As Nigerians join other Christians across the world to celebrate Christmas, many state governors have congratulated them, urging the citizens to emulate Christ.
Christmas is an annual event that marks the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated by Christians across the world who go to church to pray and offer sacrifices before merrying thereafter.
Most of the governors’ messages were communicated via official statements obtained by Channels Television.
In his statement, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde said the Christmas presents a golden opportunity to celebrate Christ, his humble beginning and the lessons his life taught.
The governor, according to his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, charged Christians to emulate Jesus Christ in all ways.
“I celebrate with all residents of Oyo State and all Nigerians on witnessing the 2022 Christmas festivity,” Governor Makinde said.
“It is another opportunity to celebrate Jesus Christ and the lessons his life taught humanity; lessons of humility, selflessness, godliness and service.
“I encourage everyone to use the opportunity of the occasion to remember the life of Christ and emulate him.
‘My Last Christmas’
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, in his message to residents of the state said this will be his last Christmas as their leader.
He appreciated the Abia people for their steadfast support of his administration in the last seven and half years, assuring them of his administration’s commitment in securing lives and properties in the South-Eastern state.
“This year’s Christmas is special in many ways. It will be my last Christmas as your Governor and it is appropriate for me to place on record, my gratitude and that of my family to the good people of Abia State for their love and support to our administration all these years. It has been the greatest honor of my life yet, being your Governor,” Ikpeazu stated.
According to the Abia governor, a lot of progress has been recorded by his administration, especially in peace, security and infrastructural development.
Wike Preaches Love
In his Christmas message, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, charged Christians to promote love, peace and unity.
He urged the Christian faithful to remain committed to the worthy ideals exemplified by the birth of Jesus Christ as they celebrate the Yuletide, advising the privileged in the state to use the season to reach out to the less privileged as a measure of deepening friendship and communal living.
Wike stated, “I join the Christian faithful in our dear Rivers State and the entire world in celebrating the joyous occasion of Christmas.
“As we remember the true meaning of this glorious festivity, may we emulate the Lord Jesus Christ’s love, and kindness by extending our hands to the less privileged among us.”
On his part, Governor Darius Ishaku has asked the people of Taraba State to embrace peace at all cost for the overall prosperity of the country without which development will never thrive.
Ishaku in a state-wide Christmas broadcast to mark his last Christmas message to residents as governor of the state admonished religious leaders to use the good tidings of the holiday season to pray for the leadership of Taraba and Nigeria especially as the nation gears up for 2023 general elections.
While asking that citizens should reflect on God’s unending love, mercy and grace at Christmas, the governor is insisting that it should be a time of kindness to all mankind and modelling of Jesus’ exemplary lifestyle which includes sacrifice and peace.
‘Focus On Tolerance’
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom in a goodwill message to Nigerians to commemorate this year’s Christmas celebration, called for inter-religious cooperation that will engender peace and harmonious coexistence.
He called for peace and religious tolerance between and among different adherents of faith as the antidote to occasional conflicts in the country.
Governor Ortom also urged Christians to remain steadfast in prayer for God to intervene in the myriads of security challenges facing the nation.
“The sanctity of the birth of Jesus Christ which is the reason for the celebration is to re-enact the spirit of love, peace, good neighbourliness and forgiveness which our saviour preached,” he stated.
Ortom particularly thanked the people of Benue State for their resilience and continued support and cooperation since 2015 when he was first elected as Governor of the State and enjoined them to remain steadfast to face the challenges ahead.
‘Show Love, Compassion’
Also in the spirit of Christmas, Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, said the season is one that ushers in an opportunity for renewal, fresh opportunities, and building on the successes achieved.
The governor stated that Christmas reminds Nigerians of our shared humanity and the common values that unite us irrespective of our differences.
He urged the citizens to show love and compassion to one another, calling on Adamawa residents to focus on the spiritual significance of Christmas and not allow the challenges of life to distract them.
‘Support One Another’
For Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, Nigerians should use the Christmas season to support one another in love.
The governor also charged Christians to reaffirm their love and compassion towards one another while celebrating the birth of Christ.
“We must be meek to one another, pull together and support one another. It is the only way that we can mend the chasm and build bridges of unity as a nation. This season of Christmas has afforded us a unique opportunity to achieve that,” he said.
“Christmas underpins the redemptive role of Christ to mankind, just as it stresses the pivotal place of sacrifice, necessary for peaceful and harmonious world. So, as Christians, we must remind ourselves that love is the first requirement for a better and peaceful world.”