President Muhammadu Buhari has sent Easter message to Christians in Nigeria, urging them to increase love for one another rather than hate, and show more patriotism.
The president said as the country gradually prepares for the 2023 general election, security and unity of the nation should be the guiding principles for the actions and utterances of citizens.
According to Buhari: “I join our Christian brothers and sisters to celebrate this year’s Easter, which is the most significant event/festival in the Christian calendar.
“This year’s celebration is very unique for adherents of the two great faiths in Nigeria. It culminates the 40-day season of Lent for Christians, where the faithful are expected to fast, pray, assist the poor, abhor injustice and strife, give alms, and penitently engage in self-examination and repentance of sins.
“Similar values apply to the Muslim faithful, currently about halfway into the holy month of Ramadan.
“For us as a nation, the message of Easter, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after crucifixion and burial, reminds us of the power of divine love, faith and redemption.
“Easter also evokes in us the resilience of the human spirit not to give up in the face of seemingly daunting challenges of life. This period emboldens us to believe that the current spate of uncertainty and insecurity will soon unfold a season of triumph of good over evil; hope over despair, and light over darkness.
“I urge us to increase our love for one another rather than hate, and show more patriotism, as this is the only country we have.
“I enjoin us, therefore, to live out the eternal words of Jesus Christ on the cross: ‘‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.’’
“Let us remember that the scriptural emphasis of love has so much relevance for us today as a nation more than ever before, and thus contribute towards its peace and development.
“As we approach another season of electioneering, let the security and unity of the nation guide our actions and utterances. I wish all Nigerians a joyful and blessed Easter”