The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has urged Nigerians to emulate Jesus Christ by imbibing the spirit of sacrifice and perseverance to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buhari, who said this in his Easter address on Friday, stated that the year’s commemoration of Easter came amid the grip with which COVID-19 held the entire world.
The President said, “I rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters as well as all Nigerians on the occasion of the celebration of this year’s Easter.”
In his message, former President Goodluck Jonathan urged Nigerians not to allow the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic to overwhelm what he described as the riches of God’s grace and the truth of His love towards them.
Jonathan said Easter symbolised the triumph of life over death, songs of victory over the devil and celebrations of love, mercy and grace.
He said, “I extend my best wishes to all Christian faithful in Nigeria and around the world as we celebrate this year’s Easter. These are not the best of times for Nigerians and many others around the world because of the global crisis caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted the fate and fortunes of many.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and other members of the Senate have urged Nigerians to observe social distancing and handwashing during the Easter celebration so as to prevent escalation of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Senate President noted that the lessons of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ meant that Nigeria would soon overcome the pandemic and the people must not lose their confidence in God.
Lawan, in an Easter message said, “This occasion is relevant today more than ever before as mankind passes through one of the darkest clouds in history.”
In his message, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, enjoined Christians and Nigerians to continue to lend a helping hand to the underprivileged despite present difficulties.
He reminded Christians that what was happening around the world with the global COVID-19, was reminiscent of the tribulations, trial and suffering of Jesus Christ as He set out to fulfil his mandate of saving mankind.
Similarly, the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, in a goodwill message to Christians, said, “I would like to appeal to you all to imbibe the spirit of love for one another, forgiveness and mutual respect.”
Meanwhile, a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in his Easter message, said, “I enjoin all Nigerians to take responsibility at this critical time, adhering religiously to the precautionary measures, protocol, and guidelines released by the various strata of government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.”
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, in his message, urged Nigerians to use the period of Easter to pray fervently for a new Nigeria to emerge from the challenges of COVID-19.
Secondus said the situation in the world, particularly in Nigeria, meant Christians would intensify their supplications to God.
He said, “If Jesus Christ’s coming to the earth and dying for mankind took us from old to New Testament in the scripture, let’s use the challenge of this time to pray for a new world where God will take pre-eminence.”
The PDP national chairman urged Nigerian leaders to absorb the lessons of Easter and allow them to influence their conduct, especially as it concerns the underprivileged in the society.
The APC, in the statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the APC joined Christians in the celebration of Easter which, he noted commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He said, “Indeed, Easter emphasises, acknowledges and appreciates the redemptive blessings of the ultimate love, suffering and sacrifices of Jesus Christ for the common good of mankind.”