By BASHIR ADEFAKA
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday December 24, 2022, congratulated Christians of Nigeria and, by extension, worldwide as they celebrate Christmas 2022.
In a personally signed message titled “President Buhari’s Christmas Message 2022”, he spoke to the fact of the takeaways Christians should pick from Christmas period the lesson to unite, rejoice together with others and set aside their differences.
“I heartily rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters on the occasion of this year’s Christmas.
“Many of us look forward to this festive season as a time to travel, share gifts, spend quality time with family and friends, attend special carols and events, and generally relive the good moments of the year. In whatever circumstances we find ourselves, Christmas is a period when we come together to rejoice and set aside our differences.
“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 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.
“We must never lose sight of the symbiotic relationship between Christmas and hope; Jesus Christ and humility, Christianity and grace.
“In this season of love, joy and peace, let us not fail to remember those who really wish to celebrate but are constrained in one way or the other by reaching out to them.
“Together we can make this celebration a spectacular one by renewing our pledge and common resolve to work for the unity and prosperity of our dear country.
“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 advances we have made so far on the economic front, especially in infrastructure; food security, anti-corruption, security, energy sufficiency, among others, will need to be built on.
“This joyous season has coincided with the period of campaigns to usher in a new administration. I urge you to be circumspect and vote for those that will 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.
“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.
“I wish you all a Merry Christmas,” Muhammadu Buhari said in the messaged dated December 24, 2022.