As Christians in Nigeria join the rest of the world to celebrate Christmas which is the birth of Jesus Christ, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Wednesday, 24th December, 2014 enjoined Nigerians to embrace the virtues of peaceful coexistence and refrain from fanning the embers of disunity.
The Governor, in his Christmas goodwill message to the residents of the state maintained that as the 2015 general elections approaches, it is only through peaceful co-existence that Nigeria can make the desired progress.
“I urge you to continue in this vein, for it is only by living in peaceful and harmonious co-existence, by respecting each other’s right to live freely and peacefully and by being our brothers’ keepers that we are truly celebrating the essence of Christmas”, he reiterated
While appealing for vigilance from the people during the 2015 elections, he said the people must be assertive in ensuring that irrespective of the frustrations that they might be going through, they must exercise their civic rights and vote rightly.
He said the security challenges which the country is facing now should not be used as an avenue to create division along ethnic and religious lines by some politicians who are blanketly engaging in name-calling of political opponents.
Governor Fashola said Nigeria has always been a heterogeneous nation and that the people should resist any attempt by any leader to now highlight such ethnic differences to further their selfish ends.
He also urged the people to be safety and security conscious, especially during the festive period by not indulging in drinking and driving and reporting all suspicious activities around them to security agencies by using the Toll free lines 767 and 112.
“The period of Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ who is the symbol of Christianity and the harbinger of peace, love and good tidings and there is no better way to celebrate the season than by showing love and being our brother’s keeper,” the Governor said.
Fashola charged all residents to ensure that all the positives of Christmas does not end with the festive period but that everyone must consciously act to keep the generousity, the bonding, the restraint, the love and the happiness that makes Christmas a special season into the people’s daily lives so that every day of their lives after Christmas would be a special day.
“This is very much possible because it does not happen by accident and because we make Christmas happen by giving, by loving and by sharing and smiling. If we do it every day, you can just imagine what the world would be like if every day was Christmas”, he said.
While wishing all Lagosians “a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New year in advance”, the Governor further urged, “Let us, therefore, resolve to emphasize only those things that unite us and de-emphasize all those things that separate us”.