As Nigerian Christians join their counterparts across the world to celebrate this year’s Christmas, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has urged Christians to use the celebration to extend hands of fellowship to adherents of other religions.
This is contained in the governor’s goodwill message on the occasion of Christmas.
He joined millions of Nigerians in congratulating the Christian faithful on this year’s Christmas celebration.
Governor Mohammed urged Christians to reflect on the life and times of Jesus Christ who used the whole of his life time to preach peace, honesty, love and fear of God.
According to him, people, irrespective of their religious beliefs, are expected to emulate these Christ’s virtues, adding that Christmas period should be an opportunity for Christians to cultivate the habit of love, respect and harmonious relationship with other members of the society.
Governor Mohammed reiterated the need for mutual understanding and respect for one another as well as peaceful coexistence among various groups.
“I want to use this auspicious occasion to, on behalf of myself and the entire people of Bauchi State, extend my warm and sincere gratitude and goodwill to Christian brothers and sisters.
“As we celebrate Christmas, we should also reflect on our routine activities since the last Christmas and to use this occasion to pray to God for better things ahead,” the Governor stated.
He then called on the Christian faithful in the State to, in accordance with the teachings of Christ, strive to be their brother’s keepers during the Christmas and beyond, saying that, many of their compatriots who are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other situation of extreme poverty can do with some show of charity.
The governor restated his administration’s commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property of all people residing in the state, noting that this, the administration had demonstrated through support and effective liaison with security agencies.
“I am glad to inform you that in spite of some security challenges, such as kidnapping/abduction, cattle rustling, insurgency etc, our state is today the safest in the North-East and one of the safest in the country. We will, by the grace of God, continue to ensure that peace is maintained in the state,” he stated.
Governor Mohammed, however, appealed to all and sundry to support and cooperate with the state government by giving useful information on criminals and criminal activities.
He pleaded with pastors to use the period to preach against the recruitment of youth into inglorious criminal activities where they often end up as losers for life, while the larger society bear the scars of their peril.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor enjoined churches to be in the forefront of the vanguard to end the pandemic by constantly reminding their followers of the need to adhere to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols of physical distancing, hand sanitation, wearing of facemasks, among others.