By Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
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.”
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.
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.
I wish you all a Happy Easter.
As pains and humiliation of the Crucifixion ended in the triumph of the resurrection, today’s difficulties shall provide renewal, says el Rufai at Easter
Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State has congratulated the Christian community on the completion of Lent, with its attendant disciplines of fasting, prayers and charity.
In an Easter message signed by Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser on Media and Communications on Saturday, El Rufai felicitated with the Christian community on the special occasion of Easter.
The governor pointed out that the enduring message of Easter which is victory over darkness, ‘’is poignant amidst the uniquely difficult circumstances in which Easter is being celebrated this year.’’
The governor noted that the uniquely difficult circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic has created, has also impacted on formal acts of worship to celebrate Easter.
‘’The closure of churches due to quarantine conditions in many places across the world, makes it impossible to celebrate Easter in the traditional way; a most unusual development,’’ he said.
El Rufai urged the Christian community ‘’to keep hope alive even in these dire moments,’’ adding that ‘’with careful attention to preventive measures, humanity will rise above the devastations and disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.’’
“Just as the pains and humiliation of the Crucifixion ended in the triumph of the resurrection, today’s difficulties shall provide renewal, a chance to give thanks anew to Almighty God, ‘’ the governor assured.
El-Rufai who appealed to all communities in Kaduna State to uphold peace and harmony, urged all residents to observe social distance, practice regular hand washing with soap and water and avoid large gatherings to protect everyone from COVID-19.
The statement also appealed to citizens of Kaduna State to comply with the terms of the quarantine imposed on the state.
PRAY FOR END OF COVID-19: FCT MINISTER CHARGES CHRISTIANS AT EASTER TO PRAY
The Honourable Minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has urged Christians in the Territory to use the occasion of the celebration of Easter to pray fervently for the end of the COVID 19 pandemic which has so far claimed thousands of lives across the world.
The Minister said that history has shown that when people turn to God in true supplication, in times of distress, the Almighty indeed answers prayers.
According to the Minister, Easter, as one of the holiest celebrations for Christians provided a great opportunity to pray to God to heal the sick and prevent a further spread of the disease across the Territory.
Malam Bello equally encouraged residents to use the Easter celebrations to imbibe the spirit of unity which the FCT symbolizes.
He said “I urge you to use this season to reflect on the significance of the FCT as the Center of Unity of our country. This is the season to show true neighborliness and reach out to the needy and the less privileged who have been impacted negatively by COVID 19”.
He continued “the disease is such that it does not discriminate between the haves and the haves not and is no respecter of age or religious beliefs. We must therefore come together as communities to fight it together”.
Malam Bello also advised residents to follow all the health protocols of constant handwashing, use of alcohol based sanitizer, and observing social distancing.
He said “the best way to beat this disease is not to contract it. This is one time where prevention is most certainly better than cure. You must therefore be disciplined and maintain personal hygiene by observing to the letter, prevention protocols of constant hand washing, use of alcohol based sanitizers and observance of social distancing”.
The Minister also asked residents to observe the stay-at-home directives of the government saying that it was the one way to curtail the spread of the virus and allow for contact tracing by the health authorities.
Malam Bello once again wished residents happy Easter celebrations and encouraged them to enjoy the festivities from the safety of their homes.
By Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria