Abuja — The federal government has declared December 26 and 27, 2022, and January 2, 2023, as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day celebrations respectively.
The Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, while making the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, felicitates with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Aregbesola enjoined Christians to emulate Jesus Christ in deeds and follow his teachings, especially on faith, hope and love. He said: “We must imbibe the life of Jesus Christ in His practice and teachings on humility, service, compassion, patience, peace and righteousness that His birth signified. This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth.”
The minister emphasised that peace and security are two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity, urging Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of this festive period to pray for the total eradication of any vestige of insecurity in our dear nation.
He, however, reminded Nigerians that the coming year, 2023, is an election and political transition year and Nigerians should prepare to make it a huge success by voting peacefully and avoiding anything capable of marring the exercise in any way.
Aregbesola also assured that the government has put in place effective measures for the security of lives and property and expects Nigerians to support the efforts of security agencies by providing useful information that will assist them in the performance of their duties.
The minister urged Nigerians to be security conscious, asking them to report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency and through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS, saying “when you see something, do N-Alert, as this would elicit prompt response from security agents.”
The minister also said that this Yuletide called for Spartan discipline in order to protect lives and properties of everyone in our community and the nation as a whole, while advising Nigerians to “moderately celebrate the festival and act responsibly by refraining from spreading fake news on the country, the government and our neighbours.”.
Aregbesola, however, admonished all citizens to remain focused; and expressed confidence that the year 2023 would be a better year for us all.
He wished all Christians in particular a happy Christmas and all Nigerians a peaceful and prosperous New Year celebration.