Nigerian governors have charged the citizenry on the need for peaceful co-existence, in-spite of daunting security challenges, as Christians all over the world celebrate Easter to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Jesus Christ.
In his goodwill message, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan urged Nigerians not to despair in the face of the challenges confronting the country as Christians mark the Easter festivals.
While urging Christians to reflect on the import of Easter celebrations in their dealings, not only with other Christians, but with people of other religions, he said Nigerians must eschew bitterness and all forms of violence, stressing that the progress, peace and security of the nation is anchored in good neighborliness and peaceful co-existence
“I urge you all to let the significance of the celebration reflect in our relationship with one another both Christians and the people of other religions. There is no doubt that these are tough times in our country.
“Intolerance and impunity continue to rear their heads through sectarian violence. But, rather than succumb and feel threatened about these uncertain times, we should rise to the fact that these are trials that are supposed to strengthen our resolve to confront our challenges.
He reminded Christians that having gone through forty days of fasting and praying, Easter was a better time for them to purge themselves of those weights that “have impeded our progress as a people over the years by demonstrating love in its fullness not only to one another but also to our society.
“The major lesson of Easter is for us as Christians, to reconsider the reality of our faith. As Christians, we should continue to uphold the principles of our faith as it relates to honesty, justice, integrity, accountability, compassion, selflessness and the pursuit of the common good.
“The passion and death of Jesus underscores the love of the Father who gave his only begotten son in love for us and the willingness of the Son to sacrifice himself for others to be liberated from the weight of sin.
“The story of Easter is that of relief that comes after anguish, pains, trauma, deprivations and sacrifices. Indeed before the joy that heralds the glorious morning of resurrection, there was terror and thick darkness that were strong enough to swallow up the eventual joy of Easter. It is therefore necessary to remind us all that there is always a glorious dawn after darkness, and without the difficult challenges, the huge and irrepressible triumph of Easter would have been a fantasy.”
Governor Uduaghan however reiterated the commitment of the State government to making life better for all citizens and residents, saying that“This is our primary concern as reflected in the quantum of projects being executed across the State and the way we are committed to the welfare of our people.”
For Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, Nigerians should reflect on the life of Jesus Christ, who sacrificed all to redeem mankind.
Imoke who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, said that it was only through selfless service and sacrifice to the fatherland that Nigeria can attain the desired social, political and economic progress.
“As the Lenten season ends to usher in Easter, let me remind you that we share a holy hunger for clarity about what is good and life-giving, and we yearn to re-focus on what is most central and important to move this country forward.”
Governor Gabriel Suswam of BenueState also called on religious and political leaders to take collective action against Boko Haram.
Suswam’s message was signed in Makurdi by his Special adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Cletus Akwaya.
He called on “political, religious, community and other leaders and stakeholders to stem the unacceptable insecurity situation in the North which, for all practical purposes has profoundly undermined economic activities in that part of the country.’’
According to him, Nigerians must “be prepared to make sacrifices in the interest of nation building, particularly at a time the country is facing enormous security challenges being perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect.”
Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Funmi Wakama, said the resurrection of Christ “is a testimony to the supremacy of God and offers hope of eternal life to those who dedicate their lives to the service of God and humanity.”
Amosun therefore asked Nigerians to repent of their sins and reconnect with the Almighty God.