Christmas: Buhari blows hot, promises terrorists, others hell

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned terrorists, armed robbers, kidnappers and economic saboteurs to retrace their steps and join people of goodwill and common humanity.

In his Christmas message, he warned that those who fail to do so will meet their end in the hands of security agents who are poised to confront and defeat them.

“It is in line with the spirit of Christmas that I call on all elements whose actions are opposed to what the season represents, especially, insurgents, terrorists, armed robbers, kidnappers and economic saboteurs, to retrace their steps and join people of goodwill and common humanity.

“If they fail to heed this call, they will meet their end as the armed forces, security and law-enforcement agencies are poised now to confront and defeat them.”

Buhari urged Nigerians to live in peace and harmony, irrespective of differences.

While noting that conflicts and violence have reduced, he, however, warned Nigerians not to let their guard down.

He said in the new year with the signing of the budget, his administration will focus on job creation.

“Having recently signed the 2020 Appropriation Bill into Law, I reiterate my promise during the presentation of the Budget Proposals before the National Assembly on October 8, 2019 that, “We remain resolutely committed to the actualization of our vision of a bright and prosperous future for all Nigerians.”

•Cushion effects of  hardship  –CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has asked government at all level to look for ways of cushioning the effects of the socioeconomic hardship.

Its President, Dr. Samson Olasupo, said Christmas season ought to be the moment of celebration and merriment, but otherwise seems to be the case due to economic hardship being faced by Nigerians.

“Nevertheless, we should be happy because it’s a passing phase and very soon, the God who ended the unprecedented economic depression in Samaria will surely give us victory over our challenges. Nigerians should know that our present challenges will be the springboard for our full joy of Christmas and as a nation.

“Tough times never last but tough people do. God is aware of our pains and is doing something about it. Joy shall come in the morning for us in the name of Jesus.”

•IPOB, Ibezim, Ezeokafor, Nwokolo, Okeke salute Christians

Bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev Owen Nwokolo, in his Christmas message at All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha, charged Nigerians to always show love for one another to reflect the standards and teachings of Jesus Christ. He said it was only love that could ensure peaceful co-existence and unity in Nigeria.

The Anglican Bishop, however, lashed the Presidency, which he said was not in full control. He said Nigerians needed to speak out and take definite action that would bring change for the better.

Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Rev Hilary Odili Okeke tasked political leaders to be honest with the led.

Bishop Okeke, who spoke at the Assumption Cathedral, Okwuani, Nnewi said leaders should not look the other way while the  masses suffered abject poverty.

Similarly, Archbishop of the Province of the Niger and Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Alexander Ibezim, admonished Christians all over the world not to lose sight of the reason behind Christmas.

Archbishop Ibezim, who gave the admonition while delivering his Christmas message at Emmaus House, Awka, said that Christmas period offers Christians special opportunity to reflect on their lives and make amends where necessary.

He said that the season calls for adherents to be spiritually connected to the Almighty God to help them achieve personal transformation, which would invariably impact positively on the society.

Most Reverend Ibezim, therefore, charged Christians to guard against greed in their dealings and always embrace reformation in character and attitude as a way of drawing closer to God.

This is even as the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor urged Christian faithful not to see it as just an occasion to wine and dine while neglecting its real essence.

Bishop Ezeokafor, who frowned at the mentality of people seeing Christmas merely as a time to eat, enjoy and even commit sin, said though Christ last came physically over 2000 years ago, His coming during the Christmas celebration would not be a Christ physically present, but a Christ that would be met in the Spirit whom only those with clean heart would see.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has extended  felicitations to their supporters. A statement by the Media and Publicity Secretary of the group, Emma Powerful, partly read: “We the global family of IPOB wish to felicitate and commend Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom over their resoluteness, determination and support in the ongoing righteous agitation for the restoration of the nation of Biafra, especially in this season of goodwill.”

