As Christians across the world celebrated Easter Sunday on Sunday, governors in Nigeria called for collective efforts among the citizens to end insecurity.
Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong urged Christians to pray for the peace, unity, and progress of the nation.
In a message yesterday in Jos, the state capital, by his spokesman, Dr. Simon Makut Manche, the governor said Easter calls for deeper reflection on the grace of God and the strengthening of faith in His love for mankind, the essence of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He urged Nigerians to put aside their differences in faith, politics and ethnicity and forge a common front to defeat criminal activities that pose serious threats to the nation.
Borno State Governor Babagana Umara Zulum said he was proud of the peaceful co-existence among Christians and Muslims in the state, despite efforts by Boko Haram to divide them.
In his Easter message through his spokesman Isa Gusau, the governor said: “A season like this, which calls for deep and shared reflection on our lives in general, should remind us of not just the challenges we continually face, but also to be grateful for some accomplishments we have made together as citizens with equal stakes in the Borno project.
“For me, one great accomplishment recorded in Borno State is the peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians across the 27 local government areas, despite being faced with all manner of inciting tactics deployed by those who wish to knock our heads.
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“I am immensely proud of the people of Borno State for the religious harmony between Christians and Muslims in families, communities, schools, all our social and political gatherings, at government institutions, private work places, markets and other business places, in our sporting activities and other aspects of our shared existence.”
Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri implored residents of the state to embrace the virtues of sacrifice, love and hope that the Easter season typifies.
In a message his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor urged the people to see the sacrificial death and unstoppable resurrection of Jesus as pointers that hope will be available for those who believe.
He added: “Let us imbibe these virtues and consistently manifest them in our social relationships to create a harmonious society, the kind of social atmosphere that can bring out the best in a purpose-driven government as we have in the state today.
“In celebrating the season, our people in Bayelsa State have cause to be doubly joyous as the present administration, in word and deed, continues to demonstrate that government belongs to the people.”
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello urged Nigerians to reflect on the significance of Easter, love one another, be tolerant with renewed vigor for a better and prosperous Nigeria.
In his message through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Onogwu Mohammed, the governor said: “The lesson of Easter, as exemplified by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for the salvation of mankind, should be a template for human existence hinged on sacrifice and love.
“These godly attributes should be modeled by leaders and citizens.
“The important message of Easter is love for mankind, and this Christ-like virtue should be converted into citizens’ drive towards national integration and harmony amongst various religious and ethnic sections in the country.”
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu reassured the people of the state about his dedication to rebuilding the state for sustainable development.
In a statement in Umuahaia, the state capital, by the Chief Press Secretary, Chief Onyebuchi Ememanka, and made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ikpeazu described Easter celebration as an event that is synonymous with fresh hopes and a brighter tomorrow, adding that it ought to be a period of reflection for the people of Abia.
“Easter signifies the victory of light over darkness, of life over death, and of hope over despair.
“The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead after three days bears a message that forms the foundation of our Christian faith and for us in Abia State, it is a clear indication that after darkness comes a glorious dawn,” he said.
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma advised Christians to make sacrifices for the good of their neighbours and the larger society.
He said: “Sacrifice is the pillar of love. Therefore, as true Christians, we must be prepared to make sacrifices for the good of our neighbors and larger society. We can reciprocate the love of Christ by joining hands in Christ-like love to create a better society and country.
“Often times, we bemoan the situation in our country without looking at the corresponding sacrifices and discomfort required to build a prosperous nation.
“Most times, we beat the drums of war, hankering for disintegration of the nation without recourse to love and compassion for each other, which is actually the healing balm we require to stay together to build a greater country.
“Let the lessons of Easter teach us to be more tolerant, accommodating and compassionate in our relationship with one another.”
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde said he will soon expose those politicising security issues in the state.
The governor said this yesterday while addressing worshippers at St. Peters Anglican Cathedral, Aremo, Ibadan.
Noting that security challenges is not peculiar to the state alone, Makinde listed the moves and efforts he has made to ensure a more secure state for the residents.
He said: “When the Archbishop was preaching, he said there are challenges on security. Yes, it is true. And if there is anything that doesn’t make me have sound sleep, it’s the security.
“As a government, there are many things we are doing. As a matter of fact, it is on record that there has not be any administration in Oyo State that has spent so much on security as much as the current administration.
“When we came, within the first 100 days, we gave 100 patrol vehicles to the police and security agencies. We reestablished the Swift Response Squad (SRS), we reestablished the Operation Burst and all the communication equipment that they needed writhing and outside Oyo State have been covered…
“But I must warn that there is politicisation of the insecurity in this state. In the days to come, I will expose the people that are politicising security matters in the state.”
Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel attributed the successes of his administration on his strict reliance on the leadership of Jesus Christ.
In his Easter broadcast to the people of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel cautioned the residents across political divides that the essence of Easter would be lost except they allowed the resurrection of Christ to illuminate the dark crevices of their souls.
“When we let love drive our every action and every thought, when we let it drip from our lips and from our hands, then shall the joy of Easter be complete, and our state shall surely attain the lofty height set for it by our ancestors when they named it Akwa Abasi Ibom State (God’s Own State,” he said.