The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Revd Dr Olasupo Ayokunle, has assured Nigerians to persevere, stating that the hardship in the country will soon pass.
The Christian leader in his Christmas message to Nigerians urged the faithful not to engage in criminal acts, noting that “weeping may endure till night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Revd Dr Ayokunle, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday by his media spokesman, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, described Christmas as the celebration of the best gift from God.
“It is the celebration of Emmanuel, God who is with us. Christmas is also the celebration of the Word that “became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). His birth was a sign from God.”
He added, “I want every Nigerian to know that our present challenges will be the springboard for our full joy of Christmas.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, has condemned the attitude of some Christians who pay more attention to merriment during Christmas.
He said such attitude negated the “real essence” of the moment.
He stated this on Tuesday in his office while delivering his Christmas message.
He said,” Christmas is not a time to eat rice and chicken; but some see it as a time for merry or even to commit sin.
“It is a wrong impression and attitude by misplacing the priority that Christmas is a time to eat and drink. Christmas is a time to live a sober life, to meditate in the life of Christ who came for us.
“Other things like entertainment, eating, dressing, done at Christmas are merely at material level, rather than spiritual”.
The bishop added,” It will be more damaging, if at the end of the day, instead of celebrating the Christ who has come to give us life in abundance, we then enter into sin which is separating us from God.
Lagos State Governors on Tuesday sent messages of goodwill to Christians to commemorate the celebration of Christmas today.
Christmas, which is celebrated every December 25, marks the birth of Jesus Christ.
In his message, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, asked Nigerians to emulate the life of Jesus Christ.
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, identified obedience, meekness, sacrifice and humility as some of the virtues that distinguished Jesus Christ and should be emulated.
“Sanwo-Olu encouraged all residents travelling out of Lagos with their loved ones to remain safety-conscious, just as he advised that any suspicious movements should be reported to security agencies through the emergency toll-free lines, 767 and 112.
“While wishing everyone a safe and exciting Christmas celebration, the governor encouraged residents and holidaymakers to visit any of the venues of the Greater Lagos Fiesta, being part of the activities lined up by the state government to entertain citizens across the five divisions of Lagos State,” the statement read.