Many State Governors across the country have asked Nigerians to be Christ-like as Christians across the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Saturday.
Most of the messages were communicated via official statements obtained by Channels Television.
In his statement, Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazak said the Christmas season brings back good memories of God’s faithfulness and love for all, irrespective of creed.
“I join our brethren in the celebration of the season while praying God to make it a joyous one for everyone,” the Governor said.
“Christ, the reason for the season, embodies peace, love for all, charity, goodness, equity and justice, and absolute belief in God. It is my appeal that we are all guided by these great qualities in our relationship with one another as members of the same family under God.”
Pray for Nigeria
Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya asked the Christian community in the state to pray for peace, security, and prosperity of the state and the nation.
He enjoined the Christian faithful and the entire people of the state to rededicate themselves and remain steadfast in prayers against all the challenges bedeviling the state and humanity in general.
“We are indeed in a trying moment but I am optimistic that with collective commitment, sacrifice, and by turning to God through prayers we shall overcome all the trials and emerge stronger,” he said.
The Governor also assured of his administration’s commitment to continue to initiate and execute policies and programmes that will impact positively the lives of the citizenry and promote unity and peaceful coexistence in the state.
“On this significant occasion of Christmas, I extend my best wishes to the Christian community and the entire people of the state,” he said.
“This period reminds us of God’s love for humanity and the need to uphold the virtues of compassion, tolerance, and love.
“It also provides an opportunity for reinforcement of unity of purpose, bond of brotherhood and dedication in service to God and humanity as exemplified by Jesus Christ.”
Governor Inuwa called on the Christians to reflect on the lessons of the season, which he said, presented an opportunity to love and share.
Focus on love
Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri reminded Christians that the essence of Christmas is not in material things but rather the opportunity to share the festive season with those whom we love and cherish.
He said Christians should see the celebration as an opportunity to rekindle acts of love and kindness to one another and especially to the vulnerable in society.
“Do good this Christmas season by remembering the less privileged,” he said.
“When we commit our hearts and our hands to making the world around us a better place for all, we are fulfilling the promise that began in the humble Manger in Bethlehem.
“I therefore urge you to take the festive season to reflect on the blessings and favour of the outgoing year, while at the same time preparing for a better 2022. It is a time to render service to others as Jesus did.”
The Governor noted that his administration “will continue to promote healthy community relations with economic opportunities and empowerment prospects for all.”
In the spirit of the season, Governor Fintiri urged the citizenry to also pray and give thanks for those brave men and women in uniform, many of whom will spend the holidays far from home.
“Their courage and dedication is helping keep us safe and extending freedom and peace. We are grateful for their service to our country and for the support and sacrifice of their families,” he said.
While urging the people to celebrate responsibly, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri advised that COVID-19 protocols be adhered to in view of the difficult times the nation has found itself.
“As with Jesus’ birth, amid the challenges we face this Christmas we celebrate aspiration, strive to do good, be charitable, forgiving and have hope and love. Let’s take refuge in His timeless promise,” he said.
Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, noted that the commemoration of Christ’s birth symbolizes God’s love for humanity and His faithfulness in sending a Saviour to redeem the world.
The governor, who appreciated God for His goodness and mercies, urged Nigerians to remain steadfast and committed to prayers and other engagements that promote peace, love, unity, security and progress of the country.
While thanking ‘Ndi Enugu’ for their unceasing love, prayers, solidarity, support and goodwill, Gov. Ugwuanyi wished all Nigerians Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
He reassured the people of Enugu State of his firm resolve to continue to serve them with the fear of God, and to sustain the tempo of peace and good governance in the state in spite of all the challenges in the country.
In his Christmas message, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, charged Christians to emulate Christ’s love and humility as they celebrate this year’s Christmas, stressing that the birth of Christ which Christmas symbolises was a demonstration of God’s love for humanity.
Fayemi, who congratulated Christians in the country for witnessing this year’s Christmas celebration, said the Bible recorded Jesus as a man who showed love to everyone, especially the less privileged, urging them to do likewise.
