President Muhammadu Buhari, state governors and top Nigerian personalities have sent Christmas greetings to Christians.
The leaders in their various messages urged Christians and Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, sharing, unity and peaceful co-existence as they celebrate the festival which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.
President Buhari expressed confidence that with the renewed commitment and empowerment of the nation’s committed security personnel, all the “issues which inflict pain and trauma on us will soon be history.”
The president who stated this in his Christmas message, urged Nigerians to utilise the opportunity of the festive period to encourage one another so that the “machinations of the wicked ones in their midst would find no place to thrive.”
President Buhari said despite the remarkable successes generally recorded on security, “We still have some challenges.”
He further said, “Christmas is a season when hope is rekindled. Hope, peace, joy, love are the recurring themes of this time. It is in the midst of hardship that the true test of a nation emerges. I urge Nigerians to invoke the indomitable spirit in us and see the present order of things as a phase that will also pass, just like other unsavory situations in the nation’s history. This government will not abandon the promises made to Nigerians for a better lease of life.”
Let’s sow better seeds of harmony – Atiku
Also, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, urged Nigerians to embrace peace and unity at this period and to love one another for the sake of progress and growth in the country as the world celebrates Christmas.
Atiku, in a Christmas message released by his media office in Abuja on Friday, reminded Nigerians that the revival of the country’s glory was everyone’s responsibility.
The Wazirin Adamawa urged citizens to be intentional in thinking good thoughts and sowing better seeds of harmony and unity in diversity which he said would make Nigeria greater today and in the future.
Lawan, Gbajabimila, others preach love, peace, unity
In the same vein, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, and Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, joined in felicitating with Christians in Nigeria on the occasion of the 2022 Christmas.
Ahmad Lawan said beyond the great merriment, Christmas reminded mankind of the humble birth, simple life, teachings and sacrificial love of Jesus Christ.
Lawan, in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, urged Nigerians to show love to others and continue to pray for peace and unity and engage only in things that would make Nigeria great.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, his deputy, Ahmed Idris Wase and the House Minorty Caucus have enjoined Christians and all other Nigerians to intensify prayers for peace and unity in the country.
Also, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, called on Nigerians to reflect on the virtues of love, peace and tolerance as exemplified by Jesus Christ in order to build a new Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said Christmas period called for sober reflection, even as he enjoined Christians to pray for the country amidst challenges.
He said the character of Jesus Christ, who is the main reason for the celebrations, should reflect in the life of every Christian.
Christmas marked with pain, anguish in the last 6 years – PDP
But the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said it is “deeply worried” that in the last six years Nigerians had been forced to mark Christmas in “gloom, pain, anguish and utter despondency” following “excruciating economic hardship” and “worsened insecurity”.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in a Christmas message on Friday, said this was the result of having an “incompetent and insensitive” administration in office.
He said, “The PDP is saddened that while people celebrate in other parts of the world, many Nigerian families cannot afford the basic items of celebration or even travel as they did in the past to meet and bond with their loved ones due to high costs, worsened insecurity and deplorable state of roads which are now death traps in our country under the APC administration.
“However, as a resilient people, the PDP urges Nigerians not to allow the suffering they face today to dampen or destroy their inner personalities as happy people and make them lose sight of the message of hope, salvation and brighter future which Christmas offers.
“We must, therefore, rekindle the light of celebration by showing love and care for one another, especially the less privileged, the sick, as well as victims of mindless violence and acts of terrorism that have ravaged various parts of our country, especially in the last six years under the watch of the APC government.”
FCT minister urges more prayers
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Musa Bello, has asked Nigerians to use the occasion of the Christmas celebrations to pray for Nigeria and its leaders at all levels for the peace, progress and stability of the country now and in the years to come.
In his Christmas message to the residents of the territory, the minister assured them of the continuous commitment of the FCT Administration to ensure the wellbeing and welfare of all.
Kwara, Kaduna, Ekiti, Bayelsa govs, others greet Christians
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, in his message, congratulated the Christian community in the state on the Christmas celebration, praying God to make the festive period a joyful one for all.
In a statement issued in Ilorin on Friday by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor said the season brought back good memories of God’s faithfulness and love for all irrespective of whatever the situation might be.
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, in his message, urged indigenes and residents of the state to embrace the spirit of love that Christmas exemplified in their dealings with one another, saying, unity, harmony and reconciliation were key factors for any peaceful society.
In his message, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, called on Christians to keep hope alive as they celebrated Christmas in difficult times.
The governor also said every citizen had a duty of personal responsibility as part of the collective action that was essential to curbing the spread of COVID-19 as they went about the celebration.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in his message, charged Christians to emulate Christ’s love and humility as they celebrate this year’s Christmas, stressing that the birth of Christ was a demonstration of God’s love for humanity.
Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, described the lessons of Christmas as very instructive for daily lifestyle of love and peace.
On his part, Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, felicitated with the Christian community in the state as they joined other faithful all over the world to celebrate this year’s Christmas.
In a goodwill message issued by his spokesperson, Ismaila Uba Misilli, the governor urged them to use the period to pray for peace, security and prosperity of the state and the nation.
He enjoined the Christian faithful and the entire people of the state to re-dedicate themselves and remain steadfast in prayers against all the challenges bedevilling the state.
Kano: Police ban knockouts, call for peaceful celebration
Meanwhile, the Kano State Police Command has banned the sale and use of fireworks popularly known as knockouts, burning of tyres during and after the Christmas and New Year celebrations in the state.
The command’s spokesman, DSP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, who disclosed this in a statement, said road users were also advised to continue abiding by all traffic rules and regulations, drive carefully, avoid dangerous driving, car racing, unsecured loading and operating unserviceable vehicles.
