PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: How The World Marked The New Year + More

 

It’s a new year and this week’s photos, curated by channelstv.com‘s photo editor, Sodiq Adelakun, take us on a trip across the world showing how different cultures marked the transition into the new year:

 

A worshipper pray silently during the crossover service at a church in Abuja on December 31, 2021. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun

 

A man is seen dancing during the crossover service at a church in Abuja on January 1st, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun

 

A man makes his way into a church in Abuja for the crossover service on December 31, 2021. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun

 

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – DECEMBER 31: In this image released on December 31, Darius Rucker performs during the New Year’s Eve Live Nashville’s Big Bash at in Nashville, Tennessee. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Green Room PR/AFP (Photo by Jason Kempin / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

 

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 01: People participate in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough on January 1, 2022 in New York City. The event returned this year after a hiatus last year due to COVID-19. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by STEPHANIE KEITH / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

 

A woman dressed in cosplay (R) handles an albino python as holidaygoers gather for the new year weekend in Bandung on January 2, 2022. (Photo by TIMUR MATAHARI / AFP)

 

A general view of a building on fire at the South African Parliament precinct in Cape Town on January 2, 2022. – A major fire broke out in the South African parliament building in Cape Town on January 2, 2022. Firefighters were present at the building as large flames and a huge column of smoke were seen at around 0530 GMT. (Photo by Obed Zilwa / AFP)

 

A couple kiss during their New Year’s day dip along the beach at Scheveningen on January 1, 2022. – The traditional New Year’s swim has been cancelled for the second time year running due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Sem van der Wal / ANP / AFP)

 

Marco Fois of Italy dives into the Tiber river as part of the traditional New Year celebrations on January 1, 2022 in Rome. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

 

A group of revelers wearing New YearÕs hats and glasses run into the water as hundreds of people took to the 44 degree ocean water, plunging and swimming, during the first swim of the year at M Street Beach in Boston, Massachusetts on January 1, 2022. – Plungers joined in with the L Street Brownies, a group that has been swimming year round almost everyday no matter the weather for over a hundred years, for the annual first swim of the year. Many ran in and out quickly whiles others did their daily swimming routine. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP)

 

A Hindu priest performs Ganga Aarti evening prayers at the Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati on the occasion of the New Year Day in Allahabad on January 1, 2022. (Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA / AFP)

 

Participants wear fancy dress outfits as they prepare to run into the North Sea during the New Year’s Dip charity fundraising event in South Bay, Scarborough in north east England on January 1, 2022, which returned to the seaside town after being cancelled due to Covid-19 in 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

This picture taken on January 1, 2022 and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows fireworks launched at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang at midnight to celebrate the New Year. (Photo by KCNA VIA KNS / AFP)

 

Pope Francis kisses an effigy of the Christ Child as he leads a Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on January 1, 2022. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

 

People watch fireworks at the port of Valparaiso on the coast of Chile during New Year celebrations on January 1, 2022. (Photo by JAVIER TORRES / AFP)

 

Palestinian protesters take cover during clashes with Israeli security forces following a demonstration against the expropriation of land by Israel, in the village of Kfar Qaddum near the Jewish settlement of Kedumim in the occupied West Bank on December 31, 2021. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

 

Sikh devotees take a dip in the holy Sarovar (water tank) during the last sunset of 2021 on the eve of New Year 2022, at the Sikh shrine Golden Temple in Amritsar on December 31, 2021. (Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP)

 

A kitemaker flies a kite ahead of the New Year celebrations on the outskirts of Amritsar on December 31, 2021. (Photo by Narinder NANU / AFP)

 

A youth waits for transportation on a bridge during the last sunset of the year in Lahore on December 31, 2021. (Photo by Arif ALI / AFP)

 

New Year’s Eve fireworks light up the sky over Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House (L) during the fireworks show on January 1, 2022. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)

 

