Easter Messages: Nigerian Political, Religious Leaders Emphasise Reflection, Renewal

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 More Nigerian leaders, on Sunday, celebrated the Easter with Christians and advised them to apply the essence of the occasion as lessons for the country.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, urged Christians to reflect on the lessons of Easter celebration, saying they should not lose hope amid the economic headwinds in the country.

Obaseki, in his Easter message in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, stated, “I heartily felicitate with our Christian faithful as we commemorate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Easter is a time for reflection, love, sacrifice, renewal and hope.  I urge that we use this opportunity to ponder on the lessons and purpose of the celebration and renew our resolve towards achieving a more progressive and prosperous Nigeria.

“As a people, we may have been stretched beyond limits, occasioned by the high cost of living and other economic headwinds, but we must not lose hope. Working together in unity, we can overcome these challenges and place our country on the path of sustainable growth and development.”

Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori also urged Deltans and other Nigerians to show love to one another and be willing to make sacrifices for the greater unity, peace and progress of the country.

Oborevwori, in his Easter message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Festus Ahon, urged Deltans and Nigerians, in general, to use the Easter season to soberly reflect on what they needed to do as a people in order to guarantee peaceful co-existence, while working towards a better future for all Nigerians.

The statement said, “As Christians, we must reflect on the import of Easter celebrations in our dealings, not only with other Christians, but with people of other faiths and convictions.

“We must eschew bitterness and all forms of violence, because the progress, peace and security of the nation rest squarely on good neighbourliness and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.”

On his part, Chairman of Northern States Governors’ Forum and Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, called for prayers for sustained peace and stability in Gombe State, the northern region, and Nigeria, as a whole.

Yahaya emphasised the significance of unity, brotherhood, and service to God and humanity during and beyond the Easter period.

The governor, who highlighted the essence of Easter as symbolising love, sacrifice, and the triumph of good over evil, urged Christians to reflect on these core principles and integrate them into their daily lives.

He stated, “I extend warm congratulations to our Christian brethren for completing the Lenten Season and celebrating Easter. We are grateful to the Almighty for granting you the strength to go through this significant spiritual journey.

“May the blessings of this period rejuvenate our nation and steer us towards lasting peace, progress and prosperity.”

The governor expressed optimism in overcoming prevailing socio-economic and security challenges in the country through collective effort and divine intervention.

Kogi State Governor Usman Ododo urged the people to remain united and resilient in the face of economic challenges.

In a press statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ismaila Isah, Ododo stated that the promises of renewal and hope associated with Easter would usher in greater prosperity for the people of the state.

He said, “As we gather in families and communities across the state to celebrate Easter, let us dwell on the values of renewal, hope, and unity that define us as citizens of one state.

“Just as the resurrection of Jesus Christ symbolises new beginnings and the triumph of light over darkness, let us embrace the opportunity to renew our commitment to building a brighter future for our beloved state, as exemplified by the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR).”

Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) in 2023, Peter Obi, celebrated Easter with inmates and admonished them not to feel isolated and finished because, according to him, everyone in Nigeria was in prison and sought the face of God for freedom and redemption.

In a statement by Chief Spokesman of the Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign, Dr Yunusa Tanko, said Obi celebrated the Easter mass with prisoners at the Correctional Centre in Onitsha, Anambra State.

He told the prisoners that from the day’s reading, Mary Magdalene, who was the first to discover the resurrected Christ, was once unholy but she was reformed and privileged to discover the rising of Christ even before the Apostles.

“What that means is that being in prison is not the end of life, as they could get corrected and enjoy salvation even before the so-called free people,” he said.

During the dancing and praises, Obi discovered a little child of about one year six months, Musochukwu Ejiofor, whose mother was serving in the prison following a N250, 000 business deal that went wrong.

Obi carried the child, who was also in dancing attire like the mother, and celebrated with them and their cultural groups.

Nigerian Southern Senators Forum, in a goodwill message jointly signed by the chairman, Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, and the publicity secretary, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, said Easter was a time of reflection, renewal, and rejoicing.

The federal lawmakers also commended Tinubu and President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, for their efforts at galvanising the country’s economy for national development.

They stated, “In the spirit of this joyous occasion, let us embrace the values of unity, compassion, sacrifice and solidarity.

“Let us reach out to our fellow citizens with kindness, understanding, and empathy, especially during these challenging times, while we await the gains of the government’s bold reforms and initiatives.

“Let us renew our patriotism and our commitment to building a stronger, more prosperous, and more united Nigeria.”

The senator for Delta Central Senatorial district, Senator Ede Dafinone, called for peace and prayers for victims of Okuama crisis, particularly the families of the dead 17 officers and men of the Nigerian Army and other civilians, including women and children, as the country marked this year’s Easter celebration.

Dafinone said peace was a priceless gift, and appealed for restraint from all actors in the crisis to prevent any further escalation of the violence. He advised that government should allow for an independent and unbiased panel of investigators to probe the incident and bring all the perpetrators to book.

Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, also called on Nigerians to embrace the values of accountability and transparency. Sulaiman said doing so would lead to good governance and genuine development in Nigeria at all levels, adding that the key concepts of accountability and transparency would make democracy thrive further in the country and bring about the aspirations of Nigerians.

Archbishop of Onitsha Catholic Archdiocese, His Grace Valerie Okeke, also celebrated the Easter mass with about 12 other priests inside the Correctional Centre, Onitsha.

Okeke said, in a homily, that if Mary Magdalene could transform to be among the early beneficiaries of Christ’s resurrection, even those in the correctional centre could turn around to be great in the society and before God.

Bishop, Diocese of Kwara, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Sunday Timothy Adewole, urged Nigerians to return their faith on God in order to overcome the various challenges facing the country. Adewole stated this in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin after his Easter message at Cathedral of St. Barnabas, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin, the state capital.

He said, “When the people of the country shift their attention to God, there is no doubt things will work well for us.”

He said the various challenges facing the country, including the economic difficulties, insecurity, and unemployment, would become a thing of the past and the country would move forward if the people returned their focus on God.

He also stressed the need for citizens to sacrifice time, talent, and treasure for the good of the country and humanity, assuring, “Peace will reign supreme across the parts of the country.”

 Chuks Okocha, Sunday Aborisade in Abuja, Segun Awofadeji in Gombe, Sylvester Idowu in Warri, Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin



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