By Christiana Ekpa, Musa Adamu, Umar Muhammad Puma Abuja and
From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Sunday, felicitated with all the Christian faithful in the country and the world over as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ
He equally urged Christians to pray for the peace, Unity and prosperity of the country.
Saraki made this known in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja.
He called on all Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the service of humanity in line with the true teachings of Jesus Christ which emphasize tolerance, patience, brotherly kindness, care for the needy and love for one another, among other virtues.
“The yuletide season presents us an opportunity once more to love, share and forgive. I urge all Nigerians to utilize the period to pray for unity, peace and prosperity in the nation.
“We must also rededicate ourselves to the true virtues of faith in God, love for one another, honesty and peaceful coexistence. It is time to make these virtues more evident and practical in our daily lives,” Saraki stated.
Saraki also stated that the 8th Senate and indeed the National Assembly will continue to strive to make life more meaningful for all Nigerians.
He added that the legislature would at all times work to ensure that Nigeria takes her rightful position in the league of nations through relevant legislations and timely interventions.
“I wish all Nigerians a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in advance,” he said.
Also yesterday, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has urged Christian faithful to remember to spread love to their neighbours and remember the underprivileged as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
In a statement to mark Christmas, Dogara said the Lord Jesus Christ was an embodiment of sacrificial love to the point that He gave His life for the redemption of mankind.
He further stated that when Nigerians begin to exhibit unconditional love, show sacrificial love to the underprivileged and one another, the impact would bring about a positive change that would lead to unity and development which would move the nation forward.
He said: “As we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, let us all remember that it is a time to spread the love of Christ with family, friends, neighbours and the underprivileged in the society.
“We should bear in mind that the greatest command Jesus gave to his followers is love one another. Not only does this have spiritual benefits, it will also make Nigeria a better place because love overcomes all things including hatred, violence and other vices.”
In Borno, Governor Kashim Shettima on Sunday wished Nigerians a memorable Christmas with a call on residents of Borno state, to use the religious festival in renewing kindness to victims of Boko Haram insurgency particularly displaced civilians and families of armed forces and volunteers who sacrificed their lives fighting insurgents to regain peace in the state, and other parts of the northeast.
Governor Shettima also called on citizens to re-dedicate concern for the education of over 52,000 school aged children whose parents were killed by Boko Haram.
Governor Shettima’s Christmas message was contained in a statement issued by his spokesman, Isa Gusau.
Similarly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has felicitated with Christians and indeed all Nigerians on the joyous occasion of Christmas which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
In a statement issued yesterday and signed by the National publicity Secretary Bolaji Abdullahi, said “As we gather around family, friends and other loved ones for the season’s festivities, we are reminded that the spirit behind Christmas is that of giving and sharing. The Party implores Christians and non-Christians to use Christmas as a time to renew bonds of love, show appreciation for each other and build bridges of understanding, acceptance, and forgiveness among ourselves, irrespective of religious, ethnic, political and sundry differences.
The Party implores all Nigerians particularly our religious and political leaders to preach peace, understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence and rise above and shun divisive tendencies. Only then can we achieve our aspiration for a better, unified, developed and prosperous Nigeria.
“Yes, our challenges as a nation are evident but not insurmountable. With our collective prayers and commitment to our nationhood and national development, the country will surely attain its deserved heights.
The APC wishes all Nigerians a merry Christmas. May the festival bring abundant joy and happiness to the nation.