FRSC deploys 1,250 men in Edo
In Edo State, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said it has deployed 1,250 officers across the state with a view to ensuring an accident-free Christmas celebration.
The Edo State FRSC Sector Commander, Henry Benamaisia, disclosed this yesterday while speaking with our reporter on the corps’ preparation for Christmas in the state.
He said the command had also deployed 25 vehicles and three toeing trucks for quick removal of obstructions on roads.
SSANU asks FG to act fast on increasing security threats
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), in their Christmas message, called on the federal government to act swiftly and ensure growing security challenges confronting the entire country, particularly in the Northern part, were tackled headlong.
The university workers also cautioned Nigerians to take responsibility individually and resist the strong temptation of compliance-fatigue of the recommended protocols put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and beat the ravaging pandemic, especially the Omicron variant.
The association in a Christmas message issued by its President, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, while felicitating with Christians and all Nigerians, explained that national and state institutions were trying their best to comply with all the protocols.
2022 National Honours list in circulation doctored, says FG
The Federal Government has disowned the list of nominees for the 2022 National Honours that has been trending on some social and traditional media platforms.
Spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Julie Osagie-Jacobs, on Monday, said the list had been doctored by mischievous persons to cause national disharmony.
She said that the authentic list had been compiled by the ministry for the National Honours but yet to be made public.
Controversy and wide condemnation by opinion leaders and public analysts had greeted the inclusion of certain names and omission of some found to have excelled in their callings over the years.
Osagie-Jacobs said, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs has been drawn to a purported list of nominees for National Honours being circulated by some online media organisations.
“While it is true that President Muhammadu Buhari will be conferring National Honours on deserving Nigerians and friends of Nigeria on October 11, 2022, the authentic list of nominees is yet to be released to the public. The Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs will publish the list at the appropriate time and medium.
“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenance the list in circulation as it is an attempt by overzealous reporters whose aim is to break news even when such news is fake.”
ASUU strike: Adamu doesn’t deserve national honour – NANS
The National Association of Nigerian Students has kicked against the move by President Muhammadu Buhari to confer National Honours Award on the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
Adamu’s name is among notable individuals Buhari listed to be honoured on October 11.
Reacting in a statement by its National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope, on Monday, NANS said it was an insult to the collective intelligence of Nigerian students who had been locked out of schools for close to eight months due to the ongoing strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities which Adamu had failed to resolve.
“It constitutes an insult to the collective intelligence of Nigerian students both home and in the diaspora that the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, under whose nose university students have been home for close to eight months is to be awarded the National Honours of Commander of the Order of Niger.
“This act of the Buhari’s administration is a clear pointer to the fact that Nigerian students have been taken for a ride. And, we see this as the final straw that breaks the back of the camel of Buhari’s much touted integrity.
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“Over the years, successive administrations in the country have shown to the Nigerian people that the National Honours is more of recognition of patronage than recognition of excellence. But Buhari has taken a step further to show the mass of Nigerian students that we are not on the priority list of the administration.
“It is so unfortunate that a country which offered so much in hope and possibilities at independence has today become a land of suffering, insecurity and near hopelessness signposted by youth unemployment and underfunded educational sector,” the statement partly read.
NANS said that, in a functioning country, both the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who “shamefully walked out” of a meeting with the national leadership of ASUU at the instance of the House of Representatives, and his Education counterpart would have been fired before now. “But, the reverse is the case as Adamu under whose watch the educational sector of the country has totally collapsed is to be recognised with a National Honour for a job ‘well-done’, it added.
“As an association, we reiterate that we pass a vote of no confidence in both Adamu and Ngige. And, we maintain that we shall be back to the streets in protest against the recklessness of this administration until the Federal Government settles every issue with ASUU for Nigerian students to return to classes,” it concluded.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14, 2022. ASUU, which is the umbrella for university lecturers in Nigeria, is asking for improved welfare conditions for its members, adequate funding for universities, and the replacement of the government-introduced payment platform- Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution. UTAS was designed by ASUU following complaints against the IPPIS over alleged poor standardisation and incompatibility with the university system.
I Criticise Buhari For Failing To End Killings In Benue — Ortom
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that he only criticises President Muhammadu Buhari for not being able to end killings in the country.
The governor’s explanation was in reaction to a statement credited to the president by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education, Aminu Suleiman Goro, during the inauguration of some projects at the renamed Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
He had during the occasion asked Ortom to endeavour to acknowledge his administration’s capital projects in Benue State rather than cast aspersions on the president.
But, the governor in his speech at the Independence Day Interdenominational Church Service held at Faith Cathedral of All Nations Evangelism Ministry, Old GRA, Makurdi said he held no personal grudges against the president.
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The event was organised by the state government in conjunction with the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Ortom said, “I will not stop until the killings stop. If the federal government had taken to my counsel which was divine, we wouldn’t be where we are today. In 2016, I started voicing out about insecurity. The essence of a dog barking in a house is to inform the owner of the danger coming.
“Instead of taking my counsel, I have been intimidated. Now, insecurity has escalated in many states and here people cannot go to farm. I will never be happy with this development,” he said.
The governor wondered why the government had not disarmed nomads carrying sophisticated weapons and killing innocent people but had continued to deny lawful state security outfits the right to acquire arms to protect lives and property.
Earlier, Archbishop Yiman Orkwar, who preached on the topic, “The Tripod of Justice,’’ said that for Nigeria to move forward there must be justice, equity and fairness.
In his remarks, the state CAN Chairman, Reverend Akpen Leva, urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the country.
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