December 24, 2013 | General News
Jonathan, Uduaghan, Ochei, Atiku, Others Preach Peace At Xmas
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, December 24, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Jonathan, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Victor Ochei, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Governor of Kwara State and serving senator, Senator Bukola Saraki as well as Senator Bola Tinubu, have urged Nigerians to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ by upholding his ideals and virtues as Christians worldwide celebrate his birth. The politicians spoke in separate statement released on Tuesday. President Jonathan's statement said: 'Dear Compatriots, I greet and felicitate with you all as we celebrate Christmas once again. I join our Christian compatriots and all other Nigerians in giving thanks to God Almighty whose Grace and Benevolence has helped our nation to overcome the many challenges it has had since we celebrated Christmas last year. The annual commemoration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ is a most auspicious time for us, as individuals and as a nation, to rededicate ourselves to the virtues and ideals which the Messiah preached and exemplified during his earthly ministry. Let us all therefore resolve this Christmas to make the ideals of peace, harmony, tolerance, love and goodwill to all even more manifest in our interactions with others. It remains my sincere belief that no height of human accomplishment is beyond us as a nation, if we can overcome our differences, such as they are, and forge a binding national consensus to put the progress and well-being of the country above all other considerations. My administration will do all within its powers and abilities to ensure that when representatives of our people assemble for the forthcoming national conference next year, they will have every opportunity and encouragement to make very significant contributions towards forging the required consensus for sustained national peace, unity and progress. It is also my expectation that the national conference will contribute in no small measure towards the urgent resolution of contentious issues which currently hinder our progress as a nation. With God Almighty as our Guide, Strength and Enabler, My Administration will continue to implement its Agenda for National Transformation in furtherance of its avowed commitment to improving the living conditions of all Nigerians. We will continue to count on the prayers, support and cooperation of all patriotic Nigerians in the coming year as we consolidate and build on our achievements in several sectors including national security, power supply, communications, transportation, health and education. As we commemorate the birth of the Prince of Peace, let us all strive to honour Him more by living our lives as He taught; by making personal sacrifices for the good of others, by showing greater love for others, by being fairer and more honest in our dealings with others, by being ever-willing to forgive those who offend us and by always extending goodwill towards others. On behalf of myself, my family and the Federal Government, I wish you all very joyful Christmas celebrations, and a peaceful and prosperous 2014.' Uduaghan Preaches Peace, Urges Nigerians & Deltans To Resolve To Live In Peace. In a goodwill message to mark the birth of Jesus Christ and 2014 New Year celebrations, the Governor enjoined all to embrace the virtues of peace and love that the Christmas epitomized. 'Christmas, signifies hope and salvation brought to the world in need of redemption. The world would be a better place if the values and virtues reflected by the holy birth of Christ, especially love for one another were practiced faithfully', he stated. Dr Uduaghan urged Deltans to support and co-operate with the government to enable those in authority and the governed contribute to the development of the State. 'This administration remains committed to finishing strong by pursuing more people-oriented policies and programmes that have direct bearing on their lives. We pray and hope with faith that the coming year would usher in more peace, progress, prosperity and fulfillment for all across the State', he added. Besides the Governor noted that 2013 has been a challenging year for Nigeria, particularly in the area of security and called on all Nigerians to emulate the life of Jesus Christ by imbibing the qualities of peace, love and unity, including peaceful co-existence as a people. In a related development, Governor Uduaghan has urged Deltans to embrace peace as a way of life as that was the only way growth and development can be guaranteed. Speaking Monday night at Warri, at an inter-denominational festival of nine lessons and carols organised by the member representing Warri Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Daniel Reyenieju and family, the Governor said when people live in peace, a lot of developmental programmes take place. 'The birth of Jesus Christ signifies peace, this is the season of peace and in the next few days, we will enter another year, we must decide that we must live in peace Together we get more, divided we shall lose a lot", he stated. Furthermore, he said: "I want to admonish us that in 2014, we must use our resources, our brain positively to move our area forward." The Governor said that President Goodluck Jonathan deserve commendation for approving the establishment of the largest gas facility in Africa in Delta State and urged Deltans to ensure that the project was successful. He advised Christians to celebrate in moderation and to devout much time to prayers for the peace and unity of our dear State and country He commended Hon. Reyenieju for organising the nine lessons and carols, adding that Christmas should go beyond giving of gifts and people should love themselves and engage in peaceful activities. Reflect On The Essence Of The Yuletide - Ochei Rt. Hon (Engr) Ochei has urged Deltans and indeed mankind to celebrate the yuletide by reflecting on its very essence, which symbolically