This handout photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau shows Evalena Worthington rehearsing being lowered from the mast of a sailboat late December 30, 2021, at the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West, Florida. – The Pirate Wench Drop is one of a half-dozen Key West celebrations set for New Year’s Eve to celebrate the dawn of 2022. Other drops include a drag queen in a large red high heel; a giant reproduction of a conch shell; a faux Key lime wedge tipping into an overside margarita glass and a “flight attendant” riding a scaled-down replica of a historic Pan American airplane. (Photo by Rob O’Neal / Florida Keys News Bureau / AFP)

 

Women walk in front of a 2022 sign displayed in downtown Pristina on December 30, 2021, ahead of the New Year celebrations in Kosovo. (Photo by Armend NIMANI / AFP)

 

A handout picture released by Iran’s Defence Ministry on December 30, 2021 shows a Simorgh (Phoenix) satellite rocket lifting off during its launch at an undisclosed location in Iran. – The Islamic republic announced today it had carried out a new space launch, in a move likely to irk Western powers amid tough talks on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal. (Photo by IRANIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY / AFP)

 

Rohingya refugees are disinfected by health workers upon their arrival to Krueng Geukueh port in Lhokseumawe, on the north coast of Aceh province, after they were recued on a wooden boat by Indonesia’s navy in the waters off Bireuen, on December 31, 2021. – Indonesia’s navy rescued more than 100 Rohingya migrants traveling in a wooden boat, bringing them to safety early December 31, 2021 morning following pressure from locals. Local Acehnese fishermen first discovered the vessel on December 25 as it drifted between 50 and 70 nautical miles off the coast with a broken engine. (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP)

 

Thabo Makgoba (R), Anglican Archbishop, leads the pallbearers carrying the coffin with the remains of South African anti-Apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu into the Cathedral to lie in state at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on December 30, 2021. – Archbishop Desmond Tutu will lie in state for two days from Thursday at a historic cathedral where he once rallied against white rule, to allow the public to bid farewell before the weekend funeral. The tireless anti-apartheid fighter died peacefully at 90 on December 26, 2021. (Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP)

 

Shamans performing a ritual of predictions for the coming year display a poster of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, at San Cristobal hill in Lima on December 29, 2021. (Photo by Ernesto BENAVIDES / AFP)

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) takes part in a hockey match between Russia and Soviet hockey veterans at the Konstantin Palace presidential residence in Strelna, outside Saint Petersburg, on December 29, 2021. (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev / SPUTNIK / AFP)

 

Emiratis walk their camels during the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Camel Festival for Purebred Arabian Camels (al-Dhaid 2021-2022) in the Gulf emirate of Sharjah, on December 29, 2021. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP)

 

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden walk their dog Commander on the beach in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, December 28, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

 

Israeli forces stand guard as Palestinian women react to the demolition of their home, located within the “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, where Israel retains full control over planning and construction, in the occupied West Bank town of Hebron on December 28, 2021. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP)

Pope Urges Peace At New Year, Says Hurting Women Insults God

Pope Francis celebrates the New Year's day mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on January 1, 2022. Tiziana FABI / AFP
Pope Francis celebrates the New Year’s day mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on January 1, 2022. Tiziana FABI / AFP

 

Pope Francis urged the world to “roll up our sleeves” for peace in a New Year’s message Saturday, while calling violence against women an affront to God.

Marking the 55th World Day of Peace, the head of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics devoted his Angelus address to encouraging a stop to violence around the world, telling the assembled crowd at Saint Peter’s Square to keep peace at the forefront of their thoughts.

“Let’s go home thinking peace, peace, peace. We need peace,” said the pope, speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace under sunny skies.

“I was looking at the images in the television programme ‘In His Image’ today, about war, displaced people, the miseries. This is happening today in the world. We want peace,” he added, referring to a religious broadcast on Italian state television.

READ ALSO: World Rings In New Year Under COVID Cloud

The pope — who turned 85 on December 17 — reminded the faithful that peace required “concrete actions,” such as attention to the most fragile, forgiving others and promoting justice.

