Ekweremadu urges Easter prayers against killings; Buhari, Saraki, Dickson seek peace

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called on Nigerians to pray harder for divine intervention in all areas of the nation’s life, especially the wanton killing of innocent Nigerians.

Ekweremadu, who stated this in his Easter message to Christian faithful on Saturday, assured that no matter how troubling the future currently appeared, the resurrection power of the risen Christ could turn around the fortunes of the country.

He said: “On the occasion of this Easter celebration, I call for deeper reflections over the affairs of the nation. Let us pray as patriots. Importantly, let us invoke the resurrection powers of the risen Christ to intervene in the affairs of this nation.

“Let us pray for an end to the wanton killings and destructions, general insecurity, economic hardship, and hunger in the land. Let us pray God to imbue our leaders, across all political divides, with the milk of human kindness and deep insights to lead the nation on the social, economic, and political revival and national unity. Let us also pray that God should touch the hearts of our leaders to apply the breaks and end the gale of divisiveness, political intolerance, barefaced oppression, and exclusion that currently pervade the land”.

He wished Nigerians a happy Easter celebration, assuring that God would never abandon Nigeria as only His will would ultimately prevail in the affairs of the nation.

On his part, Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson urged Nigerians, particularly Christians to cherish and guide their faith by living a selfless service, sacrifice,  love and righteousness in the manner of Christ.

The governor, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, said without the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, “our faith as Christians would have been a fallacy.”

He stressed that Nigeria is presently at a cross road, but called on Bayelsans to love one another, pray fervently for the peace, prosperity and stability of the nation and sacrifice for the common good of the State.

Dickson also solicited for the maximum cooperation of the people and leaders of Bayelsa State and the Ijaw Nation to enable his Restoration Government  consolidate on its legacy projects in order to finish strong by 2020.

He said: “As we celebrate Easter which of course, is the basis of our faith as Christians, I urge Nigerians, particularly Bayelsans to emulate our Lord Jesus Christ (in) words and deeds… We must love one another and sacrifice for the common good of Bayelsa State and Nigeria. This country is facing daunting challenges which call for fervent prayers and hard work to surmount.

“Our Government in the last six years, has put Bayelsa State on the path of peace and prosperity. I therefore, solicite the continued cooperation and support of leaders and the people of the state to enable our  Restoration Government consolidate on its life-changing legacy projects and finish strong.”

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, called on Christians and Nigerians across the nation to work towards emulating the virtues of Jesus Christ as epitomized by his passion, persecution, death and resurrection during Easter.

In a message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, Saraki also stated that all Nigerians must remain constant in their efforts to promote unity across all lines.

He noted that it was imperative for all Nigerians to come together in order to build a country that both present and future generations can take pride in just like the work of Christ which has endured for over 2000 years and has continued to inspire generations.

Saraki stated: “This weekend, we join our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria and across the world to celebrate the Easter festivities. This commemoration is a time for deep reflection as it marks the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his victory over death. It is a time to reach out to our brothers and sisters in need.

“It is also a time for all of us — regardless of faith, or ethnicity — to come together to pray for the peace of our nation. We must all remain constant in our efforts to promote unity — across all lines — because united, our nation remains stronger and we thrive as a people.

“As we do this, we must all collectively work towards playing our part in the development of our nation and its economy,” Saraki stated.

In a message to Nigerians last Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari stated:

“Fellow Compatriots,

“I am indeed delighted to join our Christian brothers and sisters to commemorate this year’s Easter celebration.

“We thank the Almighty God for granting us the opportunity to celebrate another Easter at a time of great promise and hope for our dear nation, despite the challenges we also have.

“Easter, the season in which Christians mark the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, represents the triumph of good over evil; and life over death. It is also a time to show love, forgiveness, compassion and renewed hope in the Grace of God.

“The Holy Scripture affirms that happiness and fulfilment in life do not flow from acquiring the best things in life, but in being richer in a relationship with God and fellow human beings.

“Let us use the opportunity of this special season to deeply reflect on how every one of us can imbibe the profound teachings of Jesus Christ with renewed vigour.

“In so doing and by placing the joy, comfort and happiness of others above ours, we will make a statement that vices such as, hate speech, bigotry, corruption, banditry and terrorism have no place in our nation. We must do all it takes to love our neighbours and display increased spirit of tolerance and accommodation.

“I commend those who recognise and support our unwavering efforts to prevent the spread of conflicts in our communities; check wanton criminality and the taking of innocent lives; unite the country; and steer the ship of state to a steady path of economic growth, job creation and development.

“While we enjoin law-abiding fellow compatriots to work for peace and social justice in our beloved country, let there be no doubt of our resolve to firmly resist others who may want to make cheap political capital out of current national security challenges.

“Our programmes and policies in the last three years have resulted in bringing down the prices of staple crops; gradual improvement of road, rail and electricity infrastructure; and making Nigeria the preferred destination for investors. More than ever before, we are ready to consolidate on these gains and ensure that we improve the lot of our communities in the years ahead.

“Thankfully, our Dapchi schoolgirls who were safely released recently after 30 agonizing days in the hands of their abductors, have been reunited with their families. I am very optimistic that all others, including the Chibok girls who are still in captivity will be safely released unconditionally to their families. I urge you to continue to pray for their safe return.

“In the meantime, I have given clear instructions to our security agencies to prioritise safety in schools in areas where the humanitarian and security situation are still dire, in addition to ensuring adequate protection of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

“As we approach the period of campaigns, I appeal to our political actors and other stakeholders to resist any act that could mar the integrity of our electoral process.

“I am optimistic that with God on our side, the dark days of Nigeria’s elections being manipulated by violence and rigging by corrupt politicians and their agents are over. They are confined to the dustbin of history where they rightly belong. I remain committed to bequeathing a legacy of supremacy of the people’s will through the ballot box.

“May this year’s Easter celebration bring us renewed hope and confidence as a great nation.”

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