As Nigerians commemorate Christmas, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has urged them to eschew bitterness and embrace love and the spirit of forgiveness in the spirit of the season.
In a Christmas message to Nigerians, he also enjoined them to show love and understanding to one another as they celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ.
Sylva said Yuletide is a season of joy and the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, adding as Christians they must have trust and faith in God that Nigeria will be a great country.
“Christmas symbolizes giving and we must therefore share with the less privileged in the society to make the celebration more meaningful to us. It is in giving and sharing that we receive,” he said.
The minister noted that the only way Nigeria can achieve greatness as a nation is not through attacks, promotion of hatred and condemnation, but through love, collective support and the sincere efforts of all Nigerians.
Sylva wants Nigerians to use the Christmas celebration to reflect on the best path to heal the wound of the nation, stressing the time for apportioning blames was over.
Drumming up support for the Buhari administration, he said: “Every Nigerian irrespective of political and social leaning should support the efforts of the government in finding permanent solutions to the nation’s economic and security challenges.
“Nigeria like every other nation of the world is facing its own challenges and this is not the time to begin to politicise our problems, rather this period calls for sober reflection”.
“We must stop the blame games and focus on how best we can collectively find lasting solutions to Nigeria’s problem. Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must all be sincere enough to invest in the overall growth and development of Nigeria.
“Nobody is going to repair Nigeria for us. America has its own peculiar problems so also is Britain, Germany and other countries of the world.
“We need to come together and set aside our differences to deal with our present problems and create the Nigeria of our dream. Condemnation, violence, hate speeches and attacks won’t take us anywhere.
“We need to put aside our differences and deal with the problems of Nigeria,” the minister said.
Sylva, who commended President Buhari for the giant strides he has recorded in the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy in the last few years said: “This is the only government that truly has the interests of Nigerians at heart.
“For over two decades successive governments were unable to pass into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) but the 9th National Assembly did not only pass the bill but the President speedily signed the bill into law.
“This shows Mr President’s level of commitment to the growth and development of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
“Now that we have the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which has set a new agenda for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, I call on the international community to come to Nigeria to invest in this sector.”
“The signing of the PIA will open the floodgate of investments in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
“This piece of legislation I am sure will stabilise the industry and create the platforms for the government and the private sector to do business and this way help to shore up revenue generation in the country,” the former governor of Bayelsa State said.