The Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) have called on governments at all levels to pay attention to the myriads of problems the country is going through.
In their separate Christmas goodwill message to Nigerians, the Christian bodies also charged Nigerians to be hopeful in spite of the challenges, including economic.
CAN president, Rev Samson Ayokunle, in his message appealed to political leaders to use the season of Christmas to bring relief and joy to the citizens and also lessen the pains of Nigerians by paying more attention to their well-being in the prompt payment of workers’ salaries and pensions to the pensioner.
In the message entitled “Christmas, a season of Peace, Hope and Joy”, Ayokunle noted that what Nigerians are passing through currently would not give the people, as human, cause to rejoice or be hopeful unless those in power are more decisive and God intervenes..
“It is the good you have done now that people would remember tomorrow. Please, let us lessen the pains of Nigerians, let all things be done to reduce the high cost of things in the market and let enabling environment be created for employment of our youths who are roaming the streets having no job.
“I rejoice with all Christians in Nigeria and of course all over the world at this season when God became man to live among us to redeem us from all our sins and eternal death. My message to all Nigerians is to remain hopeful in Christ Jesus and rejoice in hope, no matter what the situation we are passing through may be,” he said.
Ayokunle also implored to be mindful of COVID-19 pandemic by adhering strictly to the non-medical protocols.
“Please, wherever you go, especially in public places such as markets and churches, wear your masks and keep all the safety protocols. I pray that none of us would die untimely in the mighty name of Jesus.
“I urge you to receive Jesus as the Lord over your life today, share the message of the saving power of Jesus with others who do not know him and show love in a practical way to someone around you. Let us through the love of Christ embrace one another irrespective of religious, ethnic and political differences,” Ayokunle added.
For his part, the PFN president, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, urged Nigerians not to be dampened by whatever harrowing experience they might be going through as the birth of Jesus Christ, which is being celebrated around the world, represents hope and joy for mankind.
In his Christmas and New Year messages, the general overseer of The Sword of the Spirit Ministries, said the birth of Jesus Christ offers an opportunity to the people to commit their ways to God and be truthful in their earthly service to humanity.
“This season which celebrates the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, represents hope and joy for all the people of the earth. So, regardless of the situation we find ourselves, this opportunity given to you and I on a silver platter shows, that we should be more than grateful by serving Him, the Almighty, with everything in us.” Sic
He called on governments all levels in the country to double their efforts at confronting all forms of challenges facing the people
“Our government at all levels should continue to work relentlessly towards making sure that our security, economic and political challenges, among others, are turned around for the good of the country and its people. Our economy should be knocked into shape by revamping it to bring down high cost of living in the land,” he said.
He assured Nigerians that Year 2022 will be filled with abundant blessings and joy for the nation and its people, particularly those who key to the programmes of God.
From Ondo, the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, congratulated the Christians across the state and beyond on the celebration of Christmas.
In a Christmas message issued by his chief press secretary, Mr. Olabode Olatunde, the governor charged the people to reflect on the reason for the season by extending love to the less-privileged and their neighbours.
“Undoubtedly, this season resonates deep feeling of excitement and celebration. It is a celebration that has become a ritual among us.
“The birth of Jesus Christ preaches love, happiness, and salvation for the people. We must be deliberate, this season, to spread love around.
“Notwithstanding this great feeling of joy, I call on our people to celebrate moderately. Judging from the present mood and realities, we must balance our celebration with the realities that will confront us in the new year.
“I must not fail to also charge you to observe all Covid-19 protocols as this deadly virus is very much around. Wear your face-mask, use hand sanitisers and maintain distance while in public places,” he said.