President Muhammadu Buhari urged Nigerians to follow Jesus Christ’s example of charity and compassion in his annual Christmas greeting.
” Like I have done in the last three Christmas messages to my fellow compatriots as a serving President, I believe this season is another opportunity to reflect on the imagery of the humble, symbolic and divine birth of a young child thousands of years ago in Bethlehem, Judea, and the message of hope, compassion, salvation, reconciliation, forgiveness and peace that Jesus Christ embodies and conveys.
” I felicitate with all Nigerians, particularly our Christian brothers and sisters, on the joyous occasion of this year’s Christmas, which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.
Buhari’s holiday message appeared to be aimed at a public on edge after series of events in 2018.
” In 2018, Nigerians have had mixed blessings, typical of human beings.
” We have seen so many unnecessary deaths caused by violent clashes between neighbours, who ordinarily should complement and support one another.
” We cannot bring back the lives lost to floods, unfortunate fire disasters, road accidents, farmers/herders clashes and insurgency.
” But we can put back smiles on the faces of the grieving, the displaced and the troubled, if we show a little love and recommit ourselves to building relationships with those outside our ethnic, religious and socio-political divides.
“On the pleasant side, our economy has made significant progress since coming out from recession and our faithful implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
” Agricultural revolution has seen a vastly improved local production to the detriment of importation, while we have achieved surplus in our trade balance. Similarly, infrastructural deficit has been greatly reduced with significant improvements in roads, railways, aviation and power.
” In addition, we have not relented in the fight against corruption while the business environment has been improved through institutional reforms.
” With general elections around the corner and heightened political activities across the country, I have charged our security and law enforcement agencies to secure the sanctity of the ballot box and ensure that the outcome of the polls reflects the will of the Nigerian people.
” My avowed commitment to free, fair, credible and violence-free polls is not a ruse or yet another vain political promise. My word is my bond.