State Governors have urged Nigerians to promote peace and unity in the country.
The Governors stated this in separate Easter messages.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State urged Nigerians to allow love for the country reign supreme in their lives.
He said Nigerians must ignore those creating divisions and disunity in the country, stressing that ”forces of division have nothing to offer other than chaos and negativity.”
The governor also said that ”love for the country means loving the people of the country without distinction.
“Only by loving our country can we attain lofty heights in development, growth and prosperity.”
While rejoicing with Nigerians, especially of Christian faith for witnessing this year’s easter, Tambuwal urged them to promote peace and harmony at all times.
He pledged to continue promoting unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians, and urged the people not to relent in prayers and support for government.
Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River also called on Christians and all Nigerians to use this year’s Easter celebration to reflect on its significance in the life of the nation.
According to him, it is important for Christians to understand the significance of the celebration by appreciating central theme of sacrifice, death on the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He urged Christians to rededicate themselves to the values of love, peace, sacrifice and tolerance.
“As we celebrate Easter, let us reflect on the significance of the season, which is love and sacrifice, to unite as a people.
“Easter gives us the spiritual power to appreciate the truth that his dying moment on the cross offers us the greatest illustration of forgiveness, faith and belief necessary to strive as one indivisible nation.
Ayade noted that Christ’s resurrection was not to engage in wild and elaborate celebration “but to give our lives meaning and direction and the opportunity to close ranks, no matter our differences and circumstances.”
The governor, who wished Nigerians lasting peace, love and the warmth of friendship, enjoined all to eschew hatred and bigotry, which Christ preached against before paying the ultimate price on the cross.
In the same vein, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun called on Nigerians to keep hope alive in spite of the daunting economic challenges facing the country.
The governor said it was in this attitude that citizens could be galvanized towards contributing their quota to the overall progress of the country.
The governor, however, urged Christians to reflect on the importance of Easter celebrations in their dealings, not only with other Christians, but with people of other religions.
He said Nigerians must eschew bitterness and all forms of violence, stressing that the progress, peace and security of the nation was anchored on good neighbourliness and peaceful co-existence.
“I urge you all to let the significance of the celebration reflect in our relationship with one another both Christians and the people of other religions.
“There is no doubt that these are tough times in our country but we must all keep hope alive that life will be better,” he said.
Aregbesola also reminded Christians that having gone through forty days of fasting and praying, Easter was a better time for them to purge themselves of things that are not Christlike.
“The major lesson of Easter is for us as Christians to reconsider the reality of our faith.
“The passion and death of Jesus underscores the love of the Father, who gave his only begotten son in love for us and the willingness of the Son to sacrifice himself for others to be liberated from the weight of sin,” the governor said.
Aregbesola, however, reiterated the commitment of his administration to making life better for all citizens and residents.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta also urged Nigerians to love one another in the spirit of Easter in so as to surmount the challenges confronting the nation.
Okowa urged Christians to reflect on the import of Easter celebrations in their dealings and with people of other religions.
He said Nigerians must eschew bitterness and all forms of violence, adding that the progress, peace and security of the nation was anchored on good neighbourliness and peaceful co-existence.
“I urge you all to let the significance of the celebration to reflect in our relationship with one another, both Christians and the people of other religions.
“There is no doubt that these are tough times in our country. Intolerance and impunity continue to rear their heads through sectarian violence.
“But, rather than succumb and feel threatened about these uncertain times, we should rise to the fact that these are trials that are supposed to strengthen our resolve to confront our challenges”, he said.
He reminded Christians that having gone through forty days of fasting and praying, Easter was a better time for them to purge themselves of every weight.
“These include those weights that have impeded our progress as a people over the years.’’
He called for demonstration of love in its fullness.
Okowa charged Christian faithful and Nigerians in general to extend the spiritual benefits of Easter – love, peace, justice, sacrifice and kindness to their daily living.
He said that such commitments would contribute to unity and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
“The major lesson of Easter is for us as Christians to rethink the reality of our faith.
“As Christians, we should continue to uphold the principles of our faith as it relates to honesty, justice, integrity, accountability, compassion, selflessness and the pursuit of the common good”, Okowa said.
The governor reiterated the commitment of his government to make life better for all citizens and residents of the state through his S.M.A.R.T. agenda.
“This is our primary concern as reflected in the quantum of projects being executed across the state and the way we are committed to the welfare and prosperity of our people”, he said.
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has urged the people to continue to live in peace and show love to one another as Christians world over observe Easter.
He said irrespective of class, religion or creed the people should learn to be tolerant and use the occasion of Easter to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ, who laid down His life for all.
The people should emulate the exemplary life of Jesus Christ full of love and sacrifice, the governor said in a message to Christians to commemorate Easter.
“It is encapsulated in Jesus Christ’s decision to lay down his life for the redemption of humanity.
“I want to use the opportunity of the Easter season to urge every Christian and indeed, every indigene of our state to continue to live in peace.
“To love one another as exemplified by our Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for the redemption of our sins,’’ he said.
Akeredolu urged youths to also embrace peace and continue to support the government, promising that the administration would implement programmes that would bring development to the state.
Similarly, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa called for greater sacrifice, tolerance and love among Nigerians in his Easter message.
He said peace, love and unity were the virtues and qualities Jesus Christ displayed and propagated throughout His life time on earth.
Dickson noted that the significance and real meaning of the season would be lost if Christians allow selfish tendencies, hatred and intolerance to influence their lifestyles and general conduct.
He also said the country and the world at large would be more peaceful, if Christians and adherents of other religions unite, irrespective of religious, political, cultural and ethnic affinities.
The governor also urged leaders at all levels of government to make sacrifice as well as work, in one accord, to turn around the economic fortunes of the country.
Dickson further called on Nigerians to see the solution the current challenge facing the nation as a collective responsibility.
He wished Christians happy Easter celebration and called on them to keep faith with the policies and programmes of the restoration administration in the state.
The governor, who expressed optimism that better days were ahead, however, urged the people to pray fervently for the peace, unity and progress of the state and the nation in general.
“The security and economic challenges we are facing can be surmounted but we need to make greater sacrifices, show more love and understanding to one another.
“We need to be more tolerant and always preach peace to pave way for the rapid growth of the country in all ramifications,” Dickson said.