President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians of voting age to be circumspect and elect in 2023 those who can sustain the momentum already created by his administration for the good of Nigeria in the last seven and half years.
In a Christmas message to Christians, which he signed, Buhari noted that the joyous season coincided with the period of campaigns to usher in a new administration in the country.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan; the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, and his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, equally called on Christians to remain steadfast in prayers for a greater Nigeria as they celebrate this year’s Christmas.
Also, the vice presidential candidate of the PDP and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, and Governors Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Sani Bello of Niger State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State and Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State have preached peace and love among Nigerians.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have also rejoiced with Christians on the occasion of Christmas.
On his part, Buhari urged Nigerians to vote for those that would maintain the momentum “we have created for the greater good of the country.
“It is another opportunity to show the rest of the world that Nigeria is indeed ready to consolidate its democratic credentials as has been noted in international circles. Let the peace and joy that pervade this period continue well into the New Year up to the elections in February and beyond,” Buhari advised.
President Buhari called on Nigerians to renew their hope in a united nation and pledged his readiness to provide political and logistics support to the states, armed forces and individuals working for the stability and progress of Nigeria.
Buhari vowed that: “Until my last day in office, I will continue to provide political and material support to sub-national governments, the Armed Forces, institutions and individuals working wholeheartedly for the peace, unity, stability and progress of Nigeria.”
The President also declared that those bent on disrupting the peace of the nation have lost the battle, adding that Nigeria is richly blessed with human and material resources.
“I want to assure Nigerians that those who violently seek to disrupt the peace of our nation have lost the battle.
“Our country is blessed with a wealth of human and material resources. Let’s celebrate our blessings this season with the trust that a better dawn awaits Nigeria,”
President Buhari further said in the Christmas message.
“For me and my family, this year’s celebration is unique. It is my last as your elected president. Twenty-two weeks from now, this administration will hand over to another.
“In the last seven years, I have had the privilege of receiving members of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) community on Christmas homage, except the year the COVID-19 pandemic denied us that opportunity. I will fondly remember them as my benevolent landlords and friendly neighbours.
“It is crucial that I remember this about my closest neighbours because there is no better way for us to celebrate Christmas as a people than showing genuine love, care, compassion and empathy for one another.”
In a statement by his media office, former President Jonathan called for love, unity and peace among Christians and others around the world.
Jonathan urged Nigerians to “approach this season of Christmas with optimism and renewed faith in ourselves and our country.”
He further stated: “Let us approach this season of Christmas with optimism and renewed faith in ourselves and our country. Let us exhibit love, tolerance, a sense of unity and peace towards our neighbours and all around us during this season and beyond.”
Atiku, on his part, urged Nigerians to remain steadfast in prayers for a greater Nigeria.
The former vice president said: “Let us remain steadfast in prayers for a greater Nigeria after the elections of next year that will be a shining example for our present and future generations.”
In his Christmas message, the Senate President, Lawan stated that abiding by the great instructions of Jesus Christ “is important for Christians everywhere and all of us in Nigeria as we seek to build a virile and happy nation.”
On his part, Gbajabiamila said Christmas is a period for sober reflection and re-dedication to his teachings and ways.
In his statement, he enjoined the Christian faithful and other Nigerians to use the period to pray for a peaceful and successful general election in 2023.
The APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, in his message, said: “In this special day, I stretch forth my hand in fraternal affection and great joy to Christians and all who join in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.”
The former Lagos State governor described Christmas as “a period of spiritual uplift as both Christians and non-Christians are moved to reflect upon God’s love for mankind and what, truly, it means to love your God, your neighbour and yourself.”
“Thus, I say merry Christmas to the farmer, the student, the labourer, the artisan, the professional, the entertainer, the teacher, the police officer, the market women, the soldier and all Nigerians.
“I also extend my wishes for a good and happy Christmas to my political opponents. No matter our political differences, we are all Nigerians and we must move this nation forward,” Tinubu explained.
Obi, the LP presidential candidate, on his part, urged Nigerians to remain hopeful for a better nation, especially as the 2023 general election is fast approaching.
Obi made this call while delivering his 2022 Christmas message to Nigerians as contained in a statement made available to journalists.