“And it needs a positive outlook as well, one that always sees, in the Church as well as in society, not the evil that divides us, but the good that unites us!” he added.

“Getting depressed or complaining is useless. We need to roll up our sleeves to build peace.”

Francis, who in March begins the ninth year of his papacy, called violence against women an insult to God during a mass in honour of the Virgin Mary earlier Saturday in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

“The Church is mother, the Church is woman. And since mothers bestow life and women ‘keep’ the world, let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women,” he said.

“How much violence is directed against women! Enough! To hurt a woman is to insult God, who from a woman took on our humanity.”

‘Uncertain, difficult times’

To mark the World Day of Peace, Francis recommended education, labour and intergenerational dialogue as building blocks for peace.

“Teaching and education are the foundations of a cohesive civil society capable of generating hope, prosperity and progress,” the pope wrote in a message published by the Vatican on December 21, noting that military spending had increased beyond Cold War levels.

“It is high time, then, that governments develop economic policies aimed at inverting the proportion of public funds spent on education and on weaponry,” wrote the pontiff.

The pope, who has spent much of his papacy highlighting economic inequality, the plight of migrants and the environment, returned to those themes following his Angelus prayer Saturday.

“We are still living in uncertain and difficult times due to the pandemic. Many are frightened about the future and burdened by social problems, personal problems, dangers stemming from the ecological crisis, injustices and by global economic imbalances,” said the pope.

“Looking at Mary with her Son in her arms, I think of young mothers and their children fleeing wars and famine or waiting in refugee camps.”

On New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis did not preside over vespers at St Peter’s Basilica as planned, instead turning the service over to the dean of the College of Cardinals, Giovanni Battista Re, the dean of the College of Cardinals.

The pointiff read the homily but spent most of the service seated on the sidelines.

The previous year, Francis was unable to celebrate New Year’s masses because of a painful sciatica.

On Friday, the Vatican cancelled the pope’s traditional visit to the Nativity Scene in Saint Peter’s Square over coronavirus concerns.

As elsewhere in Europe, Italy — and by extension the tiny Vatican City State — is facing a surge in coronavirus cases fuelled by the new Omicron variant.

 

AFP

Brazil Rings In 2021 With Nearly Empty Copacabana Beach

Revellers celebrate New Year’s Eve at Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 31, 2020. (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA / AFP)

 

Brazil rang in the New Year with Rio de Janeiro’s famed Copacabana beach nearly empty — the usual swarms of revelers kept away by police because of the pandemic — and pot-banging protests against far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Rio usually hosts one of the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve parties, but authorities canceled the festivities this year as Covid-19 racked the country.

“It was a complicated year, with this pandemic that has devastated the entire world,” said Claudio Miranda, a 29-year-old salesman who was part of the relatively tiny crowd gathered on Copacabana.

“But we have to celebrate life — our lives, our families’ lives, everyone who’s still here. Even if our hearts are aching for those who have left us,” he told AFP.

Covid-19 has killed nearly 195,000 people in Brazil, the second-highest death toll worldwide after the United States. The South American country of 212 million people is currently in the grips of a nasty second wave.

The cancelation of the official festivities did not stop revelers across Rio from lighting up the city’s iconic skyline with fireworks of their own at midnight.

The loud booms blended with the sound of pot- and pan-clanging demonstrators shouting “Get out, Bolsonaro!” from their windows in Rio and Sao Paulo, Brazil’s two biggest cities, in protest against a leader they accuse of disastrous handling of the pandemic.

Bolsonaro, the politician dubbed the “Tropical Trump,” has downplayed the gravity of the virus from the start and consistently defied health experts’ advice on containing it.

He ended the year on the same note, saying that face masks — which global health officials call a vital tool in preventing transmission of the virus — “don’t protect against anything.”

“That’s a fiction,” he said in a New Year’s Eve live address on Facebook.

