Easter: Atiku Preaches Love, Sacrifice
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has urged Nigerians to use the occasion of Easter to pray for Nigeria’s unity and for peace to return to the country.
In his Easter message, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart said Easter is not only the time to be merry but also the time to reflect on love and sacrifice.
“The essence of Easter celebration is not merely for us to merry. It is a season to reflect on the purpose and meaning of love and sacrifice. Love, because God says we should love our neighbours as ourselves. And sacrifice because love is hardly practicable without an intention to make a sacrifice,” he said.
He also recalled how the coronavirus pandemic crippled many activities in most countries in the world last year. He hailed the health workers who, like the example set by Jesus Christ, sacrificed their lives in battling the virus.
See his full statement below…
This year’s Easter celebration is significant in the sense that it is the first major national festival we will be witnessing after the commencement of the administration of vaccines against the dreaded Corona Virus. I recall that during last year’s celebration there was a global lockdown as most countries of the world required that citizens stay indoors and, for the first time in many generations, we celebrated Easter in a low-key style.
But the story this year is slightly different. Now, there are several certified vaccines and Nigeria, having given nearly a million of our population their first doses of vaccination, has joined the league of countries that are pushing back the virus. But we are not anyway near the safety threshold. The deadly virus is still much potent as it was last year and the requirement for us to stay safe by adhering to all the Covid-19 safety protocols of washing our hands, wearing face-mask, avoiding crowded places and observing social distance, needs to be observed diligently.
However, we remain thankful. First, to the Almighty God for His benevolence in giving us the knowledge to overcome the virus. Secondly, we must thank our ever-courageous health workers, who like the example set by Jesus Christ, sacrificed their time and in many instances, their lives in order for us to get to where we are today in the fight against the deadly virus.
The essence of Easter celebration is not merely for us to merry. It is a season to reflect on the purpose and meaning of love and sacrifice. Love, because God says we should love our neighbours as ourselves. And sacrifice because love is hardly practicable without an intention to make a sacrifice.
Therefore, on this occasion of Easter celebration, I urge all Nigerians to take time to pray first of all for peace to return to the country and also for unity. Nigeria is at the precipice of insecurity, poverty and, most unfortunately, disunity. These are challenges, not impediments. The way to surmount these challenges is to learn from the world when super power countries who are rivals suspended politics to face a common threat in Covid-19.
I believe that when we approach our challenges with a heart of forgiveness and love, humanity will always triumph. This is the lesson that Jesus (Nabil Yisa) taught us.
As I join in wishing the Christian faithful in Nigeria and across the globe a happy Easter celebration, let us take a moment to pray for our military men and women who are keeping the vigil of daily sacrifice in order to keep us all safe.
May God bless our nation and its people.
Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999-2007
3 April, 2021