President Buhari preaches love at Christmas

Timothy Choji, Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (left) presents a Christmas gift to President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa on Wednesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his warm Christmas greetings to Nigerians as they celebrate the yuletide season.

He has therefore, enjoined Christians to show love to one another, in line with the exemplary life of Jesus Christ.

He said: “I felicitate with our Christian brothers and sisters in particular, and all Nigerians in general, on the joyous occasion of Christmas of the year 2019.

“As Christendom commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, I enjoin all Nigerians to imbibe and demonstrate the essence of the season of love; goodwill among all the ethnic groups in the country; giving and sharing; strengthening the bonds of brotherhood and good neighbourliness; and focusing on all that bind us together as one united country.”

The Nigerian leader also advised Nigerians to celebrate in peace and shun acts that will contradict the spirit of the season.

“I, therefore, urge our compatriots to shun all actions which negate the spirit of the season. However, celebrating the spirit and virtues of Christmas need not be a one-day affair, but rather, ought to continue into the New Year.

“Our people must make extra efforts to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours, irrespective of differences,” he said.

He admonished criminal elements to desist from their unwholesome acts or face the wrath of the law.

“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,” the President warned.

While noting that security measure put in place by government have started yielding the desired results, he said: “While it is gladdening to note that incidents of violence and conflicts have reduced drastically owing to the several operations embarked on by our security agencies, we must not let our guards down.

“As Christmas indicates good tidings of hope and redemption, Nigerians can look forward to a turnaround in the administration’s priority areas of fighting corruption, providing security, economic diversification, job creation and infrastructure upgrade.

“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.”

He pledged to implement the 2020 budget to the later, to ensure that Nigerians enjoy a better life.

“The 2020 Budget of Sustainable Growth and Job Creation will be rigorously implemented to further deepen its impact on the generality of our people.

“Let me use this occasion to once more thank the leadership and members of the National Assembly for the speedy consideration and passage of the 2020 Budget Proposals.

“We are confident that this new era of cordiality and cooperation between the executive and the legislature will fast-track our collective commitment to giving our people better life and governance,” he said.

He enjoined Nigerians to remember to pray for members of the Armed Forces and other security agencies, who are making so much sacrifice to protect citizens from people of evil intent.

“We should also extend love to the families of those whose bread-winners made the ultimate sacrifice while defending their fatherland,” he said.

President Buhari appeal to motorists to drive with care during and after the festive season, as he advised road safety and security officials to ensure compliance with safety measures to avoid needless accidents and attendant loss of life and property.

“I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a more fulfilling New Year 2020,” he concluded.

Ime Njoku