As Christians across the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta says Nigeria and the international communities can be at peace if Christians practised the virtues that Christ preached while on earth.
In a Christmas message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor said that the virtues included peaceful coexistence, love, tolerance and sacrifice.
He noted that Christmas was a celebration to mark the birth anniversary of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and therefore called on Christians to strive and emulate wholly, the ways of Christ.
Mr Okowa said that as true followers of Christ, Nigerians and the world must eschew communal and religious clashes, armed robbery, kidnapping, militancy, armed banditry, terrorism and other vices plaguing the country and parts of the world.
“As the world celebrates Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate all Christians for witnessing yet another yuletide.
“This year’s celebration calls for absolute sober reflection in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many challenges Nigeria had to grapple with in the course of the year.
“As the world begins to record a rather painful second wave of the pandemic, I advise Deltans and Nigerians to shun elaborate celebrations, limit gatherings and use the festive period for total spiritual renewal as well as live peacefully and harmoniously with worshipers of other religions.
“As we celebrate, let us not forget to extend our hands of love and fellowship to our neighbours and the vulnerable in the society,” he said.
The governor added that “we must not also forget that we are brothers by reason of being one Nigeria and as such, we must learn to tolerate other people’s religious beliefs, political leanings and cultural affiliations by living in peace and showing respect to one another.
“As I have always said, no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of insecurity as whenever there is a breakdown of law and order, funds that would have been deployed to building infrastructure and develop the economy have to be channeled towards procuring peace.
“Besides, it is common knowledge that insecurity stalls progress of ongoing projects in our cities and communities that are troubled.
“As Christians we must use this period to pray for greater peace, love, unity, tolerance and progress of our country.”