Amidst the rising spate of insecurity, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria have called on Christians to tolerate one another, irrespective of ethnicity and religion as the country continues to grapple with the challenge.
Lalong, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, called for a collective action against insecurity, urging Nigerians to put aside the differences of faith, ethnicity, political and ethnic affiliations to forge a common front in defeating the various forms of criminal activities that continued to pose serious threats to the nation.
In a statement on Friday titled, ‘Easter: Lalong calls for collective action against insecurity, COVID-19,’ the governor said the security challenges could be overcome when Nigerians work together in unity and support security agencies and relevant government bodies to enable the people pursue their lawful businesses in peace.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, while felicitating with Christians, urged them to emulate Jesus Christ by making sacrifices that will advance the course of development.
Wike said Easter exemplified the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus Christ to save mankind, noting that as individuals, Christians must take into consideration the welfare of others.
Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, advised Christians to emulate Christ’s virtues of love, sacrifice, perseverance and humility.
Oyetola, in an Easter message signed by his spokesman, Ismail Omipidan, on Friday, urged the Christian faithful in the state to continue to live in harmony with believers of other faiths, adding that good neighbourliness was among the several lessons Christ taught and exemplified.
On his part, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, called on residents and Christians across the country to demonstrate love and selfless sacrifice.
Obaseki said, “Good Friday embodies Christ’s love for mankind, for which he gave his life. Likewise, as we celebrate, we should remember to be our brother’s keeper, uphold the spirit of togetherness and sacrifice for the greater good of all.”
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State enjoined Nigerians to use the significance of Easter as a moment of reflections, sacrifice and renewed vigour for a better and prosperous Nigeria.
But the Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, called on the Christian faithful to use the period to pray for lasting peace and stability of the state as well as the country.
In a goodwill message, made available by his Director of Press Affairs Government House, Ismaila Misilli, Yahaya noted that Easter provides an opportunity for unity of purpose, reinforcement of bond of brotherhood and dedication in service to God and humanity as exemplified by Jesus Christ.
He said Easter symbolises love, sacrifice, service to God and country as well as triumph of good over evil, urging the people to always reflect on the lessons and significance of the season and demonstrate same in their lives.
Similarly, the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, appealed to the people of the state to use the period of Easter celebration to promote unity.
Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria has described Easter as a time for Nigerians to exercise patience in tribulations and continue in prayer with optimism that God would intervene in the security challenges in the country.
The President of CAN, Dr Samson Ayokunle, who disclosed this in his Easter message titled, ‘Rejoice in Hope: All Shall Be Well,’ urged Nigerians not to be disillusioned or overwhelmed by tribulations.
He said, “This is the time for us to exercise patience in tribulations and to continue in prayer, with hope in God who can never fail his children. With patience and continuous prayers, a glorious morning of resurrection would come. He that rolled away the stone from the grave shall roll away insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, herdsmen’s attacks, ritual killing, armed robbery, unemployment and other challenges we are facing presently in this nation in the name of Jesus Christ.’’
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria called on the Federal Government to take a decisive action to address the spate of insecurity in the country
The President of the PFN, Bishop Wale Oke, who gave this admonition in his Easter message on Friday in Ibadan, Oyo State, also expressed worry over the spate of kidnappings and killings in the country.
“It has become imperative for the government to direct its arsenal toward stemming the increasing cases of killings, raping, kidnappings and insurgency, among others in the country. The Federal Government should evolve a security mechanism that will further ensure the protection of lives and property of Nigerians, particularly Christians in the northern part of the country,” he said.
Similary, the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, urged Nigerians to use the occasion of Easter to shun all forms of violence, obey God by loving one another irrespective of religion or tribe.
Badejo urged leaders across the world to work together for a better world as Jesus did.
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Uba Sani has called for peaceful co-existence among residents in the state.
Sani, in a goodwill message titled, ‘Time to heal our dear nation,’ appealed to all Christians to use the occasion for sober reflection and work towards building a nation devoid of hatred.
“Our dear nation Nigeria is at a crossroads. We are facing huge economic and security challenges. Communities have been torn apart by strife. Conflict entrepreneurs are holding us by the jugular. Their foot soldiers have been maiming our people and destroying properties. Fear has enveloped Nigeria. Many have resigned to fate. But we must not give up hope,’’ he added.
Also, the presidential candidate of the People’s Trust in the 2019 elections, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, urged Nigerians to use the period of Easter to further dedicate themselves to the peace and unity of the country.
Olawepo-Hashim, who made the call in his Easter message to Nigerians, also urged citizens to remember the sacrifices of men of the nation’s armed forces who constantly put their lives on the line to protect the country.
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