Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun has urged Nigerians to embrace love, tolerance, generosity and peaceful co-existence, which Jesus Christ stood for, as they celebrate Christmas.
Oyetola, in a Christmas message issued on Thursday in Osogbo, said the celebration offered Nigerians the opportunity to reflect on God’s love and compassion for man as epitomised in the gift of Christ to the world.
The governor while congratulating residents of the state on the celebration of Christmas, enjoined Christians in the state to use the period to reflect on their relationship with one another and show love to their neighbours.
The statement, which was issued by the Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, quotes Oyetola as also urging residents in the state to shun religious intolerance, but should work together for the progress of the state.
The governor urged people in the state and Nigerians in general to ensure that the celebrations was in moderation and to adherence to all COVID-19 protocols, to limit spread of the disease.
He said, “Christmas is a time for friends, for family and for giving and sharing.
“This year’s celebration has presented us an opportunity to once more show love and share.
“Also, Christmas symbolises hope as it marks the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace.
“I, therefore, urge all Nigerians to use this period to pray for peace, unity and prosperity in the country.
“While this is traditionally a time for joy and celebration, I urge us all to do so in moderation.
“This period actually calls for introspection and continued prayers for our dear state and nation, taking into consideration the continued rise in cases of Covid19.
“We must ensure we be our brothers’ keepers by adhering to all Covid19 protocols.
“Let me reiterate that all youth carnivals, countdown to new year ceremonies have been banned.
“Let us use this season to increase our acts of kindness and touch the less privileged in our society.
“We are now not just responsible for securing each other’s health, but for helping to secure each others’ livelihood.
“I urge us all to keep our hopes alive despite the challenges facing the nation and the world at large”, Oyetola said.