•Obi,  Tinubu, Ekweremadu, Secondus other preach, peace, love

Vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi called on Christians  to take the opportunity to  reflect on the mystery of our salvation, which, according to him,  “started with the birth of Christ who paved a new way for us to attain eternity.”

Obi said that the  period called for celebration, but, more importantly, it  offered us the opportunity to live the ideals of charity, love, peace and harmonious co-existence, which Christ preached.

“Let us all reach out and touch somebody else in a positive way. Let us give a hand to the less fortunate, that they may rise and walk with us.”

He called on all Nigerians to bear in mind, while celebrating,  the challenges  facing the country, especially the hardship occasioned  by cumulative  years of bad leadership and prepare adequately to confront them by addressing those issues that got the country where it is, especially lack of attention to education, the economy, especially creating employment for the youth and provision of basic infrastructure.

National Leader,  Sen. Bola Tinubu, has  urged Nigerians, especially christian faithful to devote their time to reflect on the lessons of peace, truth, kindness and compassion that described the life and teachings of Jesus.

“While celebrating this holy day, we are to love one another despite any difference between us and eschew hatred. Jesus  taught that we came into existence to live for a purpose greater than ourselves.  Jesus loved and gave his life to better and save mankind,” he said

“This season is an opportunity for all of us to be thankful for God’s blessings in our lives. Let us ask for His help, that the light of progress and good may forever shine upon and sustain our precious nation. As we mark this day, let us do so in a way that comports with the spirit of Jesus,” Tinubu said.

Former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekwremadu also called on Nigerians to pursue peace and show love in order to move the nation forward.

The lawmaker, who spoke at the annual Christmas outreach to widows by his wife, Nwanneka, called for the revival of the values of love and unity in order to move the nation forward.

“As Africans, we must endeavour to sustain our social security system and the culture of being our brother’s keeper to ensure that nobody is left behind.

“We must pursue love, unity, peace, justice, forgiveness, and goodwill to all in order to move our nation forward”, he said.

Similarly, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, in statement,  urged Nigerians to rekindle their love  and respect for one another..

Elumelu charged Nigerians to use the season to forgive one another and eschew all divisive tendencies, as well as rededicate themselves to acts that bring peace, unite and bind us together as a nation.

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, in a statement also admonished Nigerians to use the occasion of the Christmas celebration to seek the face of God, so that He “can save this country from the hands of evil ones who are insensitive to the plight of the suffering masses.”

“The indignation across the land says it all that the  people are sad and disillusioned, this is a fact. Whether they believe it or not, let us, therefore use this period to pray for a peaceful country where leaders fear God and play by the rules.”

•ACF, Ortom, AbdulRazaq, Jibrin too

Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom and his Kwara counterpart, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, admonished Christians to embrace peace, harmony and tolerance of one another in accordance with the teachings of the Lord Jesus.

Ortom maintained that the yearly commemoration of the birth of Jesus signifies the immeasurable love of God for humankind.

While greeting Nigerians, especially Christians, AbdulRazaq urged them to imbibe the spirit of love, God’s omniscience and service to humanity associated with the birth of Christ.

“We call on Nigerians, especially Kwarans, to do more to foster love and peace this season and beyond because a major selling point of the state is the calm and peaceful disposition of our people. We also call for continuous mutual respect and understanding within the faith community and not allow anyone to cause disaffection in the state.”

Second Republic Senator and Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of PDP, Jibrin Walid, said called for peaceful coexitence between Christians and Muslims.

“If Muslims believe how Jesus was born, then there should be peaceful coexistence  by Christians and Muslims. Christians and Muslims must unite because what unite us is more than that which divide us. We must continue to live in peace.”

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF)  also extended  hailed Nigerians, especially Christian brothers and sisters: In the spirit of the seasons, ACF hereby appeals to all Nigerians to embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ namely, tolerance, love, good neighbourliness and peaceful coexistence that comes with core value of humanity.”

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