Christian faithful in Nigeria marked Good Friday today – a prelude to the Easter celebrations – amid the lingering cash crunch and high cost of food.
The day, celebrated across the globe by Christians, is earmarked to remember the death of Jesus Christ.
In several churches across Nigeria, services took place while processions tagged the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ were held.
At the Saint Joseph Catholic Cathedral in the Kaduna State capital, worshippers led by the cathedral administrator Reverend Father Isaac Musa gathered for the Passion Play organized by the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON).
The Passion Play is an annual event to reenact the last days of Jesus Christ.
It was a similar situation in Port Harcourt as worshippers gathered at the Saint Cyprian’s Anglican Church for service.
Most of the congregation wore black attire, signifying the mood amongst Christians. Some of the worshippers expressed gratitude to God for redeeming the human race through the death of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Equally, the North-Eastern state of Taraba saw Christians mark the day. The congregation at the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Jalingo, trooped out en masse for the Passion of the Christ play.
But this year’s celebration came amid the lingering cash crunch owing to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s now-reversed naira swap policy.
While the situation has abated and cash is now more available, the high cost of food in the West African nation is a major concern for many.
A February National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Selected Food Price Watch report showed that the cost of food items has increased in the country.
Messages Of Hope, Sacrifice
Despite this, messages of hope and the need for sacrifice have continued to pour in from leaders across the nation including governors.
“As we reflect on the events of Good Friday, let us take the opportunity to consider the many challenges that we face as a people and a nation knowing that just as Jesus Christ suffered and died for us, we too must be willing to make sacrifices and work together to build a better, progressive and prosperous state and nation for us and unborn generations,” Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State said in a goodwill message.
In his sermon, at the Grace Methodist Church, Low-Cost Housing Estate, Umuahia in Abia State, Rev. Emmanuel Nwaji insisted that despite the odds, economic crunch, and naira scarcity, prayer is the key that opens all doors.