awakening and rebirth would be allowed to define the national course.
“Let us put the past behind us as we deem the largely peaceful elections (about which the world was apprehensive) and this period an opportunity to make new beginning in the spirit of fasting, prayer, penance and cooperation.
“The Nigerian Muslim Ummah wishes you many happy returns of the holy season. We also wish you and ourselves a renewed commitment to holiness and righteousness in our words and actions to the glory of God, the advancement of humanity and the guidance of our followers,”he stated.
Speaking yesterday during the Easter Sunday Thanksgiving service where he prayed for fathers and fathers to be, mothers and mothers to be with the theme: “Thou Shalt Be The Head” at RCCG headquarters, Ebute Metta, Lagos, Adeboye said for every person who aspires to the position of leadership, he must possess a servant spirit.
He was quick to add that such a Spirit could only be acquired through Jesus Christ who though the Lord of all, became a Servant and offered Himself for sacrifice, ‘which the world is remembering today at Easter celebration’.
Addressing the media at the National Deeper Life Easter Retreat with the theme:
“The Power of His Cross” at Deeper Life Conference Centre, Lagos which ended yesterday, Kumuyi delivering the Easter message through the Church Secretary, Pastor Jerry Asemota , said the coincidence of Easter period with the peace that the nation had during the Presidential election could be seen as the significance of Easter celebration and a pointer to the fact that it becomes imperative for every Nigerian to imbibe the spirit of Easter and that of peace.
“Without mincing words, the spirit of Easter which is the spirit of peace pervades the nation during this period of election and Nigerians could see it in the life of President Jonathan who made a sacrifice by quickly conceding defeat and congratulated the President-elect Maj- Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to avert bloodshed and violence that would have enveloped the nation.
“We have just finished the Presidential election that brought great fears to Nigerians and the international community to the extent that some had to relocate while some had concluded plans to relocate in case of any outbreak of violence. However, we thank God for answering the prayers of the Children of God and averted what would have been great calamity in the nation.
“Once again, we laud the courage of President Jonathan, his sacrifice and love for the nation which meant that he places the love of the nation above self.
“We are calling on the leadership at every strata and the citizens of Nigeria to imbibe the same love and desire to live at peace with their neighbours with the knowledge that God has proffered Easter to convey the message of peace to the world and endow the spirit of peace to as many that would appreciate the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him into their lives as their personal Lord and Saviour.”
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