By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged Nigerians, especially the Christian faithful to take time to pray for unity and peace of the country, as they celebrated Easter.
Abubakar in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, urged Nigerians to love one another, adding that the essence of Easter celebration was not merely to merry but 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 taught us,” Abubakar said.
The former vice president while wishing the Christian faithful a happy Easter celebration, urged them to pray for the military personnel, who were keeping the vigil of daily sacrifice to keep citizens safe.
Abubakar, however, said that 2021 Easter celebration was significant, as it would be the first major national festival to be celebrated after the commencement of the administration of vaccines against the dreaded Corona Virus.
He recalled that during 2020 celebration there was a global lockdown as most countries of the world required that citizens stay indoors and celebrate in low-key, for the first time in many generations.
“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.”
Abubakar, however, urged Nigerians to stay safe by adhering to all the COVID-19 safety protocols of washing hands, wearing face-mask, avoiding crowded places and observing social distance.
Abubakar also stressed the need to appreciate health workers, who like the example set by Jesus Christ, sacrificed their time and in many instances, their lives in the fight against the deadly virus.” (NAN)