By Chimezie Godfrey
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has urged Nigerians to seize the opportunity of the Easter celebration to pray for peace and unity of the country.
Atiku in a statement he signed and made available to Newsdiaryonline stressed that the purpose of Easter celebration is not just for merriment but for the reflection of the meaning of love and sacrifice.
“The essence of Easter celebration is not merely for us to merry. It is a season to reflect on the purpose and meaning of love and sacrifice. Love, because God says we should love our neighbours as ourselves. And sacrifice because love is hardly practicable without an intention to make a sacrifice.
“Therefore, on this occasion of Easter celebration, I urge all Nigerians to take time to pray first of all for peace to return to the country and also for unity. Nigeria is at the precipice of insecurity, poverty and, most unfortunately, disunity.
“These are challenges, not impediments. The way to surmount these challenges is to learn from the world when super power countries who are rivals suspended politics to face a common threat in Covid-19.
“I believe that when we approach our challenges with a heart of forgiveness and love, humanity will always triumph. This is the lesson that Jesus (Nabil Yisa) taught us.
“As I join in wishing the Christian faithful in Nigeria and across the globe a happy Easter celebration, let us take a moment to pray for our military men and women who are keeping the vigil of daily sacrifice in order to keep us all safe.
“May God bless our nation and its people,” he prayed.
Atiku noted that this year’s Easter celebration is significant in the sense that it is the first major national festival after the commencement of the administration of vaccines against the dreaded Corona Virus.
He recalled that during last year’s celebration there was a global lockdown as most countries of the world required that citizens stay indoors and, for the first time in many generations, Easter was celebrated in a low-key style.
“But the story this year is slightly different. Now, there are several certified vaccines and Nigeria, having given nearly a million of our population their first doses of vaccination, has joined the league of countries that are pushing back the virus. But we are not anyway near the safety threshold.
“The deadly virus is still much potent as it was last year and the requirement for us to stay safe by adhering to all the Covid-19 safety protocols of washing our hands, wearing face-mask, avoiding crowded places and observing social distance, needs to be observed diligently.
“However, we remain thankful. First, to the Almighty God for HIs benevolence in giving us the knowledge to overcome the virus.
“Secondly, we must thank our ever-courageous health workers, who like the example set by Jesus Christ, sacrificed their time and in many instances, their lives in order for us to get to where we are today in the fight against the deadly virus,” he stated.