Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has urged Christians, residents of Oyo State and Nigerians, to promote peace and religious harmony in the spirit of Christmas.
In a goodwill message in Ibadan, the Governor said that every resident of Oyo State needed to imbibe harmonious coexistence to encourage development.
The governor asked Nigerians to take appropriate notice of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, whose birth is being celebrated at Christmas.
Makinde noted that the essence of the Yuletide should not be lost on all, adding that the celebrations should inspire “peaceful coexistence as the key driver of development anywhere in the world for anyone and “our society cannot be an exemption.”
The Governor added: “I want to alert every resident and indigene of Oyo State and Nigerians, in general, to note that Christmas reminds us, especially Christians, that God gave his Son for our redemption. I encourage us to reflect on this message of giving as we celebrate with family, friends and loved ones this season. I wish everyone Merry Christmas and a rewarding 2020.”
He also warned against religious bigotry, declaring that only gullible people use religion to divide others.
The Governor asserted: “Jesus Christ, whom we are celebrating today came to the world and loved His enemies. He preached peace everywhere He went; His lifestyle is worthy of emulation by our people, especially now that certain forces are seeking to divide our people along religious lines.”
He declared that since poverty, squalor, and lack, know no religion or ethnicity, people should shun the divisive elements because “our unity would remain our source of strength.”
“As we look forward towards a prosperous 2020, let us all love our neighbours and brothers like ourselves, let us pray that the Almighty would touch the hearts of some persons who take joy in inflicting pains on the hapless common man,” Makinde admonished.
The Governor stated that as God had urged people to be their brothers’ keepers, the least they were expected to do was to show care, love, and compassion and as they live in peace and harmony.