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General News of Saturday, 25 December 2021


In Christmas dispatch, Buhari promises Nigerians end to killings, kidnappings

President of Nigeria Muhammedu Buhari President of Nigeria Muhammedu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, in a special Christmas message personally signed and issued yesterday, promised to ensure that the security challenges facing Nigerians become history soon.

For years, terrorists have been roaming across the country unhindered, killing, kidnapping and maiming.
While rejoicing with Nigerian Christians as they celebrate Christmas, the President declared: “I am confident that with the renewed commitment and empowerment of our committed security personnel, all these issues which inflict pain and trauma on us will soon be history.”

The President admitted that despite the “remarkable successes generally recorded,” the nation still has challenges to contend with.

He noted that the military was doing everything possible to tackle the insecurity menace.
Buhari said: “Our courageous security forces, bolstered by the necessary support from this administration, daily confront the wicked ones amongst us, who continue to threaten the peace of the land.

“Recently, during the meeting with fellow Heads of State of the ECOWAS, I discussed the need to intensify efforts to jointly confront this menace causing instability in our sub-region.

“Let us utilise the opportunity that this festive period brings to encourage ourselves so that the machinations of the wicked ones in our midst will find no place to thrive.

“Christmas is a season when hope is rekindled. Hope, Peace, Joy, Love are the recurring themes of this time. It is in the midst of hardship that the true test of a nation emerges.”

The President urged Nigerians to invoke the indomitable spirit in them and see the present order of things as a phase that would also pass, “just like other unsavory situations in the nation’s history.”
He said his government would not abandon the promises made to Nigerians for a better lease of life, adding that the diversification of the economy embarked upon by his government was yielding fruits.

The President said: “We shall continue to create opportunities for our teeming youths to ventilate their tremendous energy. As we felicitate with family, friends, colleagues, associates, let us spare moments to reach out to the less privileged.

“Let us also pray and give words of encouragement to our gallant security personnel fulfilling their oaths to keep us safe.

“I assure my compatriots that this administration remains resolute at ensuring that the standard of living of the average Nigerian is elevated.”

He assured that his six and half-year administration would fulfill all the promises made to Nigerians before the government terminates in 17 months’ time.

Urges Citizens to Get Vaccinated

Also in the Christmas message, the President pleaded with all citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
He expressed disappointment that for the second Christmas running, the world would not be able to celebrate as it used to in years past because of the pandemic.

He said: “The COVID-19 pandemic, with its attendant debilitating impact, has remained with mankind, mutating and leaving in its wake, devastating consequences on the economy, social interaction, and curtailing certain freedoms.

“The silver lining, however, is that humanity has been able to rise up with one voice and purpose, to confront the foisted conditions.

“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our dear citizens to embrace vaccination, which is the best scientifically known bulwark against the pandemic. Recent events have shown that vaccination greatly reduces the effects of the virus on the human body.

“I will also urge those that have taken the two doses to go ahead and take the booster as advised by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC). I commend the efforts of members of the PSC under the headship of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as they continue to chart a roadmap out of the pandemic and associated issues.
“On this note, I wish Nigerians Merry Christmas!”

Kaigama: Heart of Every Nigerian Heavy with Suffering

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace, Most Revd. Ignatius Kaigama yesterday lamented that the hearts of Nigerians are heavy with the suffering they had experienced and seen in 2021 alone.

Kaigama, who stated this in his Christmas message, also called on Nigerians not to give up on the country, saying although the present situations may be tough, “God is in control.”
According to him, with security challenges, COVID-19 and agitations for self-determination, Nigerians would not forget 2021 in a hurry.

The cleric told the faithful not to give up on their country, but “dare to look ahead and again embrace the hope for a better Nigeria.”

Kaigama said: “Christmas this year has found us in the throes of woes and distressing circumstances far beyond our human control. As Nigerians, in almost every part of this country, our hearts are heavy with the suffering we have experienced and seen this year alone – the many deaths as a result of terrorism, kidnapping and banditry, the depressing economic situation with inflation spiraling out of control, crashing further the ordinary man who has already been drained of joy, peace, and hope.

“The violent agitations for self-determination, which have come with the loss of lives and limbs, have left horrific scars on our collective psyche. All these make this year one that many Nigerians may not forget in a hurry. Nevertheless, Christmas proclaims, ‘Joy to the world the Lord has come.’

“For every disenchanted Nigerian who is on the verge of giving up on this country; for anyone who is prepared to cut off his moorings and drifts away to distant lands, Christmas challenges us to dare to look ahead and again embrace the hope for a better Nigeria.”

While stating that unbridled corruption and criminality were a grim reminder that selfishness had taken root in the hearts of many statesmen, the Archbishop said: “Christmas is an invitation to give up selfishness, to think only of others and how to bring the greatest happiness to them.

“On account of Christmas, all our leaders are challenged to once again dream big for our country and to faithfully work hard to realise those dreams so as to find solutions to our teething problems and better the lives of some of the poorest people on earth.”

Catholic Bishops Urge Nigerians to Be Hopeful

Catholic Bishops have urged Nigerians overwhelmed by suffering and hardship not to give up hope of a better Nigeria.

The bishops said Nigerians should always remember the popular Christmas refrain, Emmanuel which is that “God is with us” and try to be hopeful of a better future.

In its Christmas message issued by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) jointly signed by the President, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze; Vice President, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji and Secretary, Most Rev. Camillus Umoh, the clergymen enjoined Nigerians not to allow any situation to lead them to despair because God is always there to intervene for them.

“This feast reminds us that God is with us. Therefore, the word ‘Emmanuel’ should be a constant refrain in our mouths. We should, therefore, not allow any situation to lead us to despair because God is always with us. We are grateful to God for all his divine interventions in our lives. We know that if not for God, things would have been worse.

“I want us to use part of our time during this holy season and maybe even beyond the Christmas Season to develop our capacity to listen to God who speaks to us in silence,” said the bishops.

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