“When are we going to get some people with the courage — because I’m not a specialist on this, OK? — to speak up and say that the protection provided by masks is a tiny percentage?”

 

An almost empty Copacabana beach is seen on New Year’s Eve, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 31, 2020. – Brazil rang in the New Year with Rio de Janeiro’s famed Copacabana beach nearly empty — the usual swarms of revelers kept away by police because of the pandemic — and pot-banging protests against far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.
Rio usually hosts one of the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve parties, but authorities canceled the festivities this year as Covid-19 racked the country. (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA / AFP)

 

New Year’s celebrations were largely muted affairs across Brazil, though huge crowds of mask-less revelers could be seen at beaches and clubs in some areas.

Police broke up large parties in several cities, according to media reports.

Football superstar Neymar meanwhile tried to douse a firestorm of controversy over reports he organized a week-long party for 500 revelers at his mansion outside Rio.

The 28-year-old Paris Saint-Germain striker posted a video on Instagram of his preparations for what he called a “low-key little dinner at home” for friends and family on New Year’s Eve.

“And it’s not for 500 people, ok?” he added with a laugh.

2017 AFCON: CAF Gives Countries Preparation Grants

 

2017 AFCON: CAF Gives Countries Preparation GrantsThe Confederation Of African Football (CAF), has given the 16 countries that would feature in January’s AFCON in Gabon, $237,500 each to prepare for the tournament.

The money forms part of CAF’s responsibility to ensure that participating teams at the nations cup get the needed funds to partake in the competition.

The amount released is 50 per cent of the total amount all participating teams will get from CAF.

Each participating federation is expected to receive a total amount of $475,000.

Police Advocate National Unity And Patriotism

Police Advocate National Unity And Patriotism The Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, has appealed to religious and political leaders in Nigeria to be patriotic and exhibit acts capable of unifying the country and her people.

Addressing senior officers of the police force in Abuja, Mr Idris decried the actions of some leaders in southern Kaduna, which led to the escalation of the recent crisis that engulfed the area‎.

The Police boss, who however commended officers and men of the force for their role in restoring law and order in southern Kaduna said:

“Some of us are yet to imbibe the principles of leaderships. Whether you are a religious leader, whether you are a community leader, you should have some principles. And as leaders, what is lacking is love of Nigeria.

“I think we have to love Nigeria more in 2017.It is very important,” he stressed.

He further stated that: People just forget that this country belongs to all of us. Both the poor and the rich. You are where you are because God made you to be there.

“It is not because you have any special qualities. And I think it is very important.

“People should take leadership as a responsibility. All of us should be held responsible for this country,” the commissioner stressed.

Calabar Carnival: Ita-Giwa Commends Efforts Of Cross River Govt.

ita-giwa1The only female Carnival Band Leader in West Africa, Ita Giwa, popularly referred to as, Mama Bakassi, has commended the Cross River State Government for efforts put into the just concluded Calabar Carnival.

She also stated that the emergence of her band, ‘Seagull’, as winner of the event, came as a result of the group’s hardwork.

“Such a relief, I feel good, I feel happy, I thank God, a lot of efforts, a lot of emotions, a lot of determination, some bit of desperation to it, but we won.”

She then congratulated all other participating bands for their time, talents and display of creativity.

Senator Florence Ita-Giwa gave the commendation at a street party organized by the state government for all the revellers who participated at the just concluded carnival, to unwind and have fun following tedious months of preparation before the Carnival.

“I am paying back to the society that made Ita-Giwa. By being here, I inspire these people a lot.

“I am working and i’m happy that my mind is engaged at this age which I see as a privilege from God and an opportunity given to me to engage my mind positively.”

Describing the process of the event, she said: “I think the interpretation was different, we took more time to look at details and then, we also tried to make it very real. We had what looks like almost a forest with baboons and monkeys in a normal forest environment without human being interference”.

The Band leader was further quoted to have said: “We tried to make it as real as possible and then, the revellers were better behaved, very organized and they understood their parts.

