The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has said with the numerous challenges confronting the country, he found it difficult wishing Nigeria Merry Christmas.
Tinubu said this in a Christmas Message he personally signed on Thursday.
He said: “With the emergence of the coronavirus, 2020 has been as a plane flying through turbulent skies, a year that has raised challenges like no other year has. Yet, by the grace of God, we have persevered and shall continue to move forward.
“As we give thanks to God for His mercies, we do not and cannot forget those who we have lost for they were our brothers and sisters, they have been our friends and neighbours, they were important and loved members of our national family.
“More so than in most prior years, we are thankful for Christmas Day for the spirit and teachings of Jesus Christ provide a precious gift unto us. If we but use this gift wisely in our relationships with one another we shall emerge from this turbulent storm a better and more just nation, a more compassionate people with a more hopeful future.
“In normal times, Christmas offers Nigerians of all faiths an opportunity to gather with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Unfortunately, I must beseech you to forgo such large gatherings this year for the sake of our collective health. In its essence, Christmas is a celebration of life and this year we best celebrate life by doing what we must do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this terrible virus.
“Yet we also must take solace in the fact that nothing, not even this virus, can rob us of the spirit of Christmas and the hope and brotherly love it represents. Despite all that we have gone through, let kindness reign during this period. Let us place in our hearts and minds the commitment to be more tolerant and less judgmental of our fellow man.
“Let us put in our heart how we can help those who are without instead of blaming people for the situation in which they find themselves. Give those who currently lack kindness not criticism; give them bread and meat, not bitterness and despair. COVID came to steal much from us. But if we act in the spirit of Jesus, we shall defeat this disease and the other ills it seeks to impose on us.
“As the pressures of this year try to push us low, we must adhere to the teachings and manner of Jesus to uplift ourselves and this great nation. By doing so, we not only celebrate the birth of Jesus, we celebrate his life and the divine reason he came to live among us.
“I end my remarks with this: it is difficult to say ‘Merry Christmas’ because the moment which we now inhabit does not lend itself to merriment. However, I dearly wish each and every Nigerian a “Peaceful, Prosperous and Meaningful Christmas” and I pray that we act toward each other as Jesus instructed. If we can do this, we will emerge from the current turbulence a much better people, society and nation.
“May God bless you all on this special day.”