President Muhammadu Buhari has charged Nigerians, especially Christians, to imbibe the Christ-like quality of personal sacrifice for the sake of achieving greater good.
President Buhari gave the charge Friday morning in his Easter message to Nigerians, encouraging all citizens to persevere through the hardship and unusual unpleasantness coming with the measures instated to cut down the spread of the global pandemic, the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), in the country.
The President acknowledged the fact that the occasion of the COVID-19 pandemic had seriously impeded the usual joy, mirth and excitement that come with such festivities as the Easter, reminding all that the currently imposed way of life is humanity’s surest way of subduing the scourge.
He, however, called on all, especially Christians, to revive their faith and hope, coupled with prayers and other personal efforts, noting that without these, overcoming the current circumstances might be unreachable.
“I rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters as well as all Nigerians on the occasion of the celebration of this year’s Easter.
“This year’s commemoration of Easter comes amid the grip with which COVID-19 has held the entire world.
“Unprecedented in living memory, majority of Christians have found themselves marking Easter in a subdued manner, away from the usual congregation in churches. This is unusual and very unfortunate.
“However, I wish to enjoin our Christian compatriots to rekindle their faith in Christ who overcame persecution, sufferings and displayed endurance, steadfastness and above all piety.
“Jesus Christ represented man’s ability to withstand temporary pains in the hope of everlasting glory.
“I urge you to imbibe and live the values of humility, discipline, perseverance, sacrifice and obedience which Jesus Christ demonstrated during His stay on earth.
“There is no better opportunity than now for all Christians in particular, and Nigerians in general, to remain faithful and hopeful that with intensified prayers backed by personal and collective responsibility, the nation shall pull through this most difficult trial.
“I have no doubt that if all stakeholders – individuals and groups – play their part to the fullest as advised by our scientists and medical experts in confronting COVID-19, the inherent resilience and determination of our people will enable us to pull through.
“As I stated in my national broadcast on Sunday, March 29, 2020, since there is currently no known vaccine against the virus, ‘the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygiene and sanitary practices as well as social distancing”, he observed.
The President also reemphasized the commitment of his administration to continue to cater to the needs of Nigerians, especially the most vulnerables among the population.
He, however, singled out the performance of the Boss Mustapha-led Presidential Task Force (PTF) on (COVID-19) for the tireless efforts it had put into protecting Nigerians against the scourge and for ensuring that the poor and vulnerable in society are not left to their fate.
“May I use this opportunity to commend the encouraging containment and ameliorating strategies put in place by members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“I am very much aware of the personal and collective inconveniences suffered by our people due to measures such as restriction of movements and closure of business premises. Being “a matter of life and death,” these sacrifices are in everybody’s interest to save our country from calamity.
“The welfare of our people is paramount. Accordingly, the most economically vulnerable in our communities will continue to be uppermost in our plans, and efforts will be made to supply them with basic means of survival”, the President said.
He assured Nigerians that government had not gotten carried away with the challenges of the global pandemic and forgotten the imminent danger that terrorists and insurgents posed to the country, saying the various agencies of government tasked with security had been up and running to safeguard Nigerians and their communities against these threats.
“While we see the COVID-19 pandemic as a global challenge, this administration is not oblivious of the constant threat posed to our national security by terrorists and insurgents. They may take this opportunity to perpetrate attacks. But our armed forces and other security and intelligence services will remain vigilant and continue to contain these threats and consolidate efforts to eradicate them completely.
“As we mark this year’s Easter, whatever the circumstances, I encourage you to make the most of the situation, and to keep safe”, the President said.