President Muhammadu Buhari, state governors and other prominent Nigerians have appealed to Nigerians to let the security and unity of the nation guard their actions and utterances.
In his Easter message to Nigerians, President Buhari enjoined Christian brothers and sisters to celebrate this year’s Easter, which is the most significant event/festival in the Christian calendar.
According to him, this year’s celebration is very unique for adherents of the two great faiths in Nigeria.
He said it culminates the 40-day season of Lent for Christians, where the faithful are expected to fast, pray, assist the poor, abhor injustice and strife, give alms, penitently engage in self-examination and repentance of sins.
Similar values apply to the Muslim faithful, currently about half-way into the holy month of Ramadan.
For us as a nation, President Buhari said the message of Easter, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after crucifixion and burial, reminds us of the power of divine love, faith and redemption.
He said “Easter also evokes in us the resilience of the human spirit not to give up in the face of seemingly daunting challenges of life. This period emboldens us to believe that the current spate of uncertainty and insecurity will soon unfold a season of triumph of good over evil; hope over despair, and light over darkness.
“I urge us to increase our love for one another rather than hate, and show more patriotism, as this is the only country we have.
“I enjoin us therefore, to live out the eternal words of Jesus Christ on the cross: ‘‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.’’
“Let us remember that the scriptural emphasis of love has so much relevance for us today as a nation more than ever before, and thus contribute towards its peace and development.
“As we approach another season of electioneering, let the security and unity of the nation guide our actions and utterances.
I wish all Nigerians a joyful and blessed Easter,” he added.
In his message, Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi State also felicitated with Christians in the state on the occasion of this year’s Good Friday and Easter Monday celebrations.
He urged them to give special thanks to God for making it possible for them to witness and celebrate the period.
In the Easter message released to journalists by his media aide, Mukhtar Gidado, the governor recalled that in his lifetime, Jesus Christ preached peace, honesty, love for one another and above all the fear of God and therefore enjoined them to imbibe these virtues and put them into practice irrespective of their religious inclinations.
He called on Christian brothers and sisters to put into practice the lessons of Jesus Christ which teaches patience and self-denial from all sinful acts and as well appealed for sober reflection and self-evaluation by all to reflect on their dealings with their creator and as human beings to ensure they remain on the right path of prosperity.
The governor called on the people of the state to bury any ethnic, religious or political differences and live in peace and harmony with one another as Bauchi State and the nation as a whole need continuous prayer to overcome their myriad of challenges .
Governor Bala Mohammed used the opportunity to thank the people of Bauchi State for their perseverance and understanding over the economic difficulties being experienced, which according to the Governor is a national problem and should be seen as a temporary set back and as people known for resilience, Nigerians would overcome the difficulty in no distant future.
Also, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, felicitated with Nigerians, particularly the Christians, as they join their brethren across the world in celebrating Easter, the season of the remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Lawan, in a statement he signed, said “As we celebrate the unique occasion, let us keep in mind the significance of the season, which is the perfect demonstration of sacrificial love to others.
“As it ended in triumph, the season should also rekindle our hope of victory over personal and communal challenges.
“Therefore, the triumph of Christ should encourage all people of faith to be hopeful of victory against trials and challenges, whether as individuals or as a nation.
“This occasion powerfully reminds us that no challenge is insurmountable.
I assure us that the Government will continue to work for the realisation of the dreams of Nigerians of enduring national peace, unity and progress