Christmas Message: Jonathan,Dickson, Amosun Urges Nigerians to Embrace Peace
President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday urged Christians all over the country to take advantage of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ to promote peaceful coexistence with other sections of the country.
In a Christmas message circulated by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president urged Nigerians to forge a binding national consensus to put the progress and wellbeing of the country above all other considerations, so that no height of human accomplishment will be beyond the nation.
'Dear compatriots, I greet and felicitate with you all as we celebrate Christmas once again', the message read.
'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 wellbeing of the country above all other considerations'.
He promised that his administration will do all within its powers and abilities to ensure that when representatives of the 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', Jonathan added.
'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'.
Similarly, Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun enjoined Christians to use the occasion of Christmas to renew love and affection to one another, as this is the essence of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, whose life epitomised peace, sacrifice, tolerance and mercy.
Amosun expressed hope that the gift of love and great joy, which are the hallmarks of Christmas, will envelope the hearts of the people this season and in years to come.
'Jesus Christ was a gift to show God's exceeding love for mankind and we must reciprocate this gesture by imbibing the virtues and ideals of forgiveness, justice, fairness, understanding and meekness, all of which he exemplified', he said in a Christmas message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs. Funmi Wakama.
'With this, we will end 2013 with a renewed mind that will ultimately usher us into a new dawn of unending tranquillity and true brotherhood which Jesus Christ taught and lived for'.
In another Christmas message, Governor of Bayelsa Sate, Seriake Dickson urged Christians to reflect and rededicate themselves to the teachings and lifestyle of Christ, which were anchored in sacrifice, love, peace and truth.
He implored Christians to worship God in love and in truth, noting that Christmas affords every Christian an opportunity to demonstrate the true virtues of Christ. He also enjoined them to always strive to be role models as Christ, who lived and died propagating the message of love, peace and truthful co-existence among mankind.
Dickson thanked Christians for their dedication and prayers for the country, and urged them to remain unrelenting but pray fervently for the peace and unity of the country.
He attributed the success of his restoration administration in the state to the unending prayers of church leaders across the state and God's continued presence in the affairs of the state. He also expressed satisfaction with the various roles the church has played to support the activities of Government.
While, describing the Church as a source of encouragement and inspiration, Dickson equally used the period of Christmas to rededicate himself and the entire Government to the service of the state, pledging to deliver fully on his restoration agenda.
He called for the prayers and support of the people of the state, noting that government still needs the understanding and cooperation of the citizenry to successfully implement its developmental agenda for the state.