The former Anambra State governor urged Nigerians to see the year 2023 as a very significant year in the history of the nation as it presents Nigerians the opportunity to turn around the trajectory of the nation by giving only competent leaders access to power.
In his Christmas message, Governor Ugwuanyi urged the people of Enugu State and all Nigerians to renew their faith in God and remain steadfast in prayers for the peace, love, unity, security and progress of the state in particular and the country in general, especially as “we transit to another democratic dispensation through the 2023 general election.”
He promised to sustain the tempo of peace and good governance despite the nation’s economic and security challenges
Niger State Governor, Bello, in a Christmas message signed on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, observed that love, compassion, sacrifice, selflessness, and forgiveness among others are the hallmarks of Christmas celebrations.
Delta State Governor, Okowa, in his message, reaffirmed that the “Recover Nigeria” mission was on course and would be realised.
He promised all Nigerians that hope was on the way as the nation gears towards election year.
In the message contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor called on Christians to continue in their prayers for a peaceful nation, especially as the elections were close.
He said that the 2023 polls would usher in a new and positive life for Nigerians.
Also, Edo State Governor, Obaseki, urged Christians to use the period to show care and reflect on the life of Jesus Christ and His teachings on love and sacrifice.
In a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Macham Makut, the Plateau State governor, Lalong urged the Christian community in Nigeria not to treat politics as a dirty game.
Lalong, who spoke when he hosted northern Christian leaders in Jos, the state capital, argued that Christian leaders must galvanise the Church and make demands from candidates vying for political offices.
In his message of felicitation, Governor Yahaya of Gombe State enjoined Christians in the state and all Nigerians to sustain their abiding faith in God and maintain peace, unity and virtues that promote the progress of the state and the country.
Also in his message, Cross River State governor, Ayade, charged Christians to use the opportunity of the Christmas celebration to reaffirm their love and compassion towards one another.
Ekiti State Governor, Oyebanji, in his message, described Christmas as another opportunity to show gratitude to God for the outgoing year and pray for a more prosperous new year, especially as the country prepares for the 2023 general elections.
Governor Oyebanji, in a goodwill message, signed by his Special Adviser, Media, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, urged Christians in the State and Nigeria at large to embrace peace, love, harmony and tolerance.
Also in his message, the Benue State Governor, Ortom, for the umpteenth time called for peace and religious tolerance among the different adherents of faith as the antidote to occasional conflicts in the country.
He said occasional conflicts among various religions would never reoccur if the inter-religious dialogue is sustained.
Rivers State Governor, Wike, has called on Christians to use the occasion of Christmas to promote love, peace and unity.
In a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor urged the Christian faithful to remain committed to the worthy ideals exemplified by Jesus Christ.
He advised the privileged in the state to use the season to reach out to the less privileged to deepen friendship and communal living.
On his part, Governor Sanwo-Olu stressed the need for Nigerians, especially residents to continue to live in peace and harmony as they celebrate Christmas.
He also called the residents to celebrate the season of the birth of Jesus Christ, with moderation.
The governor, therefore, urged them to protect and use the infrastructure provided by the government very well so that incoming generations can also enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Governor Akeredolu called on Christians across the country to embrace goals and ideals that will promote societal common good and bring stability to the country.
Akeredolu, while charging the people to imbibe the lessons of the birth and life of Jesus Christ, said: “We must reflect deeply on the reason for the season. The birth of Jesus Christ is significant in many ways. It teaches love, tolerance and sacrifice. Let us be deliberate in imbibing the lessons in this season. Our religion teaches us to extend love and embrace sincerity. As children of God, Let’s us show love and follow the path of Jesus Christ in selfless sacrifice.”
In a statement by the National Publicity of the PDP, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, the main opposition party said he was saddened that millions of Nigerians cannot afford the necessities to celebrate.
The party also noted that many could not travel to meet with their loved ones due to economic hardship and those who did are facing harrowing life-discounting experiences, with several families stranded on the highways on account of dilapidated roads and worsening insecurity under the suffocating APC government.
According to Ologunagba, “the APC has succeeded in turning our nation, once reputed as a country of the world’s happiest people and one of the fastest growing economies into the poverty capital of the world and one of the most insecure places to live in.”