“We got revellers to understand the story from the very stage of putting the scripts together, so when you’re dancing, you know what you’re dancing to”.

Ita-Giwa then called on all Cross-Riverians to join hands and support Governor, Ben Ayade, in achieving all his lofty ideas for the state.

Nigerian Leaders Optimistic About Greater 2017

Nigerian Leaders Optimistic About Greater 2017Nigeria’s former leaders and current Vice President, Yemi Osibajo, have collaborated to release a hymn in which they advocated a greater, united and more peaceful Nigeria in the year 2017.

Singing Isaac Watts’ hymn, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” were: the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former Chairman of Nigeria Interim Government, Ernest Shonekan, Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and Former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Admiral, Ebitu Ukiwe.

The VIP choristers released a video recording of the rendition on Monday.

Thereafter, in a goodwill messages to Nigerians, Yakubu Gowown said: “We pray to God, to continue to grant us that peace and unity that this country dearly deserves”.

They believe that: “In spite of the mess we tried to make of the country, God manages to always rescue us when we get to the edge of the precipice and we thank him for that”.

Furthermore, they expressed gratitude to God for “accepting and accommodating us, despite the mess we’ve made of ourselves”.

Meanwhile, speaking on the state of the country, Obasanjo believes that “God created Nigeria as we are, and he doesn’t make a mistake. So, we should thank him for that”.

Mr Shonekan, also encouraged citizens to continue to work hard in order to achieve desired results.

The former leaders equally expressed appreciation to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and Mr Osinbajo, for coming up with the idea of bringing them together to render the song.

Niger Govt. Calls For Speedy Construction Of Suleja – Minna Road

Niger Govt. Calls For Speedy Construction Of Suleja – Minna RoadNiger state government has appealed for speedy work on the dualization of the Suleja – Minna road, so that it would provide the gate way for the Minna International Airport to be used as alternative, when the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport Abuja is shut down in February, for rehabilitation of its run ways.

The Commissioner of information Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, in a statement, said that Minna airport is the closest to Abuja and therefore feels it would be good for it to be used in place of the Abuja airport that serves several administrative and commercial purposes.

According to the Commissioner, the Niger state government would be ready to assist in making sure that Minna airport is used as alternative for the months Abuja airport will be closed, if the will is shown in that direction.

He stated that the decision by the Niger state government to draw attention to the airport in Minna was borne out of the fact that the government does not want the rehabilitation of Abuja airport to have adverse effect by way of loss of man power.

Vatsa explained that the state government is confident that the Minna airport has the requisite facilities and manpower to serve as a very good alternative to the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, Abuja while Niger state is very peaceful and secure.

“We have always been saying it that because of times like this, Minna airport should be used as alternative to Abuja and in the most Economic way a cargo airport, but with the planned closure of Abuja airport for rehabilitation I think it is wise economically to use Minna to serve Abuja.

“You can see from here to Abuja is just about one hour plus, if the Dualization work on Minna- Suleja road is fast tracked and completed as planned by the federal government.

“It could be faster; we therefore call on the authorities to look into this viable alternative” he appealed.

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Istanbul Nightclub Attack

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Istanbul Nightclub AttackThe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) has on Monday, released a statement claiming responsibility for the raid.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the deadly New Year’s attack at an upscale Istanbul nightclub which left 39 dead.

As authorities in Turkey continue their search for the attacker, the terror group offered no further clues about the identity of the assailant.

“In continuation of the blessed operations which ISIS carries out against Turkey, a soldier of the brave caliphate attacked one of the most popular nightclubs while Christians were celebrating their holiday,” the group said in a tweet.

Earlier on Monday, the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, distanced itself from the attack, which took place at the Reina nightclub during the early hours of January 1.

“No Kurdish forces have anything to do with this attack,” it said in a statement. “The Kurdish freedom fight is also the fight for democratization of Turkey. That’s why we won’t target innocent and civilian people.”

