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Messages of peace at Easter


President Jonathan celebrating Easter with kids at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja...yesterday   Photo: NAN

President Jonathan celebrating Easter with kids at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja…yesterday Photo: NAN

NIGERIANS celebrated Easter Sunday in a peaceful mood yesterday, thanks for the peace that prevailed after the heated-up elections.
Services were held in different churches and various Church leaders gave thanks to God for the good Lord that allowed peace to reign for Nigerians to celebrate this year’s Easter.

Christians, too, gave thanks to God for the faithfulness of God and His goodness for allowing this year’s Easter celebrations to come to pass despite every threat that loomed.

A Christian, Michael Olayiwola who celebrated his Easter at his Church’s annual event called “Easter Retreat” gave thanks to God for the peace in the nation.

“We thought that this Easter period would be swept under the carpet as the Presidential election was approaching. Everybody was apprehensive as no one knew what would become of this great nation after the election, but thanks be to God today, that we can celebrate this Easter.”

“I enjoyed the period at our programme that taught us to always appreciate the goodness of the Lord in our nation and to continue to preach peace.”
“Particularly, we thank God for giving us Jesus Christ who is the Person we are celebrating at Easter,” he said.

The 2015 Easter celebration, which marked the end the 40-day Lenten season, was generally low-keyed in many parts of Lagos and its environs, with many residents preferring to stay indoors with their families.

Except for various religious activities organized by the churches across the state and its environs, the normal hustle and bustle that followed such a celebration was lacking.

A Lagos resident, Onyeka Johnson, who came with her children to Oshodi park near the Lagos State Traffic Management (LASTMA) office, attributed the low turnout to the economic realities in the land.

According to him, many residents can hardly make ends meet and therefore could not afford the luxury of bringing their wards outside.

But to Mrs Gladys Onah, who came along with her two children to the Mr. Biggs Eatery at Mobil Filling Station near Magodo, the low key celebration reflected the mood of the nation.

She said there is a lot of security concerns now and many people are not only anxious, but conscious too.

While applauding President Goodluck Jonathan for dousing the tension in the land, she however said there is still need for all to be vigilant.

Amidst all these challenges, Mrs Onah said the 2015 Easter was worth celebrating because of the relative peace in the land and the victory that Christ has brought to humanity and those who believe in him.

Some Church leaders also sent their goodwill messages of encouragement to Nigerians at Easter. The General Superintendent, Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Folorunsho Kumuyi, called on Nigerians to appreciate the uniqueness of Easter and the peace that the event brought to the nation during the election while also asking Nigerians to appreciate President Jonathan for the spirit of peace he demonstrated to allow for peace in the nation after the election. He called on Nigerians and leaders in the nation to emulate his spirit of love for the nation above personal desires.

The General Overseer, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Adejare Adeboye, also call on Nigerians to thank God for giving His Son Jesus Christ to the world to broker peace between God and man.

He called on Nigerians to sue for peace.

The Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu also called on Nigerians to “develop the spirit of brotherliness and love so that the Sprit of Christ which is the Spirit of Peace, the centre of Easter would prevail in the nation.”

Also in his Easter message, President Goodluck Jonathan has asked Nigerians to put the recent presidential elections behind them and reconcile their differences “as children from the same womb, Nigeria.”

In an Easter message to Nigerians posted on his Facebook, President Jonathan, who contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and lost to his main challenger, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said: “My dear friends on Facebook, as we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I want to celebrate all Nigerians for keeping faith with democracy which is the only vehicle for the continuous growth and stability of our dear nation. Easter is the culmination of the Lenten season, a time to imbibe Christ’s teachings of reconciliation with God and each other.”

“This year’s celebration of Easter is taking place at a period of very critical national choices and decisions, during which we must all be prepared and willing to make sacrifices for greater unity, peace, political stability and progress in our beloved country.”

“As a nation, we must accept that the Presidential elections are behind us and reconcile our differences as children born from the womb of one mother, Nigeria. I am confident that we will do this.”

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