The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, has urged Christians to take advantage of the Christmas services to pray for troops in the fight against insecurity in the country.
Magashi made the call in his Christmas message made available by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mohammad Abdulkadir, on Thursday in Abuja.
He urged Christians to be Christ-like in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ by showing compassion to fellow Nigerians irrespective of religious differences and to pray for peace in the country.
The minister harped on the need for peaceful co-existence, unity and peace, especially as the country faces the challenges of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping among other criminal tendencies.
He commended the troops for their dedication to defending the nation’s territorial integrity.
“The season is the reason to turn to God in fervent prayer to crown the sacrifices of our fighting forces to attain maximum victory over the adversaries.
“The least appreciation Nigerians can show to the nation’s gallant soldiers who are fighting patriotically so that the citizens can sleep with their eyes closed is to pray for them and be security conscious at this auspicious time,” he said.
Magashi commended the military and other security agencies as well as the civil authorities for the recent feat attained in the timely rescue of the kidnapped students in Kankara, Katsina State.
He described the rescue operation as unprecedented in denying the kidnappers freedom of action, adding that the recent feat was an important Christmas and New Year gift to the country.
The minister however enjoined troops in various theatres of operation to remain focused by reinvigorating their fighting power against the enemies of the state.
He said the support of all Nigerians was critical to the attainment of peace and security of the country and ensure hitch-free yuletide and beyond.