Dozens of people were hospitalized following the attack. As of Monday, 46 were still being treated, including one American, according to the Istanbul governor’s office. A handful of the injured were in critical condition.

According to the BBC, officials say some 15 foreigners were killed, including citizens from Israel, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Rivers Security: Nigerian Army Dislodges Criminal Gangs

army-bootThe Nigerian Army has continued to dislodge criminal gangs in Omoku, River state, following the terror that was unleashed in parts of the state during the December 10 rerun elections.

It was confirmed that 15 people were horrifically murdered including a soldier, two policemen, four personnel of the Civil Defence Corps and eight civilians, while ammunition, weapons and vehicles were taken away by the bandits.

The General Officer Commanding 6 division, Major General Kasimu Abdulkareem, disclosed this while parading arms, ammunition and other items recovered from some of the criminal dens.

Abdulkareem, explained that the operation is in continuation of a clean-up exercise to recover and mop up illegally acquired weapons from cultists and militants who continue to terrorise communities and some parts of the country in general.

Senate President Flags Off Made-In-Nigeria Competition

Private sector, Government, Economic development, sarakiNigeria’s Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Monday, flagged off a Made-in-Nigeria challenge, aimed at encouraging local manufacturers in the country.

He made the announcement in a statement posted on his twitter handle, where he also said that in the next few weeks, products that have the potential to grow sustainable business, expand the market and create jobs would be selected.

According to him, selected persons would then meet with business owners, investor and government agencies in order to promote their growth.

Saraki said, by March 2017, some of the finalists in the challenge would be invited for a Made in Nigeria Round-table at the Senate.

In order to participate in the challenge, interested persons have been asked to shoot a short video between 45 seconds and 3-minutes long, showcasing their products or services that serve as alternatives to imported ones.

 Furthermore, “We will also use the opportunity to get feedback on the public procurement act passed by the Senate in 2016, which mandates government agencies to give preference to local manufacturers in the procurement of local products and service,” Saraki stated.

Economic Recession

With the crash in oil prices, in a country that has solely relied on oil as a major source of revenue, the Federal Government of Nigeria has since begun to look for alternative sources of revenue generation.

Areas such as agriculture and manufacturing, have proven to be the most viable means of resuscitating the nation’s economy, from what has been described as the worst recession in Nigeria’s history.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, had stated that the Federal Government was committed to developing local capacity, by using made in Nigeria items in national building plans.

The recent move by the Senate President, seems to be a sure sign that the government is indeed set to improve the manufacturing sector among others, as well as create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship.

It is equally set to improve the quality of made in Nigeria goods in order to make them attractive for export into the international market.

Christians In Delta Celebrate New Year

churchChristians in Asaba, the Delta state capital, gathered at the St. John-Mary Vianney Catholic Church for a thanksgiving service to celebrate the New-Year.

In his sermon, ministering Priest, Mr Chukwuekwu Nwutu, adviced Christians to positively adjust to the challenges facing the country in oneness and unity even as they hope and expect better opportunities in the year ahead.

“God speaks to us about the reason for believing that we can be better human beings. For me, a new year provides better opportunities, new reasons to resolve again to work even better together as a people, without looking at where people come from or language they speak or the God they worship”

“Because when we begin to see ourselves as Nigerians, then we can build a Nigeria of our dreams but when we base our relationships on tribe and language, then we are going to continue in a vicious circle” he added.

He also implored country leaders at all levels to put national interest above every other things, in order to get Nigeria out of the current hardship.

Some other Deltans present, expressed their joys, encouraging every well-meaning Nigerian to be steadfast and hopeful for greater things ahead.

“We thank God Almighty for making us to see the year 2017, we pray God intervenes in the killings in our country.

“We continue to pray for them. Things are so difficult in the country, so they should try and resolve the lingering issues that affect our economy.”

For most Nigerians, the new year brings new beginning, new hope, new resolutions as everyone seems to be in high spirit ready to explore what 2017 brings.