heralds the birth of our Lord Jesus to reconcile mankind to our creator. The call was made in his seasonal goodwill message to Deltans. According to him, 'as we celebrate as Deltans I want us to reflect on the very essence of this season, and adequately appraise the relationship between Deltans, mankind and our creator'. He also observed that as a praying and prayerful state with the sobriquet 'The Finger of God', there is compelling need to uphold the values and virtues that make us see one another as one indivisible people. While wishing Deltans a merry Christmas and a fruitful new year, the legislator opined that observing the core essence of the season will make Delta come out as a better state. Sariki Urges Nigerians To Reflect On Christ's Teachings His statement said, 'I rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria and all over the world on this happy occasion of Christmas. As we celebrate, it is imperative to reflect on the events that have defined us as people as it relates with the teachings of Christ; the reason for the season. The Spirit of the season must keep our optimism unshaken, we must remain one indivisible entity in spite of daunting challenges in Nigeria's political and economic spheres. I urge every Nigerian to remain very strong and optimistic, believing our bright days are here. In this season of service and love, it is important to note that, our love for Nigeria can only be experienced through love and service for our neighbors regardless of religion, ethnicity and social status. Beyond this season, we should let its virtues be ingrained as our national culture. As we celebrate, we should remember the sick, elderly, our service men and women who stay awake and travel miles away from their families to keep us safe and together as a nation, particularly those who lost their lives in the course of serving this great nation of ours. I want to thank Nigerians for their strong faith in the dream and aspirations of our founding fathers especially, the good people of Kwara State and those of my constituency- Kwara Central Senatorial District for their sheer resilience and contribution for the development of our Nation. Finally, it is my promise, as always that the interests of our beautiful country and our talented people will always be my number one priority; this, I will continue to champion with all my strength and every resource at my disposal. On behalf of my family and I, I wish you all a reflective Peaceful Christmas in good health and prosperous New Year in Advance.' Atiku Greets Nigerians At Christmas Former Vice President Abubakar has called on Nigerians to celebrate the essence of Christmas. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar said in a Christmas message by his Media Office in Abuja that notwithstanding the challenges of the times, Nigerians should celebrate the reason for the season. "The commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ calls for joy and felicitations among the people of God, and the Nigerian people should take time off the hassles of their daily lives and whatever challenges they may be facing to make merry and renew themselves in the light of peace and joy that Christmas brings," the former Vice President said. He recalled that Christians had joined Muslims for the recent Sallah feasts in huge numbers and expectedly many Muslim families will be joining their Christian compatriots in the Christmas meals. According to him, "this is because, as much as the times are tough, we are one people, a strong, united people, propelled by an unbreakable bond of nationhood." The Turaki Adamawa urged Nigerians irrespective of their religious beliefs to open their hearts with love in relation to one another celebrate and pray for the unity of our country and the hope of a better tomorrow. "This time calls for our prayers and the celebration of our oneness as a people and our faith in one God who rules in the affairs of men, including that of our nation. "To every Christian, Christmas means liberation and salvation by the Almighty. Let us all work together for the liberation of fellow citizens from debilitating poverty, joblessness and insecurity militating against our people. "Have a peaceful and merry Christmas,'' Atiku said. Tinubu Urges Steadfastness At Christmas The All Progressives Congress National Leader and former governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu, has urged Christians in Nigeria to remain steadfast in their faith saying that Nigeria will someday be lifted from its present predicament to a better society. 'Our hope for a better Nigeria, where the people are the core of governance and government functions as it should, must never diminish. We must continue to work, leaders and followers alike to realize the country of our dream," he said. Tinubu admitted that Nigeria was going through a challenging phase with millions of ordinary citizens bearing the brunt. He, however, declared that out of these challenges, Nigeria will emerge stronger and better, as if out of the furnace. "It is the responsibility of each one of us to find a space for action and develop the capacity to help bring about the desired change,' the former governor said. 'It is never too late. Just like a few of us have built a political platform with the potential to deliver change and enhance the potentials of our people, others must join in or build similar platforms. It is not enough to stand, arms akimbo, waiting always to criticize and theorize as it is the way of some. 'What is required is being part of an active group that can wrest power and use it for the common good. Right now, the only way I know to securing power legitimately is through participation in the political party system. 'Though, some question our sincerity and our motives, we will not relent on the path we have chosen and the power of our conviction that it is only Nigerians from different backgrounds that can form an alliance for change.' While wishing Christians a wonderful season, Tinubu called on all Nigerians to extend goodwill to others in the spirit of Christmas.