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Nigerians Mark Good Friday Amid Biting Economy

This year's celebration comes amid a biting economy shaped by the rising cost of living, and plummeting value of the nation's currency.


FILE PHOTO: Worshippers take part in the reenactment of the passion of Christ during celebrations marking Good Friday by the St. Dominic Catholic Church in Yaba district of Lagos, on April 7, 2023. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

 

Christians across Nigeria have joined their counterparts globally to mark Good Friday – a prelude to the Easter celebration – amid the high cost of living and security challenges in the country. 

Good Friday is a remembrance of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. In cities across the country, some churches are expected to hold services. Processions tagged the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ would also take place.

At the Saint Peter Cathedral in the diocese of Bukuru, Plateau State, worshippers joined their counterparts to observe the day.

In his sermon, Curate of the Cathedral Reverend Adewale Kolawole stressed the importance of forgiveness.

To mark the day, top government dignitaries including President Bola Tinubu, governors, and others, felicitated the Christian faithful on the occasion.

Worshippers at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Cathedral, Akure, Ondo State also observed the Good Friday service.

‘Pursuit of a United, Peaceful Nation’

President Tinubu addresses traditional rulers and religious leaders

 

Earlier in his Easter message, Tinubu called on Nigerians to be compassionate to one another and work in unity.  He called on Christians to imbibe the virtues of love, and sacrifice associated with the season.

“The President warmly greets Christians in Nigeria and around the world on this occasion, emphasising love, sacrifice, and compassion as the patent themes of this solemn season,” presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said.

“President Tinubu notes that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for humanity is an emphatic lesson for leaders and all Nigerians to yield to selflessness and compassion, and be steadfast in the pursuit of a united, peaceful, and prosperous nation.”

Security Beefed Up

READ ALSO: Tinubu Preaches Unity, Compassion At Easter, Hails Nigerians’ Sacrifices

Security has also been beefed up across Nigeria to ensure a hitch-free celebration.

“In line with this commitment, the IGP has ordered round-the-clock security and protection of public spaces across the country,” Force spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi said.

“The IGP has also assured all travellers who will be visiting their hometowns and other places within the country for the festivities of adequate security irrespective of the medium of such travels whether by road, air, waterways, or rail, as deployments have been increased and visibility patrols intensified in all areas including aerial patrol and surveillance,” the police spokesman added.

Inflation Rate Soars

A woman selling fresh fish prepares some pieces for a client at a market in the Obalende area of Lagos on December 18, 2023. (Photo by Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP)

 

This year’s Easter festivities come amid a biting economy shaped by the rising cost of living, plummeting value of the nation’s currency, and worsening security challenges.

In February, the country’s inflation figures pushed to 31.70 percent, rising from the 29.90 percent recorded in the previous month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Food inflation also moved to 37.92 percent on a year-on-year basis in February.

“The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, oil and fat, meat, fruit, coffee, tea, and cocoa,” the NBS said.