According to the Governor, Christmas is a season to give and expect little in return, a time to preach peace and love and demonstrate it in deed, a time to forgive, live in harmony, and seek God’s face.
Fayemi noted that being alive to witness another Christmas should be seen as a privilege, considering the prevailing health situation across the world. This, he said should call for celebration in moderation. He said much of the time ought to be devoted to appreciating God for His mercy and to reflect on the country with a view to seeking God’s intervention.
He urged Christians and adherents of other religions to pray for an end to the deadly Coronavirus. He also reminded them on the need to stay safe, and observe all safety protocols outlined to curtail the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum also urged Nigerians to reflect on their individual contributions to the peace and progress of their immediate community, their State and the country in general, during and after the festive season.
He urged Christians to use the opportunity to pray for the peace of Ekiti State which is about to enter an election year and Nigeria which is going through various challenges at the moment.
Fayemi commended Christians in the state for living in harmony with adherents of other religions, a gesture which he said makes Ekiti one of the most peaceful states in the country.
Assurance for safety
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu urged residents to celebrate the season with a full understanding of its significance in the life of the average Christian.
The birth of Christ, according to the Governor, is about the most important event in Christianity, since it was the beginning of the redemption of mankind.
Governor Ikpeazu assured the people of Abia State that his administration has taken critical steps to ensure that people are able to take part in the celebrations through the release of about 3.5 Billion Naira to deal with the issue of salaries of some ailing parastatals and pensioners, maintaining that the mainstream civil servants have continued to be up to date in receiving their salaries.
The Governor also assured the State workforce of the determination of his administration to continue to mainstream the issue of welfare of workers in the State.
The Governor further noted that contractors have been mobilized to resume work on major road projects, especially in Aba, promising Abians that the current dry season window will be fully utilized for massive rehabilitation of key roads.
According to the Governor, the first quarter of 2022 will witness a massive turnaround in roads and other critical infrastructure and thanked the people for their patience so far.
He also assured traders at Ariaria and Ngwa Road Markets that government is working very hard to ensure that the rebuilding process of the markets is sped up as much as possible.
He announced that his administration has set aside funds that will go to the affected traders directly to the tune of 150 Million Naira as a form of assistance to those traders whose businesses have been affected by the reconstruction of the markets.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu noted that this Christmas period will be defined by peace and security as the government has put in place measures to deal with any form of criminality across the State.
The Governor stated that all relevant security agencies are on red alert to nip in the bud, any person whose plan to disrupt the peace, security, and stability in the State at this yuletide period and even beyond.
The Governor however tasked everyone to take the security of lives and property around them seriously.
Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, in his Christmas message, charged the residents of the state to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocol and stay safe amid rising cases of the virus in the country.
According to the governor, residents of Oyo State must celebrate the Yuletide with caution, observe necessary precautions such as proper sanitisation, use of nose covers, and maintenance of social distancing, in order to keep the COVID-19 at bay.
He called on Christians and adherents of all other religions in the state to always be at peace and to demonstrate love and brotherliness, stating that development and progress can only take place in an atmosphere of love.
“As we celebrate Christmas, I celebrate with all residents of the state,” he said.
“The Christmas festivity presents us all with an opportunity to relive the lessons of love, peace and sacrificial living that Christ taught with his life.
“It is an opportunity to celebrate and make merry but we must also imbibe the lessons of love and harmonious co-existence.
“As a state government, we will continue to do everything possible to continue to uplift the state. But we can only do so much with the support of our people.”
The governor also advocated for moderation by residents of the state during the Christmas celebrations, urging them to be security-conscious and to stay safe.
“While rejoicing with Oyo State residents, I advise them to do everything in moderation, as the times we are in demand that we remain security-conscious and observe all necessary protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Security is the responsibility of all and sundry, so all residents must be observant and report any untoward movements in their environments. The 615 Security Emergency Number is working in Oyo State, please report any suspicion regarding security.
“Similarly, I urge all residents to follow the Own Your Action (OYA) initiative of the state government, by observing proper hygiene, using nose covers, and maintaining social distancing,” the governor added.